If you are feeling energetic and keen to visit the green hills of Ixopo, the BRC invites you to help remove alien vegetation from the grasslands. At the same time, it is an opportunity to learn about the plant species growing in Ixopo with horticulturist, Corinna Botoulas, and botanists, David Styles and Anne Heiduk, as they explore and identify the variety of flora. They are all volunteering their time to compile a list of species for the Centre. Come and join them and perhaps discover a new specie!
David Styles is an active botanical explorer in eastern South Africa, having collected more than 5,000 plant specimens from KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga Province and has four plant species named after him. He is currently completing his Doctorate at the School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu Natal, researching the pollination biology of Sisyranthus, a genus of approximately 15 species nearly endemic to South Africa.
Annemarie Heiduk is an early career postdoctoral researcher with profound expertise in pollination ecology. She is particularly interested in the evolution of complex floral phenotypes and pollination strategies with focus on Apocynaceae, one of the largest plant families in the world. She gained international renown as an expert on pollination of species in the tribe Ceropegieae, in particular, specialized deceptive trap flowers in the genus Ceropegia. In her research, she bridges several scientific disciplines (taxonomy, phylogeny, chemical ecology, pollination biology, and evolutionary developmental biology) in an interdisciplinary approach to understand the role of insect pollinators in shaping flowers.