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Bob Scholes
A short tribute from Rhodes Restoration Research Group


Along with most of our colleagues in the environmental and climate sectors, we were shocked to hear of Bob’s sudden death on a hike along the Kunene River with colleagues and friends. To complement the wide range of international and national tributes that are now appearing, we wish as Rhodes Restoration Re-search Group, to pay a short tribute of our own, highlighting the very significant meaning he brought into our two programmes - Tsitsa and Thicket.

In the broad and magnanimous way that he helped persons and causes, Bob gave valuable slices of his time to Tsitsa and to Thicket, we would like to believe because they are both worthwhile, compelling and crucial initiatives. He often said as much to us, and it was highly motivating to hear his encouraging words and to hear elsewhere that he was acting as an ambassador for our efforts in wider circles too. He served with diligence and care on the strategic advisory panel (affectionately called the “Wisdom Trust”) that met in the Tsitsa catchment annually, and mixed constructively and cordially with the range of experts and the local stakeholders - his influence was astonishing and wide-ranging, without being overbearing. After these meetings and further thinking through, he would invariably have additional comments to discuss, or which he sent in writing. He brought much the same verve and vigour into key workshops he attended in the Thicket Programme, and as in Tsitsa, interacted afterwards with colleagues on interesting issues such as applicable techniques or monitoring protocols. Almost everyone he met with felt personably treated and it was an opportunity for many students to mix with and learn from this celebrated scientist. He had a partic-ular ability to make complex issues easily understood by any audience at any level, a true gift we all admired. He was a mentor, a friend, and of deep theoretical and great practical help to many of us. He would respond freely whenever asked. We will miss him sorely, but will surely be using much of the foundation he help us build, for a long time yet.

Our sympathies go to his wife and our valued colleague Mary, and their son Stirling. Thank you for sharing Bob with us over the years.

Last Modified: Fri, 30 Apr 2021 14:37:56 SAST

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