During April 2014 I had the pleasure of meeting Ilzabe Pietersen on one of my shell sampling trips to South Africa. She generously agreed to continue my monthly sampling of live shellfish for my PhD research project, and to share her interests with you:
“I was born in the Free State and grew up in the picturesque Garden Route where I matriculated at Point High School in 2009. Thereafter, I studied B.A. Environmental Management at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and graduated in 2013. I hope to commence with my B.A. Environmental Management Honours degree next year.
Since then I have worked as a volunteer for about eight months at a local environmental organisation where I have learnt valuable lessons. It has helped to properly equip me for an environmental career path. Thereafter I have worked on a beach monitoring and environmental managing project in Mossel Bay for six months.
Cindy approached me to help her with her PhD research on seasonal shellfishing during the Later Stone Age in the Mossel Bay vicinity. As part of this, I do sampling where I visit two beaches in Mossel Bay and collect various samples for her research. Monthly I collect different shellfish species at two sites in Mossel Bay. These include Perna perna (Brown Mussel), Oxystele sinensis (Pink-lipped Top Shell), Burnupena cincta (Green Whelk), and Scutellastra longicosta (Star-shaped Limpet) at Pinnacle Point’s ‘Batcave’ site, and P. perna, O. sinensis, B. cincta and Cymbula oculus (Goat’s eye Limpet) at ‘The Poort/The Point’. I also take water samples and record water temperatures.
This is a very interesting project that I’m working on and I’m very happy to be able to assist in this important research project. I’m grateful for having this great opportunity and it has opened my eyes to a whole new research platform.”