About me

Vergelegen_proteas_PhotoEditor_20180822_155724955

A few Protea species from the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa (photos: M Treurnicht).

I am a plant ecologist studying the relationships between plant performance and the environment as a basis for understanding biodiversity responses to ongoing global change. Notably, I study large-scale demographic- and functional trait variation of multiple species across their geographical distribution in the Cape Floristic Region biodiversity hotspot. In general terms, I am curious about the diversity and resilience of the natural world, notably, demographic variation (e.g. survival and reproduction) and plant ecological strategies in semi-arid, fire-prone environments that harbor exceptional diversity.

Currently, I am intrigued by the large-scale population dynamics of the charismatic Cape Proteaceae – the ‘flagship’ plant family of the Cape Floristic Region. Read more here.

I am also a self-proclaimed Fynbosser and an amateur botanist that enjoys photographing the diversity, uniqueness, and resilience of the Cape flora. Understanding and documenting the historical and contemporary patterns of plant species descriptions of the Cape Floristic Region are also among my interests. Throughout my early career, I worked with various stakeholders in the CFR: farmers, academic staff, researchers, school groups, national- and provincial conservation and research institutes and non-profit organizations. I am also involved with international research organizations and their ongoing research activities in the CFR. The context around such collaboration is something that I embrace and thoroughly enjoy.

protea_laurifolia_flowers_and_cones_cfr_southafrica

The Oleander-leaf Protea, Protea laurifolia, in the Riviersonderend Mountains, Cape Floristic Region (South Africa; photo by M Treurnicht).