Conservation Biology Masters Students (2018/19)

Daryl van der Merwe



Daryl van der Merwe


Daryl grew up on a farm located in the north eastern escarpment, in the Limpopo Province near Magoebaskloof. From a young age, the undulating grasslands and afromontane forests were his playground. It was in this region that his interest in the natural world began. This interest was a major factor in influencing him to complete a BSc Degree in Environmental Science at the University of Pretoria. During his studies, he came to understand the effect of humans on the landscape which he loved. He learned that, although the region was beautiful, it was heavily transformed. His new consciousness of the anthropogenic disturbances that transform landscapes led him to complete an honours degree in plant science, looking at how the removal of large herbivores can led to cascading effects which reach down the food chain. Upon completing his honours he worked as an environmental consultant and sadly came to see that even when structures are put in place for conservation, natural landscapes could still be at risk of unsustainable development. By continuing his training as a scientist he hopes to develop the necessary skills which will enable him to inform people of the importance and the value of conserving natural landscapes in such a way that all South Africans may benefit.

Environmental factors affecting breeding success in Martial Eagles. (Supervisors; Arjun Amar, Megan Murgatroyd)