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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Mandela Uni Geosciences PhD student, Carla Dodd, was selected for the specialised African/German field training programme (Train-ME2) as part of a group of only eight postgraduate students from across Africa.

The Summer School took place in November with participants from six different nationalities (Nigeria, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe). The Summer School is a training course that focuses on bio- and geological sampling techniques in both aquatic and terrestrial environments and the application thereof in palaeoecology.

The students met in Durban for their week of fieldwork, joined by a trans-disciplinary team of researchers from the Universities of Cape Town (Dr Kelly Kirsten), Greifswald (Dr Finn Viehberg), KwaZulu Natal (Dr Jemma Finch and Dr Lauren Pretorius), and Nelson Mandela University/Council for Geoscience (Dr Hayley Cawthra) who facilitated the programme.

The first three days were spent at the WESSA Twinstreams Environmental Education Centre and the students were taught how to apply different field coring techniques.

The team then moved on to Sibhudu Cave and thereafter, on to Langebaan on the West Coast. Thursday was “test” day for the students as they needed to apply all that they learnt at the preceding East Coast trips to the Berg River Estuary to provide a comprehensive palaeoecological overview of the salt marsh habitat.

That evening, Team South Africa brainstormed ideas for the Science Spaza outreach and connected virtually with Team Germany participants, exchanging videos and experiences. Friday morning was spent at the West Coast Fossil Park where the team was guided by Pippa Haarhoff through the impressive exhibits and dig sites. This was followed by a guided tour at the !Khwa ttu San Cultural Village.

Contact information
Dr Gavin Rishworth
Senior Lecturer
Tel: 041 504 1668