Speakers

Dr Hylton Adie

Hylton Adie is a post-doctoral research fellow associated with the Forest Biodiversity Research Unit in the School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal. His current research interests include the structure and dynamics of Afrotemperate forest, and the competition and co-existence of conifers and angiosperms in these forests.

Dr-Dave-Everard.jpgDr Dave Everard

Dr. David Everard is the Divisional Environmental Manager for Sappi Forests. He has also been appointed as a member of the Sappi Group Sustainable Development Council which is responsible for providing leadership in setting policy and objectives on sustainable development for Sappi as a group. Before joining Sappi in 1998 he was a Business Area Manager at the CSIR where he studied ecological processes in terrestrial ecosystems, with the aim of implementing sustainable management systems. David Everard is also an associate editor of Southern Forests, a Journal of Forest Science.

Dr-Terry-Everson.jpgDr Terry Everson

Dr Terry Everson is a lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg. She has spent 18 years researching the population dynamics of montane grasslands in response to fire and disturbance. Her current research is on community involvement in natural resource management. This focuses on community participation in integrated catchment management, rehabilitation of degraded rangeland, and the development of technologies to promote sustainable use of resources.

Mr-Steve-Germishuizen.jpgMr Steve Germishuizen

Steven Germishuizen is the forestry coordinator for the Grasslands Programme and works under the administration of Forestry South Africa. An environmental consultant based in KZN, most projects have been in the grassland biome with a focus on environmental management within the forestry industry, and biodiversity conservation and ecosystem integrity. He has been involved with forestry at scales from community based forestry to large corporate entities. He was a member of the FSC’s plantations review expert team dealing with ecosystem integrity.

Mrs-Peta-Hardy.jpgMrs Peta Hardy

Mrs Peta Hardy is an Environmental Manager for Sappi’s plantations in Mpumalanga and for Sappi Usutu in Swaziland. She has an MSc in Botany from the University of Cape Town and has spent a number of years managing an environmental monitoring programme for unplanted open areas on Sappi plantations. She has developed a keen interest in forb diversity in Highveld grasslands and how it relates to the natural environment and veld condition.

Dr-Donovan-Kotze.jpgDr Donovan Kotze

Donovan Kotze is an honorary research fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The focus of Donovan's training and professional work over the last 17 years has been on wetland ecology and the sustainable use of wetlands. He has gained much experience in working in a great variety of wetlands under many different land-uses, from communal traditional use to intensively used private land. He is especially interested in wetlands within an agricultural context, and collaborates with many different government and non-government organizations involved with wetland management issues.

Dr-Richard-Lechmere-Oertel.jpgDr Richard Lechmere-Oertel

Dr Richard Lechmere-Oertel is a biodiversity planner and ecological consultant based in Hilton, Pietermaritzburg. He has worked extensively in the grasslands of KZN and the Eastern Cape, primarily in the Drakensberg. He is contracted to the FSA / Grasslands Programme partnership to conduct biodiversity prioritisation within the unplanted plantation forestry estate, and recently completed a biodiversity pre-screening for forestry development in the Eastern Cape.

Prof-Tim-OConnor.jpgProf Tim O’Connor

Prof Tim O’Connor is an observation science specialist at the South African Environmental Observation Network and an Honorary staff member in the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand. His extensively-cited research papers have focused mainly on the ecology of savannas, shrublands, and grasslands, plant/ungulate interactions, and the influence of rainfall variability in rangeland dynamics. Recent research has focused on the influence of land-use on phytomass and on biodiversity integrity in moist grasslands in South Africa.

Mr-Willem-Olivier.jpgMr Willem Olivier

Willem Olivier studied forestry at Stellenbosch and worked 30 years for the Dept of Forestry, Bonuskor and Sappi Forests - mostly as a manager of forestry operations in the Mpumalanga Province. He was involved with the formation of the LFPA in Nelspruit in 1986 and later the umbrella organisation, Forest Fire Association. Over the past 12 years he advised forestry companies in South Africa as well as investors in forestry in African countries.

