2020 at the AWCRC

It’s a new year and exciting changes are afoot at the AWCRC!

At the end of 2019 we expanded into a whole new camp, increasing our capacity for new volunteers and students to join us. The move also saw us into a grand new office space, including some sofas for comfortable working or socialising in the evenings.

Our director, Braam, has also moved down to the camp, which is great for us and for those staying on the farm. He also brings with him his beautiful dogs… oh… and a swimming pool…! The hot weather has become a much easier part of life with that addition!

Paradise?
Paradise?

We also have two new staff members joining the AWCRC! Frank Kruger and Nadine Hassan have come to us, bringing great experience and knowledge to add even more to the student/volunteer experience here…

Frank hails from Pretoria and after some initial endeavours in the IT industry, like Jamie, left the computers (almost!) behind and followed his heart to pursue conservation. You will likely find him with a scorpion or snake in hand sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience with captivated (and maybe slightly fearful) volunteers and students! Frank will be bringing extensive knowhow to the project and will be assisting on the conservation and research facets of the AWCRC, while also training the students and volunteers. Nadine brings a passion for wildlife fostered by her upbringing in the French countryside. She will be assisting in recruiting new volunteers and creating research projects. Nadine is in the final stages of completing her master’s degree through the University of Cape Town, assessing diversity and characteristics of communities of small mammal species in areas of the Karoo vulnerable to shale-gas exploration and other land uses. With prior experience in the area researching caracal and leopard, she will be an invaluable asset to our team and future students here!

Rahman continues fascinating work on the physiology of baboons impacted by consuming waste from the local dump. Volunteers spend all day with or following the baboons in the bush, observing their often very humorous behaviour, and collecting important data. We are still looking for more volunteers to assist in this project so if you would like to help, or know someone who would, please be in touch!

Our predator research continues, with population assessments of multiple species being undertaken across Alldays with camera trap grids. There are also exciting projects in the pipe line for the year ahead, with tracking, scat analysis and genetic sampling a taster of the excitement on the horizon!

Mother and cub lit up!
Mother and cub lit up!

This all without the potential projects that Frank and Nadine will be adding to our research activities on the farm – watch this space!

Ready for new faces
We are ready to meet you, come and join us!

We are super excited for the year ahead and all the guests we are yet to meet – if you want to be involved get in touch through our Facebook and Instagram pages, or email: farm.research@durham.ac.uk.

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