THE TEAM

View the team behind the African Centre for Disaster studies along with all its role players and members in various departments and divisions

Dewald van Niekerk
Director
Dewald van Niekerk is Professor in Disaster Risk Reduction and the founder and director of the African Centre for Disaster Studies at North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus. Dewald is a C2 NRF graded researcher. His interests includes community based disaster risk management, disaster risk assessment, disaster risk governance, building institutional capacities…
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Suna Meyer
Financial administrator
Suna Meyer is the financial administrator of the ACDS and therefore also the heartbeat of our operations. She is currently completing her M.Com in Human Resources Management, and she is also a lecturer in Leadership on our Postgraduate Diploma in Disaster Risk Reduction...
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Christo Coetzee
Researcher
Christo is a researcher and lecturer within the ACDS. He is currently busy with his PHD research focusing on Systems theory perspectives on building disaster resilience. His research interest include climate change, urban risk and social resilience...
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Livhuwani Nemakonde
Lecturer
Livhu is our newest staff member who joined the ACDS team in March 2015. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration (University of Pretoria) and a Masters degree in Development Studies (University of Free State). He is currently busy with his Ph.D studies. Livhu loves the academia and also…
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Leandri Kruger
Researcher & Lecturer
Leandri has worked at the ACDS for the past 5 years as a researcher. She was involved on various research projects, national and international, where she contributed as a researcher. In 2012 she obtained her Masters degree in Geography and Environmental Management. She is also a lecturer and the Programme…
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Gideon Wentink
Researcher & Lecturer
Gideon has worked at the ACDS since 2010 as a researcher. He has been involved in various research projects, national and international, where he contributed as a researcher. In 2013 he obtained his Masters degree in Development and Management. He is also a lecturer for the Postgraduate Diploma.
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Kristel Fourie
Researcher & Lecturer
Kristel is a researcher and lecturer at the ACDS, NWU and has been working as part of the ACDS for 7 years now. She completed her Masters in Development and Management in 2011 with the main focus on Development Communication in a Disaster Risk Reduction Context. Her research interests include…
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Michael Murphree
Researcher & Lecturer
Michael Murphree is a researcher and lecturer brining to the ACDS over twenty-five years of experience in community based natural resource management. Michael has extensive experience with regional and international organisations such as IUCN- the World Conservation Union, GNDR (Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction) and the…
Lesego Shoroma
Researcher
Lesego Bradley Shoroma is a researcher at the ACDS, NWU and has been working as part of the ACDS since 2012. He has completed his Masters in Development and Management in 2014 with the main focus on Public Governance within Drought mitigation measures and strategies. His research interests solely include...
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Elza Duvenage
Senior Administration
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Melvin Diedericks
Associate
I am Melvin Diedericks, an academic employee attached to the School of Social and Government Studies. I am a senior lecturer and researcher in the discipline of Public Management and Governance. My research interests include Water Services Management, Service Delivery in Local Government and Behavioural Public Administration.
Tanya le Roux
Associate
Before joining the faculty at the NWU-PUK in 2004, Tanya worked as a communication professional in South Africa and the UK. She was a communication practitioner for Chase Manhattan Bank in the UK on their euro transition project, business analyst for FNB/Hyphen Electronic Banking, and involved as communication consultant in various projects for various companies, including Lonmin, SANBS, the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site, Kumba, Terratek (Suidwes Landbou). Tanya strongly believes in combining academic work and practical experience, locally and internationally, in order to benefit both academia and professional practice. She shares her knowledge through journal articles and chapters in local and international publications, as well as by presenting research papers at various national and international conferences, and in offering training in the field of her research interest. She previously served on the Faculty of Arts Board and the NWU Potchefstroom Campus Senate, and now serves on the Economic and Management Faculty Board. She is member of the International Association of Business Communicators and was selected to serve on the Blue Ribbon Panel that evaluates the international IABC Gold Quill Awards. She has acted as study leader and external examiner for many MA and honours students. Her research interest is focused on strategic corporate communication management, and specifically the application thereof within the field of disaster risk reduction and in the application of the Incident Command System used to manage emergencies.
