#03 2021

SAEON in the media

Tech plays a role in agricultural sustainability, an article published in IT-Online on April 22, mentions that 10 South African organisations have successfully applied for AI for Earth grants since 2019 to further research that will create a more sustainable and accessible world.

One of these is SAEON, who is developing “an AI-enabled early warning system on vegetation change using Microsoft Cloud and AI tools. Up-to-date information on vegetation will aid fire and water management and reduce human exposure to water scarcity and fire-related disasters while contributing to the conservation of biodiversity. The ability to understand threats to biodiversity and to implement solutions is essential for the long-term success of the agricultural industry and the country’s food security. Maintenance of this biodiversity is vital for the sustainable production of food and other agricultural products and to harness the benefits these provide to humanity, including food security, nutrition and livelihoods”.  

Egagasini Node

Train researchers for big science in oceanography, an article published in the University of Cape Town’s online newsletter on April 21, mentions that the SEAmester programme is run in parallel with the SAEON Egagasini Node’s Agulhas System Climate Array (ASCA) monitoring line managed by Professor Juliet Hermes and Dr Tammy Morris.

An article titled Youth in academis and education was published in Sunday World on June 20. In the article Malphia Honwane, a young author from Gothenburg village outside Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga, credits his mentor Thomas Mtontsi, a science engagement officer at SAEON, as well as Mzimasa Hoho, his school principal and Seshnee Maduray from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, for guidance and supervision of his scientific work.

Fynbos Node

An article titled Satelliettegnologie kan renosterveld help bewaar (Satellite technology can help to protect the renosterveld) was published in Landbouweekblad on June 11. It mentions the work done by Glenn Moncrieff, a data scientist at SAEON’s Fynbos Node.

Ndlovu Node

Changing how we burn for biodiversity – Patch Mosaic Burning, an article published in Environment Quarterly of April 1, mentions that specific sites were identified to implement patch burns on the slopes of Mariepskop. Three wetland sites that had become encroached with woody shrubs and alien invasives as a result of fire being excluded from the area, were burnt in September 2020. The first burn in over 20 years! The impact of these burns and the regeneration of these sites will be monitored going forward in partnership with SAEON and other organisations.

So behaal fantastiese feegarnale evolusionêre sukses (How fantastic fairy shrimp achieve evolutionary success), an article published in Landbouweekblad on May 14, features the research done by SAEON research associate Dr Betsie Milne.