Tamar grew up in Cape Town and has been fascinated by wildlife since she was a small child. Attending school outings to the aquarium, the penguin colony at Boulders Beach, and Kirstenbosch gardens, further fuelled her conviction that the rich biodiversity found in South Africa is special and needs to be conserved. Tamar completed her undergraduate degree in Zoology at the University of Pretoria. This provided her with a sound foundation of knowledge about African vertebrates and invertebrates as well as the principles of ecology, physiology, and conservation. During this time, she gained some practical experience by sampling invertebrates in the Sani Pass region with pitfall traps, using Sherman live traps to catch small rodents, and mist-netting to obtain bird data. She also did some camera trapping work as an NGO volunteer. These experiences cemented her love of field work.
As her main areas of interest are carnivore conservation, ecology, and behaviour, Tamar decided to research the factors that affect cheetah home range size in fenced protected areas across South Africa for her honours thesis. She had the opportunity to assist with the translocations of some cheetahs as part of South Africa’s metapopulation project and gained experience tracking certain individuals using telemetry equipment. Tamar is a member of the committee for Lessons in Conservation, which is a student-run non-profit organisation that educates local children about conservation and takes them on excursions so they can experience the wonders of nature first hand. She hopes that this Masters degree will equip her to tackle the numerous challenges facing conservation in today’s world. She wants to help ensure that future Africans get to see and reap the benefits of our beautiful natural areas, functioning ecosystems, and amazing wildlife.
In her free time, Tamar enjoys hiking, visiting museums and galleries, and horse-riding.