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Dr Jane Tanner

Current position: Head of HydrologyJane Tanner picture 2018


PhD Hydrology – 2014 – Rhodes University, RSA

BSc Honours Environmental Earth Science – 2004 – The University of Reading

Email: j.tanner@ru.ac.za


Dr Jane Tanner undertakes both research and consulting in hydrology, specialising in the modelling and understanding of surface water and groundwater interactions. This includes improving conceptual process understanding as well as hydrological modelling of interactions. She is an expert in the application of the modified Pitman Model (modified at the IWR by Prof Denis Hughes) which integrates both surface water and groundwater. Further interests lie in the types of field work that support the modelling of SWGW interactions, as well as comparisons between simpler and more complex models, and their applicability in various settings.

Current projects:

  1. Project Leader on a two year funded WRC project K5/2548 - Determination of the hydrological functioning of the Palmiet wetlands in the Eastern and Western Cape of South Africa.

Palmiet (Prionium serratum) ecosystems are endangered and restoration initiatives suffer from a general poor understanding of these complex systems. This project aims to contribute to a multidisciplinary approach which looks at the geomorphological, hydrological and ecological factors that underpin and sustain these wetland ecosystems. This project is focused on the hydrological component and builds upon an existing project led by Prof Fred Ellery which is looking at the erosion dynamics of the system.


  1. Project Leader on a one year funded WRC project 1005424 - Impacts of climate change in determining the ecological Reserve.

Climate change impacts are anticipated to manifest as changes in seasonal rainfall patterns, potential flooding and drought, and sea levels changes in the coastal areas. However, growth and development needs to occur in the context of long-term sustainability of freshwater systems, which requires the conservation of riverine ecosystems (and the associated ecosystem services) and the ecological Reserve defined under the National Water Act No. 36 of 1998. The near future and long-term impacts of climate change require evaluation of the adaptive capacity of the riverine ecosystems to promote sustainability. This is the motivation behind the current project which targets the knowledge gap of the impacts of climate change on the ecological Reserve.


  1. Research team member for a three year funded WRC project 1004983 - The development of an integrated (early warning) system for adaptation and mitigation to hydrological drought in South Africa.

 The project aims to produce an integrated approach to climate monitoring to obtain a comprehensive assessment of the status of climate and water supply. The project includes collaboration with a consultancy IWR Water Resources (Pty) Ltd and with the University of Cape Town. Rhodes University is responsible for contributing towards the hydrological and hydrogeological components of the project.



Last Modified: Mon, 29 Jan 2018 09:46:23 SAST