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Two students at the Nelson Mandela University George Campus are living examples of how true love can exist in academia.

Tiaan Strydom and Zanri Schoeman first met in their first year of undergraduate study in 2013, on our beautiful George Campus studying Nature Conservation.  The academic love birds both finished their first two years before embarking on their practical year, where they were fortunate enough to go to the same place - Fransmanshoek Conservancy.  Upon returning after their practical year, the pair graduated in 2017 with their Diploma in Nature Conservation. However, the love story doesn’t end there - they continued studying and pursued their BTech degree in Nature Conservation, graduating together in 2019.

Both Zanri and Tiaan developed an interest in academia and research, so continued their studies and pursued their Master of Science degree in Nature Conservation both becoming specialists  in their field.

Zanri is passionate about seabirds “I am an active seabird rescuer and rehabilitator on the Garden Route. My MSc study investigated the effect of seal and kelp gull (seabird) predation on Cape Gannets (seabirds)”, she says. While Tiaan has a deeper love for plants and fire ecology, his MSc involved the assessment of the effects of fire (Knysna fires) on the survival of thicket plants and the effect on thicket bird communities. They have both passed their masters’ degrees and would have walked across the stage at our Autumn graduation.

Our campus academic love birds are both currently lecturing part-time, whilst pursuing their Doctoral degrees this year and furthering their research. Zanri has a dream to become a full-time lecturer at our University’s George Campus to inspire and educate future conservationists. Tiaan enjoys doing research and giving classes and would like to pursue a career in research.

“We have come a long way from undergrad to postgrad and our love for academia and research is growing by the day, alongside our love for each other”, the couple shared.

Tiaan recently proposed to Zanri - takin the next step in strengthening their love for each other.

Contact information
Ms Milisa Piko
Communications Manager: George Campus
Tel: 044 801 5098