The Department of Botany has a proud tradition dating back to 1905, the year after the founding of Rhodes University. It has produced many graduates who have formed important members of the Botanical community in South Africa. Rhodes trained botanists hold important positions at other Universities and Research Institutes, the Agricultural Research Council, the South African National Biodiversity Institute, Range and Forage Institute, Nature Conservation Departments and in the private sector.

The staff of the Department include Craig Peter (HoD), Brad Ripley, Susi Veter, Tiffany Pillay, Ethan NewmanTony Dold and Emeritus Associate Professor Roy Lubke. Collectively, staff members possess a broad range of botanical expertise including rangeland ecology, conservation ecology, plant population ecology, pollination biology, evolutionary biology, coastal ecology, ecophysiology, functional plant anatomy, coastal management, rehabilitation and disturbance ecology, molecular systematics and biogeography. The department is closely associated with the Selmar Schonland Herbarium and oversee the flagship Elevated CO2 Facility.

The broad interests of the staff translates into a rounded, relevant and up-to-date undergraduate curriculum and numerous opportunities for postgraduate study at the honours, MSc and PhD level. At the honours level, the Department of Botany has refocused its honours course on the ecology and evolution of plants in a changing world.

Why consider studying plants at Rhodes University?

  • Graduates of the Department of Botany hold important and exciting positions as researchers, consultants, teachers and in the private sector around the world.
  • Access and an opportunity to work at the flagship Rhodes University Elevated CO2 Facility.
  • Makhanda/Grahamstown is located in the Albany centre of endemism. This is the most botanically diverse part of South Africa with the Thicket, Forest, Savanna, Nama Karoo, Fynbos and Grassland biomes all meeting here.
  • Land use in the Eastern Cape, in the vicinity of Grahamstown ranges from conservation areas with the Big Five to communal and commercial farms making Rhodes University ideal for countless research projects.
  • The Department offeres a modern curriculum that is geared to the real world and exciting job opportunities.
  • Theory is closely linked to field- and lab-based application, giving you hands-on experience in conducting research.
  • The Department of Botany has dedicated and enthusiastic staff and well-equipped teaching and research facilities.
  • Opportunities are available for part-time employment on research projects.
Schonland Herbarium

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