Student Support

Ecological research remains the backbone to make informed conservation decisions and to implement management actions. Currently, there is evidence that field-based ecological research is worldwide in decline, especially among universities. One reason for this is the high costs of equipment, especially for students entering the research field. Field contact is an important factor that will shape the conservation biologists of the future, therefore, a core aim of AICE is to support post graduate studies. We enable ecological fieldwork by assisting with logistical support, equipment rental, assistance in project layout and implementation, ecological surveys, camera trapping and statistical support. While student support is a core aim, we also assist provincial or private conservation areas in research and monitoring programs. To date we have supported several studies.


Gonzalo Curveira Santos:

Gonzalo is a PHD student at Lisbon University, Portugal. He completed 2 years of intermitted field work in Phinda reserve in Kwa-Zula Natal, investigating the effect of lion on small carnivores.

Title of project:

Structuring of South African carnivore assemblages across human-induced landscape gradients: implications for predator management and conservation


Fortune Ravhuanzwo :

MSc (Zoology), University of Venda

Title of project:

Estimating the population density and quantifying the diet of a serval (Leptailurus serval) in different types of landscapes at Mpumalanga South Africa.


Simon Stringer:

PHD student, John Moore University and University of Venda.

Title of project:

The relative role of sympatric primate species to seed dispersal and species composition at Lajuma Research Centre, Soutpansberg Mountain, South Africa


Daan Loock:

PHD student, University of the Free State.

Title of project:

Sustainable conservation management of fragmented landscapes can promote mesocarnivore populations (Leptailurus serval a case study)

Student collaboration Bea

Beatriz Rosa:

Bea is a Masters student at the University of Lisbon, Portugal. She completed field work in Phinda nature reserve on rodent density and small carnivore.

Title of project:

Optimizing small mammal relative abundance measures using non-invasive sampling and assessment of its contribution to occupancy modelling of small carnivores in a dry woodland savannah of South Africa


Francois Meyer:

Francois is completing his master degree on pangolin research.

Title of project:

Survival and distribution of the ground pangolin, retrieved from the illegal wildlife trade in South Africa.


Winston Pretorius :

MSc (Zoology), University of Venda.

Title of project:

Diversity and pathogen regulation: Testing the dilution effect across a diversity gradient.


Kyla Johnstone :

PHD University of Sydney, Australia.

Title of project:

Can domestic carnivores reduce presence and activity of an agricultural pest by creating a landscape of fear?


Makoni Tonderai :

PhD Student, University of Venda

Title of project:

Cultural ecosystem services provided by the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve: An Assessment of the role of cultural heritage databases and indigenous knowledge in conservation planning


Thomas Bringhenti :

PhD Student, University of Goettingen, Germany

Title of project:

Agronomics of macadamia trees


Vuasani Mphethe :

MSc Student, University of Venda

Title of project:

Fruit bats in litchi orchids

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