Page 58 - UCT Research Report 2011

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UCT Research Report '11
“What CORDEX lacks is activity to analyse and
translate data,” says Professor Hewitson. “I gathered
four international agencies together and we funded
a two-year programme to do that translation activity
and develop the regional products that are needed
by society. We’ve put together a team of 30 young
scientists from across Africa to analyse the CORDEX
data together in regional teams and through that, build
their skills. This is our ‘class of 2012’.
“One aspect of CORDEX is doing the actual climate
modelling to produce the regional information data.
But data is not information. We’re working to tailor
our products to sectors that need specific forms of
information, spanning the gap between science and
society. Africa is such a vulnerable continent, so it’s
knowledge that is desperately needed,” he adds.
What the sea can tell us
Also fitting seamlessly into the ACDI mission is the work
of Associate Professor Astrid Jarre, a marine systems
ecologist holding the DST/NRF SARChI Chair in Marine
Ecology and Fisheries, who speaks with great enthusiasm
about MA-RE’s work, and with great interest in the work of
her colleagues, noting with pride the accomplishment of
colleague Dr Lynne Shannon, a co-author on two papers
published in
in a single year, 2011.
“The Marine Research (MA-RE) Institute facilitates marine
research at UCT and makes connections between the
various research groups on campus including zoologists,
oceanographers, experts in marine law, geologists,
molecular biologists. Over the last few years, we have
created a structure that investigates the relationship
between global climate change and the sea. So ACDI hits
the ground running in terms of climate-related research in
the marine realm, because there’s a lot going on at UCT.”
MA-RE is also host to the Nansen-Tutu Centre for Marine
Environmental Research, which works on predicting
marine ecosystem variability and convenes a scholarship
exchange programme for young researchers.
Signature themes
associated with this theme
The Marine Research (MA-RE) Institute
The MA-RE Institute,
a multi-disciplinary institute based at UCT, is the leading marine research organisation
in Africa, representing the interests of 40 permanent marine researchers. Its research underpins its teaching,
training, capacity development, and consultancy activities. The institute’s greatest strength is the intellectual depth
and range of its academic staff. It has more than 40 tenured researchers from a range of faculties and research
units undertaking research in the marine and other salty water arena. The institute’s principal focus is research,
hence it brings together active researchers in the field, who add value to, and benefit from this collaborative
structure. At the institute, observation, measurement, and collection of samples and data are accomplished by
ship cruises, field trips and remote sensing by satellite.
Director: Professor C. Moloney E-mail: Web:
The African Climate and Development Initiative
The African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) co-ordinates cutting-edge inter-disciplinary research and
training on the twin issues of climate change and sustainable development.ACDI brings together natural scientists,
engineers, social scientists, lawyers, economists, and urban planners, among others, from UCT and beyond, to
provide an African perspective, grounded in strong science, addressing issues relating to climate variability and
global change affecting the African continent. It actively creates opportunities for African researchers and young
scholars to contribute their own perspectives to these issues. Through the establishment of strong partnerships
throughout Africa, ACDI contributes towards developing the African leaders of the future, who have an intimate
understanding of the physical and human needs of Africa, and who will contribute to addressing this all-important
issue facing humankind.
Director: Professor M. New E-mail: Web:
“We’ve put together a team of 30
young scientists from across Africa to
analyse the CORDEX data together in
regional teams and through that,build
their skills.”