Conservation Biology Masters Students (2018/19)

Olivia Venter



Olivia Venter


Olivia completed her BSc in Chemical Engineering (with Honours) at UCT in 2016. Her honours dissertation focused on developing a water accounting approach for water management of mining and minerals operations. She initially intended to specialise in Environmental Engineering, but realised during her studies that she preferred being more directly involved in conserving nature. As an undergraduate, she was involved in a research study on bats (Rhinolophus clivosus) and was the Vice-Chairperson (2014) and Chairperson (2015) of the UCT Biological Society (Zoobots). After completing her degree, she spent a year gaining experience in the conservation and biological fields by completing a 6-month internship at SANCCOB, assisting with UCT research projects on birds (including projects on Cape Rockjumpers, African Oystercatchers, Sociable Weavers and Red-winged Starlings), volunteering at the Two Oceans Aquarium, and completing a snake handling course at the Cape Reptile Institute. She hopes that combining her engineering skills with the experience gained through the CB Masters Programme will give her a unique perspective on environmental challenges and allow her to achieve her lifelong dream of making a positive difference in the world by addressing these challenges. When she is not working or studying, she enjoys hiking, running, reading (mostly fantasy and philosophy) and spending time with her friends and family.

Effects of burrowing sandprawns (Callichirus kraussi) on urban estuarine water quality (Supervisor: Deena Pillay)