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Rhodes > Schonland Herbarium > Research


The herbarium has three main research interests:

  • Taxonomic research aimed at documenting and understanding the flora of the Eastern Cape Province.
  • Ethnobotanical studies aimed at documenting and understanding the value of plant diversity to humans, this being a collaborative programme with social scientists at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) on Rhodes campus.

Research is based on extensive fieldwork, throughout the country but primarily in the Eastern Cape Province, with support from collaborative Rhodes University departments and support services. Previous collaborative research with other universities, SANBI, Missouri Botanical Garden, Bolus Herbarium and Uppsala Herbarium is reflected in recent herbarium publications.

Research is partly funded by Rhodes University Joint Research Committee grants and partly through consulting to environmental service providers, NGO’s and private individuals.

Research findings are published in popular and peer reviewed journals and magazines and presented at conferences and at public talks. The aim is to contribute to scientific knowledge as well as public knowledge through education and awareness of plants.

Recent publications include:

• Cocks, M.L. & Dold, A.P. 2008. The Cultural use of the Wild Olive tree by the amaXhosa People in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 2.3: 292-308.

• Cocks, M.L. & Dold, A.P. 2008. Interdependence of biological and cultural diversity amongst the amaXhosa and Mfengu of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. In: Persic, A. and Martin, G. (eds) Links between biological and cultural diversity – concepts, methods and experiences. Report of an International Workshop, UNESCO, Paris 2008

Last Modified: Fri, 09 Jun 2017 16:11:02 SAST