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Project Staff

Tony Rebelo - Photo: Val CharltonDr Tony Rebelo is the Scientific Officer for the Protea Atlas Project. He obtained his PhD in Zoology at UCT in 1992 on the topic of the Preservation of the Cape Flora.

He has co-authored books on Pollination Ecology, Proteas and Vegetation types of South Africa, as well as numerous scientific publications on these topics.

His special interests are conservation planning, protea ecology and encouraging amateurs to get involved in scientific research. To this end he has championed the design of user-friendly field guides, the use of common names for plants and also the Protea Atlas Project.

Ismail Ebrahim is the Technical Assistant. He completed a diploma in horticulture at Peninsula Technikon in 1997. He was initially introduced to the Protea Atlas Project through the ‘starfish’ internship program and spent 6 months gaining vital work experience . His passion for proteas first sparked while doing his in-service training at ARC – Fynbos. Working for the Protea Atlas Project has further solidified this passion. His main function in the office is assisting the Scientific Officer, checking Sight Record Sheets for any errors and maintaining Protea Atlas vehicles. With the full support of the Protea Atlas Project Ismail has also endeavored to propagate rare Proteaceae species in the nursery at Kirstenbosch.

Luthfia Cader is the Protea Atlas Secretary. She joined the project as a ‘Starfish intern’ in September 1998 and was later employed. She maintains the smooth operation of the Protea Atlas Office as well as the capturing of data in the additional remarks box on the SRS’s to be included into the database. She mentors new ‘Starfish interns’, facilitating their search for work experience. She liaises with farmers to allow the Protea Atlas Project to have access to their land for field trips. Her alliance with the Project has instilled in her the true sense of the need for conserving of our natural flora. Since July 2001, Luthfia has been working part-time for Ukuvuka.

478 volunteers have collected data for the Protea Atlas Project. Apart from regular feedback on their achievements, the Silver Tree, Golden Pagoda and Marsh Rose are awarded to outstanding atlassers.

Have a look at More Photographs of Project Staff.

Have a look at the Who's Who of the Protea Atlas Project Regional Coordinators who organised field trips and raised the awareness of the Protea Atlas Project during the data collection (Phase 1) of the project.

"Witblits", the Protea Atlas Project's recently acquired 4 X 4 donated by Mazda Wildlife Fund

Protea Atlas Mazda 4X4 - Photo: Nigel Forshaw Protea Atlas Mazda 4X4 - Photo: Nigel Forshaw

More about the Mazda

Another Protea Atlas Project Staff Member

Protea Atlas 4X4 - Photograph: Tony Rebelo"Reliable, strong and works hard" would be an adequate description for this staff member, but it could not tell of the contribution she has made to our project! Kindly donated by WWF-SA, our vehicle has, with very little complaint, taken us "where no Atlasser has gone before" - and often "where no sane car has gone before" enabling us to atlas large areas in a day. Her distinctive red blush, with appropriate signage, has given us co-operation from landowners and access to places with very little explanation.

When she joined the NBI fleet, aware of our obligations to our sponsors, she was touched up, buffed to a high shine and given new decals. Three months down the line, our maintenance manager, Deryck, has declared her the hardest working vehicle in the fleet [...but he has despaired on keeping her mud free!]

fire2.jpg (28201 bytes)Roadside Atlassing conjures up a picture of us stopping at the side of a reasonably normal road, getting out, notebooks and pencils in hand, for a demure saunter into the nearby bush to see what we can find. Anyone who has come on a Weekday or Weekend Atlassing Jol will know that this is far from the truth! Frequently squeezed like sardines into the red and white tin, with little room to rattle around, we are ferried through boulder-strewn gullies, muddy fords and up to the top of precipitous slopes. Ruth Smart commented last week that she had no need to go to gym - she reckoned the bouncing around on the back seat was doing wonders for her posterior and Helen Campbell has been known to close her eyes on occasion. Suikerkannetjie and Tony work as a finely tuned team. Dropping us singly or in pairs, they carefully negotiate the terrain and keep track of plot sizes. We are left in the middle of nowhere to do our plot and watch out for a red flag, our pick-up point. Along the way, we often catch a glimpse or hear them zipping to and fro as they crisscross the area, to return for us 8 minutes and 500 m later, to hear what we have found and to start the procedure all over again.

Though she can be rather a heavy drinker, depending on the pressure we put on her, and she is rather inclined to lose things when the going gets tough, she is absolutely indispensable to the Project and we couldn't imagine coping without her!

Val Charlton

New Recruits?

On a lighter note have a look at new potential Protea Atlassers.

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