The best, of Zoology and Entomology, the country has to offer
Date Released: Fri, 17 July 2015 13:04 +0200
The Entomological Society of Southern Africa and the Zoological Society of South Africa (ESSA/ZSSA) 2015 conference, hosted by Rhodes University, saw the coming together of the two largest societies for professional zoologists and entomologists in the country.
A total of 432 delegates attended the joint congress.
According to Prof. Martin Hill the conference was a sharing of “brilliant science” with the top entomologists and zoologists in the country sharing their work.
“The conference showed that the two disciplines (Entomology and Zoology) are in very good health in the country,” highlighted Prof. Hill.
Prof. Hill, whose research group recently won the NSTF Award was elected as president of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa at the ESSA/ZSSA conference.
Eighteen South African universities were represented with a total of 62 delegates from Rhodes being in attendance.
Rhodes University students, Terrence Bellingan and Louw Claassens, both received awards for outstanding presentations.
Bellingan, a PhD candidate, won the Young Scientist Award for the best presentation at a National Congress of ESSA.
“The research work I presented was focussed on the impacts that non-native trout have on native vertebrate and invertebrate fauna of the headwaters of the Keiskamma River in the Eastern Cape,” explained Bellingan.
Bellingan also won a book for the best photograph in the category of, "The art in nature” for photographs that have been significantly digitally altered.
Louw Claassens, a PhD candidate, received the award for the Best Student Speed Presentation.
Rhodes University has hosted the conference every ten years having hosted in 2005 and 1995 previously.
Rhodes University Distinguished Professor, Christopher McQuaid, was one of the keynote speakers talking on “Pattern, process, prediction: understanding nature.” He was awarded the ZSSA Gold Medal in 2013.
Prof. Graham Kerley, from NMMU, received this year’s ZSSA Gold Medal Award for his contribution to zoological research while Dr Andre Boschoff, also NMMU, received the Stevenson-Hamilton Award for popularising zoology.
Other keynote addresses were given by Prof. Dave Richardson of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology, Professor Tim Blackburn from University College, London, Dr Rolf Becker of SACNASP and Professor David Macdonald of Oxford University.