Lukamba Muhiya
Associate
Dr. Muhiya is senior lecturer in the Department of Public Management and Administration within the School of Basic Sciences, Vaal Triangle Campus at NWU.
Vera Roos
Associate
Vera Roos has been a senior research professor in the Africa Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research (AUTHeR) at the North-West University's Potchefstroom Campus since 2013. Vera is a social gerontologist, trained as a clinical psychologist, and has a background in community psychology. She focuses on relational and collective well-being of older people and communities in relation to contextual realities by eliciting strengths and competencies. Vera's theoretical approach, that the broader environment informs the continuous interactions between people, provided the background for the development of the Mmogo-method, a visual data-collection method. She has published widely in peer-reviewed national and international journals and contributed to textbooks. Vera is an NRF-rated scientist at level C1.
Gerrit van der Waldt
Associate
Gerrit van der Waldt is Research Professor: Public Governance attached to the Research Focus Area: Social Transformation of North-West University. He is author and co-author of 32 text books and 65 scholarly articles in the fields of Governance, Public Management, and Project Management. His current research interests focus mainly on meta-perspectives of inter- and transdisciplinary research.
Elize van Eeden
Associate
Prof. Van Eeden is a Professor of History in the School of Basic Sciences within the Faculty of Humanities, Vaal Triangle Campus at NWU.
Gideon van Riet
Associate
Dr. Van Riet is a lecturer in the School Social and Government Studies within the Faculty of Arts, Potchefstroom Campus at NWU.
Luiza de Sousa
I am a Senior Lecturer and Subject Chairperson of the Geography Education and Environmental Education subject group within the School of Natural Sciences and Technology for Education in the Faculty of Education Sciences at the Potchefstroom Campus (NWU). My academic and research interests lie within both Geography education and Environmental education, and I lecture courses within both these fields within the BEd under-graduate and BEd Honours programmes. I have served as special edition editor of the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education’s special issue on "Sustainable Development at Universities: Trends from Africa". I was part of the research team in three major projects: Environmental education for sustainable development (EE for SD) in Namibian and South African schools -a National Research Foundation (NRF) funded collaborative research project between Namibia and South Africa (2014/15); Primary school resilience to Climate Change: promoting education for sustainable development (ESD) funded by faculty’s research area (2013/14); Education for Sustainable Living project financed by the Flemish government and a collaboration between Vrije Universiteit Brussel and NWU (2009-2012). I am the research leader of the Zero Niche Area Environmental Education for Sustainable Development 2016-2017. The objective of this niche is to improve the incorporation of Environmental Education for Education for Sustainable Development (EE for ESD) into all sections of learning and training. I was awarded a NRF/DAAD doctoral scholarship for 2010 and 2011. The German Academic Exchange Service is in a partnership with the NRF of South Africa. I was also awarded the SANPAD-RCI bursary for 2010/2011. The South Africa-Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development – Research Capacity Initiative was a unique collaborative research programme financed by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and funded through the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands in South Africa.
Clara Bocchino-Murphree
Vicci Prinsloo
Mark Shapiro
Robbie Musakuzi
Mr. Musakuzi is employed by the Ministry of Education in Zambia
Olosegun Edward Ojo
Dr. Ojo is the managing partner of African Centre for Environment Development and Information Network in Nigeria
JC Gaillard
JC Gaillard is Associate Professor at The University of Auckland. His work focuses on developing participatory tools for engaging minority groups in disaster risk reduction with an emphasis on ethnic and gender minorities, prisoners and homeless people. He is also interested in everyday hazards and disasters, including those associated with wildlife.
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Jaco Brazer
I am Peter J. Brazer. I am a Station Commander in the South African Police Service. My research topic is to develop a model for the Incident Command System (ICS) for South Africa with Prof. Dewald van Niekerk as my supervisor. My research interests are Management and ICS.
