SANAP students graduating

Congratulations to Daniela Monsanto and Mthoko Twala, two SANAP students completing their Masters degrees, both with cum laude, within the field of biology.

Daniela completed her degree at the University of Johannesburg, under the supervision of Prof Bettine van Vuuren. This Masters was part of the SANAP project: Biocomplexity: Understanding biological patterns in space and time. Daniela examined fine-scale spatial genetic patterns in one of the most dominant and ecologically significant soil organisms across the sub-Antarctic region, the Collembola Cryptopygus antarcticus. Her work highlighted a genetic discontinuity, which when overlaid onto a detailed geomorphological map of the area, coincided with a 3 meter ridge (for Collembola, this height is equivalent to a human scaled to 2.5 times the height of Table Mountain).

Mthoko completed his degree at the University of Pretoria, under the supervision of Dr Michelle Greve. This Masters was part of the SANAP project: Invasions in the changing sub-Antarctic. Mthoko assessed whether the invasive plant, Sagina procumbens, disproportionately benefits other invasive species on Marion Island. He found mixed results, with invasive plants necessarily benefitted from Sagina, but invasive collembolans benefitting more than native collembolans.

Congratulations to the students, as well as the supervisors.

See below these achievements announced on social media.

Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 30 April 2019

DEA Employee Graduates with another BTech

Every year students within the South African National Antarctic Programme graduates (click here), but this year it is not only students within the programme who graduated with a new degree.

Errol Julies, Engineering Technician at the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) with a BTech (baccalaureus technologiae) Electrical Engineering background, graduated last week with a BTech in Project Management. Congratulations Errol!

Errol Julies graduated with another B.Tech degree at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.


Errol’s main duty within the South African National Antarctic Programme is ensuring a stable communication network to the various South African Antarctic and sub-Antarctic research stations (Marion Island, Gough Island and SANAE IV). This is a great responsibility.


Errol wants to further his education as he feels that: “the fact that SANAP produces world-class researchers and scientific articles, we need to path the way and create a solid foundation for future scientists”. He also mentions that: “the only way to ensure rock solid foundations is, for those involved in the management of the programme, to always be knowledgeable of new development”.

ALSA also received a special message from Gough Island to Errol:

G64 just want to say congratulations to Errol and a special thank you for coordinating that our parcels from home made it onto the ship that visits Gough Island – message came via Michelle Risi (RSPB Birder, G64).


Anche Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 17 December 2018