Recent Activities

This page highlights interesting, exciting or otherwise significant happenings related to the Fynbos Node. 

Google Earth Engine comes to South Africa

(By Dr Glenn Moncrieff, Data Scientist, SAEON Fynbos Node​)

A workshop funded through the SAEON RReTool aimed to equip SA scientists and practitioners to put Google Earth Engine to work to understand and solve real-world problems.​

Chasing the rain in Jonkershoek: Storm event sampling to study runoff-generation processes

(By Retang Mokua, PhD candidate, SAEON Fynbos Node and University of the Western Cape)

Braving the elements, SAEON Fynbos Node student Retang Mokua undertook storm event sampling to gain a better understanding of runoff-generation processes in the Jonkershoek Valley.

Eddy who? Introducing the Fynbos Node’s eddy covariance site in Jonkershoek

(By Abri de Buys, Field Technician, SAEON Fynbos Node)

Read more about the SAEON Fynbos Node's new eddy covariance installation in the Jonkershoek experimental catchment in the Western Cape. The station is located in a patch of fynbos. 

Seminar upskills students in managing and analysing research data

(By Tamanna Patel, External Liaison, SAEON Graduate Student Network)

Dr Jasper Slingsby of SAEON's Fynbos Node led a two-day seminar for students on the research data lifecycle, a model devised to make research as usable and impactful as possible.

Is the drought over when most of the dams are almost full?

(By Abri de Buys, Technician, Fynbos Node)

The 2014-2018 drought has confirmed that publicly engaged scientists working with well-supported research infrastructure can make valuable, real-world contributions to the public debate and to policy.

The murky waters of the lower Nuwejaars River, Western Cape: A dairy farm case study (By Bongiwe Seleka)

SAEON Honours student Bongiwe Seleka investigated the influence of a dairy farm on the water quality of the Nuwejaars River... and uncovered the remarkable ability of this system to restore itself downstream of the dairy.






International Conference on Research Infrastructure: Coming together to build the cathedrals and connections of science

(By  Dr. Julia Glenday, Postdoctoral Researcher - Ecohydrology, SAEON Fynbos Node)

'Internationalisation of research infrastructure', the theme of the 2018 International Conference on Research Infrastructure (ICRI), tied in well with SAEON's growing participation in international Earth observation networks.

Tracing water in the Jonkershoek catchment

(By Retang Mokua, PhD candidate, UWC and SAEON Fynbos Node)

SAEON PhD student Retang Mokua is collecting water-level and water-chemistry data in Jonkershoek to unravel the mystery behind the streamflow processes in this important catchment. (By Retang Mokua, PhD candidate*, UWC and SAEON Fynbos Node)





Will Cape Town be the world's first major city to run out of water?

( By  Dr. Nicky Allsopp, Fynbos Node Manager)

Many factors determine the date water may stop running from residential taps and when water flow resumes, says SAEON's Dr Nicky Allsopp. Can SAEON's data shed light on some of the questions Capetonians are asking?


SAEON scientists win United Nations data science award at COP23

The SAEON team’s winning submission consisted of a research paper that included prototype web and smartphone applications for an ecosystem monitoring tool called the “Ecosystem Monitoring for Management Application (EMMA)”.




What do long-term data reveal about Cape Town's water shortage?

(By Margaret Koopman, Data Librarian and Abri de Buys, Technician, Fynbos Node)

Researchers from SAEON's Fynbos Node delved back into the past to shed light on the current water crisis in South Africa's Mother City.



SAEON wetland scientists venture down under

(By Brigitte Melly, Postdoctoral Researcher, Fynbos Node and Betsie Milne, SAEON)

SAEON's Brigitte Melly and Betsie Milne gained valuable knowledge at the Wetlands in Drylands Research Network Conference held in Sydney and through embarking on post-conference field trips and collaborative visits.​





Emerging researchers are equipped to become systems analysis thinkers

(By Brigitte Melly, Postdoctoral Researcher, Fynbos Node)

One of the main goals of the SASAC Emerging Researchers Programme is to highlight how the systems analysis approach can be used to handle complex global challenges.






Time capsule adventures in Data Land

(By Margaret Koopman, Data Librarian,  Fynbos Node)

SAEON data librarian Margaret Koopman enjoys nothing more than sleuthing. The data and metadata she unearths are essential for understanding our changing climate and landscapes.





Need help with your stats?

(By Dr. Jasper Slingsby,Vegetation Scientist, SAEON Fynbos Node & Dr. Theoni Photopoulou, Postdoctoral Fellow, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University).

The hybridisation between statistics and ecology is revolutionising the way ecological and environmental research is conducted.

Hydrology in the mountains (By Faith Jumbi, Doctoral Student, University of the Western Cape).

PhD student Faith Jumbi's research aims to improve the understanding of dominant hydrological processes and mechanisms of water flow in the Kromme River as an example of a semi-arid mountainous catchment.

Study indicates that extreme weather in the first year after fire degrades fynbos diversity

(By Dr. Jasper Slingsby, Vegetation Scientist, Fynbos Node)

Besides being some of the first empirical evidence of a climate change impact on biodiversity in the Fynbos Biome, and in South Africa in general, the study is a testament to the importance of long-term research.

See the SAEON website for archived e-news articles