Moses Khangale
I am a Senior Manager responsible for Fire Services Coordination within the South African National Disaster Management Centre. I am responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership on the implementation of the Fire Brigade Services Act, 1987 (99/1987), policies and frameworks nationally. My research topic is “A model for integrating DRR in national multi-sectoral planning in South Africa” under supervision of Prof. Dewald van Niekerk (supervisor) and Prof. Marcus Abrahamson (co-supervisor). My research interests are DRR, Disaster Policy, Governance and Legislation, Climate Change, Community-based DRM, Public Management and Indigenous Knowledge Systems. I have 15 years' experience working with Emergency Management Services, Disaster Management and Community Development Programmes. I hold among others a B.Tech degree in Public Management from Unisa and a Masters degree in Disaster Management from UFS.
Everson Ndlovu
I am a lecturer and researcher in disaster management at the Institute of Development Studies at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. My research topic is “An early-warning framework for community resilience: the case of Matabeleland South Province, Zimbabwe”. Dr. Tanya le Roux is my supervisor and dr. Barend Prinsloo is my co-supervisor. My research interests are Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Education, Disaster Policy and Legislation, Humanitarian Action/Emergency Response, Climate Change, Variability, Adaptation and Mitigation, Gender and Disasters, Vulnerability, Agricultural Recuvery/Livelihoods, Public Health/Children and Disasters
Paul Chipangura
I am a lecturer and researcher at the Institute of Development Studies at the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe. My research topic is “Disaster problem framing: a constructivist framework for disaster risk policy in Zimbabwe” with Prof. Dewald van Niekerk as my supervisor and Prof. Gerrit van der Waldt as my co-supervisor. My research interests are disaster risk governance, disaster risk reduction, disaster risk assessment and business continuity management.
Richard Ekema Agbaw
I am a researcher and consultant in disaster risk management from Cameroon. Presently I am a volunteer for the UNISDR ‘Words into Action’ for the Civil Society group. I have 15 years experience working with community development programmes. I hold a Bachelor degree in Anthropology from the University of Yaounde 1, and a Master in Disaster Management (MDMa) from the University of Copenhagen. Prof. Dewald van Nierkerk is my supervisor and my PhD title is “Developing a New Implementation Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Policies and Legislation for Cameroon: Designing Policy into Action”. My research interests are; Community-based Disaster Risk Management, Governance, Policy & Practice, Political Economy, Urban Planning and Disasters, Social vulnerability, Early Recovery for Post Conflict, Humanitarian Action and Relief Aid for Post Conflict.
Shadreck Macheka
Thesis Title: Migrants as a vulnerable group: The case of Zimbabwe migrants in Gauteng, South Africa Supervisor: Prof. Dewald van Niekerk. Co Supervisors: Dr Clara Bocchino and Dr Marlene Wiggill My research interests are in Migration, Vulnerability, Disaster risk reduction and Disaster management and education Regards
Ellen Chigwanda
Ellen Chigwanda is a Gender Specialist with over 16 years’ experience in initiatives and programmes which empower girls and young women. She is currently engaged with CARE International in Zimbabwe as the Project Manager for the DFID-funded Girls Education Challenge (GEC). She has previously worked as a consultant with entities such as UN Women, UNDP and SADC Parliamentary Forum as well as in various capacities with local women’s organisations in Zimbabwe. She holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the University of the Free State. She is a professional member of the Comparative International Education Society (CIES). The title of her thesis is “A multi-level analysis of the education sector response to drought disaster in rural Chivi District of Zimbabwe – towards girl inclusiveness” under supervision of Prof. Dewald van Niekerk.