Mrs-Hylie-Olivier.jpgMrs Hylie Olivier

Hylie Olivier is currently a stay-at-home mom with their 9 month old daughter. She does environmental consultation work for a forestry company as well as the private sector. She recently completed her masters in Environmental Management and her thesis looked at the recovery of previously afforested grassland.

Mr-Ben-Potgieter.jpgMr Ben Potgieter

Ben Potgieter is currently Sappi's Fire risk manager for KZN. He is involved in Forestry for 27 years. His major role is to facilitate the fire risk management process on an operational level to reduce potential losses cause by wild fires in plantations. His main strategy is fuel load reduction in commercial plantations to reduce fire intensity and to create low fuel load zones that serve as buffer zones.

Prof-Michael-Samways.jpgProf Michael Samways

Michael Samways is Professor and Chair of Dept Conservation Ecology & Entomology, Stellenbosch University, and a Fellow of Royal Society of South Africa, and Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He is a John Herschel Medallist of the Royal Society of South Africa, Senior Captain Scott Medallist of the South African Academy of Sciences and Arts, and Gold Medallist of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He has published eight books, three Special Issues, 43 book chapters, and 226 peer-reviewed scientific papers. Michael is very involved internationally, especially representing invertebrates. His research is mainly aimed at designing landscapes for the future.

Mr-Rob-Scott-Shaw.jpgMr Rob Scott-Shaw

Rob Scott-Shaw is a Principal Nature Conservation Scientist with KZN Wildlife and curator of the Killick Herbarium in Pietermaritzburg. A well-known taxonomist with extensive knowledge of local flora, he is one of the few ecologists studying the impact of disturbance (fire, but particularly grazing) on the plant species diversity of grasslands in South Africa. A key research focus area is attempting to link traditional assessment of rangeland condition to diversity, and identifying key indicator forb species to use in biodiversity assessments. He is the author of the book Rare and Threatened Plants, and contributed the book The Vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Mr-Alan-Short.jpgMr Alan Short

Alan Short is a Project Manager in the Agricultural Research Council, responsible for the National Rangeland Monitoring and Improvement Programme. He has several years of experience in long-term research and monitoring programmes in rangelands, including the Brotherton trials in the Drakensberg.

Dr-Andrew-Sullivan.jpgDr Andrew Sullivan

Dr Andrew Sullivan is the Team Leader of the Bushfire Dynamics and Applications Group of the Sustainable Ecosystems Division of the CSIRO in Canberra, Australia. He conducts research on fuel dynamics, fuel availability, fire behaviour, fire impacts, and fire management. He has published widely, and is co-author of the book “Grassfires: Fuel, Weather and Fire Behaviour” with veteran fire ecologist Phil Cheney. He was involved in the development of various fire-spread prediction models, and has informed government on runaway bushfires that occurred in the Canberra district in January 2003.

Ms-Anthea-Stephens.jpgMs Anthea Stephens

Anthea Stephens is currently heading up the National Grasslands Programme at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). The Grasslands Programme is a US$8.3million multi-stakeholder partnership initiative designed to mainstream biodiversity management into the major production sectors operating on the grasslands biome. Anthea has years of experience in managing complex environmental programmes having previously worked at IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) as acting director and manager of the country programme. She holds an MSc in Environmental and Geographical Science which she received from the University of Cape Town. She is also the chair of the board of directors for PhytoTrade Africa, the Southern African National Products Trade Association.

Dr-Brian-van-Wilgen.jpgDr Brian van Wilgen

Dr Brian van Wilgen is a Chief Ecologist at the CSIR specialising in fire ecology and the ecology and management of invasive alien plant species. He is the Chair of the CSIR Natural Resources Research Advisory Committee, and a core team member of the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology. His research has been focused in three main fields – the ecology and management of invasive alien plants; the ecological and atmospheric effects of vegetation fires and the use of fire in ecosystem management; and the conservation of biological diversity.

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