Conservation Biology Masters Students (2016/17)

Michelle Blanckenberg

Michelle Blanckenberg


Michelle has been passionate about the environment and animals from an early age, taking many camping trips around southern Africa with her family. She fell in love with Africa and familiarising herself with these environments helped create an awareness of conservation issues and the need for improved management. She has completed two degrees at Rhodes University, with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Zoology. Michelle focused specifically on African Vertebrate Biodiversity for her Honours degree to help start her career in African conservation. During this time she has volunteered many hours to a local conservation NGO, The Nature’s Valley Trust (NVT), in the Western Cape that focuses on the importance of community education and involvement along with continued field research. During her Honours degree Michelle, with the help of the NVT, highlighted the importance of public awareness in conservation of a local baboon community in conflict with the residents of Nature’s Valley. She believes that education and public involvement are two major pillars in continued conservation. After her time at university Michelle spent a year abroad, spending part of her time planting trees in Canada in the hopes of creating a sustainable forest in areas degraded by logging. She believes in the importance of landscape conservation, and trusts the Conservation Biology Masters will help provide the vital skills needed to deal with southern Africa’s unique conservation issues.


Resurrection ecology of invertebrates in temporary wetlands in the Cape Floristic region: effects of urbanisation and fire (Supervisors: Cecile Reed, Musa Mlambo)