Simoné Schuman
I am a 25 year old working student currently concluding my Master’s studies on the influence of religious beliefs on peoples’ willingness and ability to adapt to climate change, under the guidance of Dr. Ananka Loubser and Prof. Dewald van Niekerk. I have a strong interest in anything regarding what makes people “tick”, and the value of such knowledge in promoting participatory development in rural communities. I have my sights set on a PhD that will further this cause of mine
+ ACDS Members
Dewald van Niekerk
Director
Dewald van Niekerk is Professor in Disaster Risk Reduction and the founder and director of the African Centre for Disaster Studies at North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus. Dewald is a C2 NRF graded researcher. His interests includes community based disaster risk management, disaster risk assessment, disaster risk governance, building institutional capacities…
TwitterLinkedIn Email
Suna Meyer
Financial administrator
Suna Meyer is the financial administrator of the ACDS and therefore also the heartbeat of our operations. She is currently completing her M.Com in Human Resources Management, and she is also a lecturer in Leadership on our Postgraduate Diploma in Disaster Risk Reduction...
Email
Christo Coetzee
Researcher
Christo is a researcher and lecturer within the ACDS. He is currently busy with his PHD research focusing on Systems theory perspectives on building disaster resilience. His research interest include climate change, urban risk and social resilience...
Email
Livhuwani Nemakonde
Lecturer
Livhu is our newest staff member who joined the ACDS team in March 2015. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration (University of Pretoria) and a Masters degree in Development Studies (University of Free State). He is currently busy with his Ph.D studies. Livhu loves the academia and also…
Email
Leandri Kruger
Researcher & Lecturer
Leandri has worked at the ACDS for the past 5 years as a researcher. She was involved on various research projects, national and international, where she contributed as a researcher. In 2012 she obtained her Masters degree in Geography and Environmental Management. She is also a lecturer and the Programme…
Email
Gideon Wentink
Researcher & Lecturer
Gideon has worked at the ACDS since 2010 as a researcher. He has been involved in various research projects, national and international, where he contributed as a researcher. In 2013 he obtained his Masters degree in Development and Management. He is also a lecturer for the Postgraduate Diploma.
TwitterLinkedIn Email
Kristel Fourie
Researcher & Lecturer
Kristel is a researcher and lecturer at the ACDS, NWU and has been working as part of the ACDS for 7 years now. She completed her Masters in Development and Management in 2011 with the main focus on Development Communication in a Disaster Risk Reduction Context. Her research interests include…
TwitterLinkedIn Email
Michael Murphree
Researcher & Lecturer
Michael Murphree is a researcher and lecturer brining to the ACDS over twenty-five years of experience in community based natural resource management. Michael has extensive experience with regional and international organisations such as IUCN- the World Conservation Union, GNDR (Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction) and the…
Lesego Shoroma
Researcher
Lesego Bradley Shoroma is a researcher at the ACDS, NWU and has been working as part of the ACDS since 2012. He has completed his Masters in Development and Management in 2014 with the main focus on Public Governance within Drought mitigation measures and strategies. His research interests solely include...
Email
Elza Duvenage
Senior Administration
Email
+ Faculty Associates
Melvin Diedericks
Associate
I am Melvin Diedericks, an academic employee attached to the School of Social and Government Studies. I am a senior lecturer and researcher in the discipline of Public Management and Governance. My research interests include Water Services Management, Service Delivery in Local Government and Behavioural Public Administration.
Tanya le Roux
Associate
Before joining the faculty at the NWU-PUK in 2004, Tanya worked as a communication professional in South Africa and the UK. She was a communication practitioner for Chase Manhattan Bank in the UK on their euro transition project, business analyst for FNB/Hyphen Electronic Banking, and involved as communication consultant in various projects for various companies, including Lonmin, SANBS, the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site, Kumba, Terratek (Suidwes Landbou). Tanya strongly believes in combining academic work and practical experience, locally and internationally, in order to benefit both academia and professional practice. She shares her knowledge through journal articles and chapters in local and international publications, as well as by presenting research papers at various national and international conferences, and in offering training in the field of her research interest. She previously served on the Faculty of Arts Board and the NWU Potchefstroom Campus Senate, and now serves on the Economic and Management Faculty Board. She is member of the International Association of Business Communicators and was selected to serve on the Blue Ribbon Panel that evaluates the international IABC Gold Quill Awards. She has acted as study leader and external examiner for many MA and honours students. Her research interest is focused on strategic corporate communication management, and specifically the application thereof within the field of disaster risk reduction and in the application of the Incident Command System used to manage emergencies.
