#01 2021

SAEON in the media

An article titled Celebrating multidisciplinarity was published in the first issue of the South African Journal of Science for 2021. In the article author Jane Carruthers of the Academy of Science of South Africa says that it is “exciting to see collaborations with state structures, such as the South African National Space Agency, the South African Environmental Observation Network, the South African National Biodiversity Institute, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Iziko Museums of South Africa”.

An article in Express of February 24, Mountain ecosystems vital to South Africa, describes Dr João Vidal’s collaborative research project with SAEON, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the University of Pretoria. Dr Vidal was a research fellow at the Department of Plant Sciences and the Afromontane Research Unit (ARU) at the University of the Free State (UFS). The article was also published on the UFS QwaQwa website on February 15 and in Landbouweekblad on March 11.

Eyes wide shut – tiptoeing through the dark hallway of uncertainty into 2021, an article by Professor James Blignaut, a SAEON honorary research associate, was published in Daily Maverick of January 6. In the article Professor Blignaut states that Covid-19 has changed our world, probably forever, and that 2020 was our annus horribilis, our Masada.

A second article by Professor Blignaut appeared in Daily Maverick of January 11. In the article titled In the gut-wrenching grip of neofascism the virus of fear flourishes, Prof Blignaut argues that we are the real-time witnesses of the institutionalisation of neofascism, the vilest form of governance.

A third article by Professor Blignaut appeared in Daily Maverick on January 17. In the article titled The big tech and big pharma invasion: Follow the money trail, Prof Blignaut says that governments have outsourced so many of their scientific and other research and development programmes to big business that the resultant state policies are biased towards these international multibillion-dollar companies – companies to which developing nations are increasingly indebted.   

Arid Lands Node  

Egg morphology may underpin the successful distribution of large branchiopods in temporary waters, a paper co-authored by SAEON research associate Dr Betsie Milne, was published in Aquatic Ecology (2021) 55:237–251.

Egagasini Node

Ocean Best Practices OBPS Success Story – GOOS-Endorsed Best Practices, an article by Professor Juliet Hermes, manager of SAEON’s Egagasini Node, was reproduced in Earthzine from ‘Good, Better, Best’, a newsletter on Ocean Best Practices on 12 December 2020. Earthzine is the magazine of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Oceanic Engineering Society.

Elwandle Node

 An article titled Carping on about Groenvlei was published in George Herald and Knysna Plett Herald on January 28. The article describes the carp invasion in Groenvlei Lake that has been wreaking havoc since Groenvlei was illegally stocked in the 1990s and the water turbidity in the lake. The South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) has sent water samples to SAEON for further testing.

An article titled Six ecosystem research sites selected for freshwater and terrestrial environmental observation network was published in Engineering News of December 11. The article describes the six ecosystem research sites established to improve South Africa’s national capacity to understand critical ecological processes and how they support and respond to the societies depending on them. Each of the six selected ecosystem research sites represents a large landscape in one of the major biomes in South Africa and includes areas representing human-transformed ecosystems such as urban areas and agricultural systems.