Page 60 - UCT Research Report 2011

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UCT Research Report '11
Energy Research Centre
The Energy Research Centre (ERC) conducts high
quality, targeted and relevant research, as well as
offering postgraduate opportunities at master’s and
doctoral levels. The four main research areas are:
energy efficiency; energy, environment and climate
change; energy, poverty and development; and
energy systems analysis and planning. The staff of the
ERC have qualifications in engineering, natural and
environmental sciences, urban and regional planning,
economics, law, politics, sociology, and anthropology.
Director: Professor K.F. Bennett
Animal Demography Unit
The mission of the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) is
to contribute to the understanding of bird populations,
especially bird population dynamics, and thus contribute
to the conservation of avian biodiversity. The ADU
achieves these goals through a variety of projects in
which para-ornithologists throughout Southern Africa
can participate. These projects range from identifying
bird species, through undertaking census surveys, to
making detailed observations on breeding productivity.
Director: Professor L.G. Underhill
Nansen-Tutu Centre For
Marine Environmental
The Nansen-Tutu Centre for Marine Environmental
Research, under the patronage of Nobel Laureate
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, was set up in 2010
to assist in the worldwide need to develop the capacity to
understand, model and predict the state of the ocean and
its ecosystems, in a similar way that the meteorological
services do for weather and climate. The founding
partners of the Nansen-Tutu Centre in Norway and South
Africa have the necessary complementary expertise
and knowledge to address these challenges in the three
oceans around Southern Africa. A central theme for the
centre will be to undertake research into the science
underpinning operational oceanography, particularly in
numerical ocean modelling, as well as continuing to
develop skilled African postgraduate marine scientists.
The centre actively contributes to the OceanSAfrica
initiative, with partners from the Department of
Environmental Affairs’ Ocean and Coasts branch, the
South African Weather Service, the Council for Scientific
and Industrial Research, and the South African Earth
Observing Network.
Director: Professor F.A. Shillington
Plant Conservation Unit
The Plant Conservation Unit (PCU), located within the
Botany Department, undertakes research and teaching
directed at improving the conservation status of the
vegetation of Southern Africa, with a particular focus on
the winter rainfall region. Established in 1993, staff and
students within the PCU investigate palaeoecological,
historical, and current impacts on the vegetation of the
region and work closely with land users to conserve and
prevent further transformation of the region’s biodiversity.
Director: Professor M.T. Hoffman
Environmental Evaluation Unit
The Environmental Evaluation Unit (EEU) is an
independent, self-funded research, consulting and
training unit based at UCT. Founded in 1985, the EEU
has established itself as a leader in the fields of integrated
environmental and coastal management and sustainable
development, responding to local, regional and global
environmental challenges using an inter-disciplinary
and participatory approach. The EEU has implemented
a wide diversity of projects that have contributed to
academic debates, and informed policy while having
practical impacts on the ground. The EEU works in five
main thematic areas: integrated environmental planning,
management and assessment; integrated coastal and
small-scale fisheries management; biodiversity use,
trade, livelihoods and social justice; sustainable business
and cross-sector collaboration; and public participation.
Director: Associate Professor M. Sowman
Research groupings
associated with this theme