Lukamba Muhiya
Associate
Dr. Muhiya is senior lecturer in the Department of Public Management and Administration within the School of Basic Sciences, Vaal Triangle Campus at NWU.
Vera Roos
Associate
Vera Roos has been a senior research professor in the Africa Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research (AUTHeR) at the North-West University's Potchefstroom Campus since 2013. Vera is a social gerontologist, trained as a clinical psychologist, and has a background in community psychology. She focuses on relational and collective well-being of older people and communities in relation to contextual realities by eliciting strengths and competencies. Vera's theoretical approach, that the broader environment informs the continuous interactions between people, provided the background for the development of the Mmogo-method, a visual data-collection method. She has published widely in peer-reviewed national and international journals and contributed to textbooks. Vera is an NRF-rated scientist at level C1.
Gerrit van der Waldt
Associate
Gerrit van der Waldt is Research Professor: Public Governance attached to the Research Focus Area: Social Transformation of North-West University. He is author and co-author of 32 text books and 65 scholarly articles in the fields of Governance, Public Management, and Project Management. His current research interests focus mainly on meta-perspectives of inter- and transdisciplinary research.
Elize van Eeden
Associate
Prof. Van Eeden is a Professor of History in the School of Basic Sciences within the Faculty of Humanities, Vaal Triangle Campus at NWU.
Gideon van Riet
Associate
Dr. Van Riet is a lecturer in the School Social and Government Studies within the Faculty of Arts, Potchefstroom Campus at NWU.
Luiza de Sousa
I am a Senior Lecturer and Subject Chairperson of the Geography Education and Environmental Education subject group within the School of Natural Sciences and Technology for Education in the Faculty of Education Sciences at the Potchefstroom Campus (NWU). My academic and research interests lie within both Geography education and Environmental education, and I lecture courses within both these fields within the BEd under-graduate and BEd Honours programmes. I have served as special edition editor of the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education’s special issue on "Sustainable Development at Universities: Trends from Africa". I was part of the research team in three major projects: Environmental education for sustainable development (EE for SD) in Namibian and South African schools -a National Research Foundation (NRF) funded collaborative research project between Namibia and South Africa (2014/15); Primary school resilience to Climate Change: promoting education for sustainable development (ESD) funded by faculty’s research area (2013/14); Education for Sustainable Living project financed by the Flemish government and a collaboration between Vrije Universiteit Brussel and NWU (2009-2012). I am the research leader of the Zero Niche Area Environmental Education for Sustainable Development 2016-2017. The objective of this niche is to improve the incorporation of Environmental Education for Education for Sustainable Development (EE for ESD) into all sections of learning and training. I was awarded a NRF/DAAD doctoral scholarship for 2010 and 2011. The German Academic Exchange Service is in a partnership with the NRF of South Africa. I was also awarded the SANPAD-RCI bursary for 2010/2011. The South Africa-Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development – Research Capacity Initiative was a unique collaborative research programme financed by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and funded through the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands in South Africa.
+ National Associates
Clara Bocchino-Murphree
Vicci Prinsloo
Mark Shapiro
+ International Associates
Robbie Musakuzi
Mr. Musakuzi is employed by the Ministry of Education in Zambia
Olosegun Edward Ojo
Dr. Ojo is the managing partner of African Centre for Environment Development and Information Network in Nigeria
JC Gaillard
JC Gaillard is Associate Professor at The University of Auckland. His work focuses on developing participatory tools for engaging minority groups in disaster risk reduction with an emphasis on ethnic and gender minorities, prisoners and homeless people. He is also interested in everyday hazards and disasters, including those associated with wildlife.
TwitterWebsite
+ Ph.D Candidates
Jaco Brazer
I am Peter J. Brazer. I am a Station Commander in the South African Police Service. My research topic is to develop a model for the Incident Command System (ICS) for South Africa with Prof. Dewald van Niekerk as my supervisor. My research interests are Management and ICS.
