I grew up in Masvingo, a town in Zimbabwe, and moved to Johannesburg in 2013 to enrol for an MSc in Environmental Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), where I also served as a research and teaching assistant.
I participated in the Yebo Gogga annual science fair for several consecutive years. Yebo Gogga is a community outreach activity run by Wits aimed at schools and families in the greater Gauteng region.
I got hooked on invasion biology while I was at Wits and focused on the invasive potential of Eucalyptus grandis, a common plantation species globally. I determined the rates of E. grandis establishment outside plantations.
After completing my MSc, I registered for a PhD to continue my work on invasion biology. My PhD focused on the biological control of invasive cactus species using insects.
Kuda Musengi will be working at the core area of the Square Kilometre Array telescope, which comprises some 130 000 hectares and will be managed as the Meerkat National Park and a science park for astronomy and ecology.
As a postdoctoral research fellow, Kuda will be initiating long-term research. He will also be responsible for seeking collaboration partners to expand the studies in the Karoo and other dryland areas.
I got to know about SAEON during my time at Wits and participated in the SAEON Graduate Student Network conference that was held at Port Elizabeth in 2014. I found SAEON to be an excellent organisation and was fortunate to be offered a postdoc fellowship in 2020 at SAEON’s Arid Lands Node in Kimberley.
I will be working at the core area of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. The postdoctoral research project will use novel approaches to understand the dynamics of Karoo systems and the factors which structure them across the arid region, specifically when subjected to drought.
As a postdoctoral research fellow, I will be developing and initiating long-term research on the SKA property and on adjacent livestock farms. I will also be responsible for seeking collaboration partners to expand the studies in the Karoo and other dryland areas.
Fulfilling this role as a postdoc will aid me in achieving my goal of conserving biodiversity and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources.
Tracking Eucalyptus grandis ‘escapees’ from plantations.