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Indibano 2019 – 'Our Future, Our Science'

By Tamanna Patel, External Liaison, SAEON Graduate Student Network
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The steering committee of SAEON’s Graduate Student Network (GSN) held their first quarterly meeting on 7 May 2019, after a successful induction meeting in February (see here for more details).

In keeping with the GSN’s primary objective, 'to build and promote academic and technical excellence among postgraduate students', various node-based activities are on the horizon.

Most importantly, a lot of progress has been made with the planning for the upcoming Indibano, a national conference aimed at bringing students from various disciplines together and focusing on long-term ecological monitoring in South Africa.

Sand, sea, sun and sport… learning and adventures!

The Indibano will be held at the Cape St Francis Resort, a 90-minute drive from Port Elizabeth airport. Students will arrive on Saturday, 31 August and depart on Friday, 6 September, with an exciting week of learning and adventures to look forward to.

The greater Cape St Francis area boasts seven biomes – Forest, Thicket, Fynbos, Grass, Savanna, Nama Karoo and Succulent Karoo – and falls within what is known as the Cape Floral Kingdom that stretches roughly between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, one of only six Floral Kingdoms in the world. Cape St Francis is surrounded by nature reserves where wonderful examples of different species of fynbos grow in their natural environment.


The GSN Indibano 2019 will be held at the Cape St Francis Resort from 2 to 6 September

Seal Point and the historic Cape St Francis lighthouse, the tallest masonry constructed lighthouse in South Africa, is home to a seabird rehabilitation centre run by SANNCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds), where all manner of seabirds, including the threatened African Penguin, are rehabilitated before being released back into their natural sea habitat.


Dr Alastair J. Potts will be one of the guest speakers at the Indibano


SAEON, in partnership with the Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP), will be hosting a basic introduction to R as an analytical tool, R in taxonomy, statistical analysis, plotting data, data visualisation, geospatial analysis using QGIS and R through the use of biodiversity data sets. The FBIP is a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).

The programme includes presentations by a variety of guest speakers, including Dr Alastair J. Potts. See here for more information on the Potts Research Group.

Students will get a chance to advance their knowledge, present their research to their peers, participate in group activities, network and go on an exciting field trip.

On that note, we would like to encourage members of the GSN to keep visiting our website and social media pages for more incredible opportunities like this.

Find the SAEON GSN on:


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