Moses Khangale
I am a Senior Manager responsible for Fire Services Coordination within the South African National Disaster Management Centre. I am responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership on the implementation of the Fire Brigade Services Act, 1987 (99/1987), policies and frameworks nationally. My research topic is “A model for integrating DRR in national multi-sectoral planning in South Africa” under supervision of Prof. Dewald van Niekerk (supervisor) and Prof. Marcus Abrahamson (co-supervisor). My research interests are DRR, Disaster Policy, Governance and Legislation, Climate Change, Community-based DRM, Public Management and Indigenous Knowledge Systems. I have 15 years' experience working with Emergency Management Services, Disaster Management and Community Development Programmes. I hold among others a B.Tech degree in Public Management from Unisa and a Masters degree in Disaster Management from UFS.
Everson Ndlovu
I am a lecturer and researcher in disaster management at the Institute of Development Studies at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. My research topic is “An early-warning framework for community resilience: the case of Matabeleland South Province, Zimbabwe”. Dr. Tanya le Roux is my supervisor and dr. Barend Prinsloo is my co-supervisor. My research interests are Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Education, Disaster Policy and Legislation, Humanitarian Action/Emergency Response, Climate Change, Variability, Adaptation and Mitigation, Gender and Disasters, Vulnerability, Agricultural Recuvery/Livelihoods, Public Health/Children and Disasters
Paul Chipangura
I am a lecturer and researcher at the Institute of Development Studies at the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe. My research topic is “Disaster problem framing: a constructivist framework for disaster risk policy in Zimbabwe” with Prof. Dewald van Niekerk as my supervisor and Prof. Gerrit van der Waldt as my co-supervisor. My research interests are disaster risk governance, disaster risk reduction, disaster risk assessment and business continuity management.
Richard Ekema Agbaw
I am a researcher and consultant in disaster risk management from Cameroon. Presently I am a volunteer for the UNISDR ‘Words into Action’ for the Civil Society group. I have 15 years experience working with community development programmes. I hold a Bachelor degree in Anthropology from the University of Yaounde 1, and a Master in Disaster Management (MDMa) from the University of Copenhagen. Prof. Dewald van Nierkerk is my supervisor and my PhD title is “Developing a New Implementation Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Policies and Legislation for Cameroon: Designing Policy into Action”. My research interests are; Community-based Disaster Risk Management, Governance, Policy & Practice, Political Economy, Urban Planning and Disasters, Social vulnerability, Early Recovery for Post Conflict, Humanitarian Action and Relief Aid for Post Conflict.
Shadreck Macheka
Thesis Title: Migrants as a vulnerable group: The case of Zimbabwe migrants in Gauteng, South Africa Supervisor: Prof. Dewald van Niekerk. Co Supervisors: Dr Clara Bocchino and Dr Marlene Wiggill My research interests are in Migration, Vulnerability, Disaster risk reduction and Disaster management and education Regards
Ellen Chigwanda
Ellen Chigwanda is a Gender Specialist with over 16 years’ experience in initiatives and programmes which empower girls and young women. She is currently engaged with CARE International in Zimbabwe as the Project Manager for the DFID-funded Girls Education Challenge (GEC). She has previously worked as a consultant with entities such as UN Women, UNDP and SADC Parliamentary Forum as well as in various capacities with local women’s organisations in Zimbabwe. She holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the University of the Free State. She is a professional member of the Comparative International Education Society (CIES). The title of her thesis is “A multi-level analysis of the education sector response to drought disaster in rural Chivi District of Zimbabwe – towards girl inclusiveness” under supervision of Prof. Dewald van Niekerk.
+ Student Assistants
Simoné Schuman
I am a 25 year old working student currently concluding my Master’s studies on the influence of religious beliefs on peoples’ willingness and ability to adapt to climate change, under the guidance of Dr. Ananka Loubser and Prof. Dewald van Niekerk. I have a strong interest in anything regarding what makes people “tick”, and the value of such knowledge in promoting participatory development in rural communities. I have my sights set on a PhD that will further this cause of mine