Two of our students, Gaby Ayres and Calle Borg, will be graduating this year at the April graduation ceremonies of Rhodes University. Gaby’s Masters dissertation was titled “Biogeomorphic aspects of lichen colonisation in part of western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica”, and investigated the habitats that are preferred by specific lichen species on the Robertskollen and Vesleskarvet nunataks. Calle investigated needle ice in soils on sub-Antarctic Marion Island and in the Eastern Cape Drakensberg, in a thesis titled “Identifying growth criteria and sediment movement mechanisms of needle ice using high-frequency environmental and visual monitoring”. Using a novel approach, combining time-lapse photography and microclimatic monitoring, he identified ground physical characteristics, as well as thermal and moisture conditions necessary for needle ice growth. Calle’s research has provided unique insights into the processes and energy transfers that produce needle ice, and that it is a significant contributor to the disturbance of vegetation and sediment displacement in diurnal frost environments.
We congratulate both Gaby and Calle on their achievement and wish them both all the best for the future!