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Agricultural Research Council hosts their second Honours Conference in the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

Author: Agricultural Research Council


The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) hosted its second Biodiversity and Conservation Biology (BCB) Honours conference in the Nature Reserve Unit based at the Cape Flats Nature Reserve. After hosting a successful Honours conference in 2016, the BCB department included the conference as part of their honours scientific methodology module. The students were extremely keen and excited, as the majority of the class has never attended a scientific conference. Students were given the task of being session chairs, time keepers and introducing the keynote and invited speakers.  This year we hosted 22 honours students and three guess speakers. Rhoda Malgas (lecturer in the Conservation Ecology and Entomology department at Stellenbosch University) was the first keynote speaker and her talk centred around Conservation Science in South Africa particularly in terms of relationship, resilience and restitution. Ms Malgas, who is also the Director of The Small Things Fund, was tremendously impressed by the calibre of BCB students and decided to make a small financial contribution to four first generation BCB Honours students. The Small Things Fund is an NGO started in 2016 that offers financial support to primarily Stellenbosch University first generation students.


Krish Lewis is a jelly fish expert at the Two Oceans Aquarium and an MSc student in BCB. Krish delivered an impressive talk on his success in animal husbandry, especially jelly fish, in which he has a permanent exhibit at the Aquarium. The Dean of Natural Science had a well-illustrated talk on chemical defence mechanisms in Antarctic marine molluscs, which captivated and inspired the audience. The conference was a great opportunity for students, fellow postgraduates and staff members to network with scientist from different spheres as several researchers, managers, and students from outside of UWC (working in conservation) attended the conference. The conference concluded with an award ceremony to the best platform presentations by Professor Davies-Coleman and Dr Couldridge (BCB Head of dept.) 


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