RESEARCH POSTS in South Africa

Dr. Nigel Barker BARKER at RHOBOT.RU.AC.ZA
Fri Sep 5 11:54:45 CDT 1997

Hi all

I have been asked to post this on behalf of Prof. Lubke at


European Co-operative Research on Cape coastal Dunes

The European Commission is to sponsor a 3 year research programme on
coastal and inland dune systems in southern Africa under the INCO-DC
programme (Research on Ecosystems).  More specifically the project is
to examine the impact of invasive grass species on the structure,
function and sustainable use of coastal and inland sand dune
systems in southern Africa.

Project Leaders and Associated Institutions

. Dr Wim van der Putten, Netherlands Institute of Ecology,
  Hetern, The Netherlands.  Project Leader and International expert on
  Ammophila arenaria  and soil pathogens in dune systems  and their

. Dr Alan Gray, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology,
  Furzebrook Research Station, Walham, Dorset, United Kingdom.
  International expert on colonising and invasive species with
  particular emphasis on the genetic aspects of invassiveness.

. Professor Roy Lubke , Department of Botany, Rhodes University.
  Local Researcher on Cape dune systems and their management.

. Dr Elmar Veerendal, Okavango Research Centre, University of Botswana,
  Gabarone, Botswana.  Lecturer and Resource Manager in the newly
  established Okavango Research Centre.  He has researched population
  biology of savanna plant species and associated arbuscular
  mychorrizal fungi.

Objectives of the Research

The main questions of the project are:

. How invasive are the dune species, Ammophila arenaria on Cape coastal
  dunes and Cenchus bifloris on inland Kalahari dunes?
. What is the role of soil-borne pathogens and beneficial soil organisms
  in the process of invasion?
. How does genetic variability of the introduced species affect their
. How is the structure, functioning and sustainable use of the invaded
  ecosystems going to be changed?


Assistant Programme Co-ordinator
Programme Researcher to assist in the drafting of their research programme
and co-ordination and administration of the research project at
Rhodes University. Will also involve research leading to a Ph.D. on
some aspect of the study and up to 3 months training in Europe.
Salary: about R45 000 p.a. plus an allowance(equivalent to Junior
        Lecturer's salary)
Minimum requirements:  M.Sc and research experience.

Research Assistant  -  Ph.D. student
Research on some or other aspect of the research programme at
Rhodes University.  Will require up to 3 months in  training in Europe.
Stipend: about R25 000 p.a. plus an allowance (with possible increase
         with FRD supplement).
Requirements:  M.Sc and research experience.

Research Assistant  -  M.Sc student
Research on some aspect of the research programme at Rhodes University.
Training of up to 3 months in Europe.
Stipend: about R15 000 p.a. plus an allowance

B.Sc Honours  -  Research Projects
Projects to be funded for research on the project.
No stipend, but possibility of FRD and University assistantships available.


This programme is involved with Ammophila arenaria (marram grass),
which was introduced from Europe as a dune stabiliser, and indigenous
dune species as alternative species for dune stabilisation.

Research Questions which could form the basis of study for research
programmes on Ammophila arenaria and indigenous dune pioneer plant

1. What are flowering characteristics of A. arenaria in Cape coast dunes
   as compared to European dunes (time and duration of flowering, seed
2. Are the seeds viable, how far are they dispersed and what is the
   germination success rate?
3. Do the seedlings become successfully established and what's their
   contribution to population development as compared to establishment
   from vegetative plant parts?
4. Do the South African A. arenaria plants show seasonal growth similar
   to the European plants?
5. How does A.arenaria differ from indigenous pioneer species in terms
   of sand trapping ability and what is the subsequent effect on dune
6. How has A.arenaria increased in extent along the South African
7. What is the impact of  A.arenaria  on South African coastal dunes and
   how may it be wisely used for sand stabilization?
8. Do South African A.arenaria  populations degenerate with reduced sand
9. To which extent are there similar populations of pathogens
   (nematodes and soil fungi) in dune soils in South Africa: to the
   species or genus level, or are there completely different
10.Are the pathogens present in the root zone of south African
   A.arenaria  populations pathogens originally present in the dunes
   and adapted to the roots of A.arenaria , or do they originate from
11.Is there any morphological or physiological variability in the
   Southern African populations of A.arenaria?
12.Do various populations in Southern Africa respond in different
   environmental conditions?
13.How do A.arenaria  populations cope with soil pathogens, are there
   different varieties which respond differently?  Are inland
   populations of A.arenaria  more adapted to soil borne pathogens
14.Is there a relationship between genetic variability and
   invasiveness of A.arenaria?
15.Similar questions on A.arenaria  may also be applied to indigenous
   dune species and their populations.

Prospective researchers  interested in the above post, student
assistantships and B.Sc (Hons) projects, should send a CV, plus names
of 2 referees.  More information is also available from:
Professor RA Lubke
Department of Botany
Rhodes University
P O Box 94
6140  Grahamstown

The Research Programme is scheduled to start in October 1997,
but research posts may be filled from December 1997 or January 1998.

A Workshop session on the Programme is to be held at Rhodes University
in October.  Overseas and local researchers involved with the programme
will attend.  Those interested should enquire for more information.

Professor Roy A Lubke

Department of Botany        Phone: (27) (461) 31-8593 (work)
Rhodes University                  (27) (461)  2-6046 (home)
Grahamstown                   Fax: (27) (461)  2-5524
6140                       E-Mail: BORL at RHOBOT.RU.AC.ZA
South Africa

Dr Nigel Barker
Dept. Botany                 Phone: 27 461 318598
Rhodes University            Fax: 27 461 25524
South Africa

The real University ... has no specific location. It owns no
property, pays no salaries and receives no material dues. The real
University is a state of mind. It is that great heritage of rational
thought that has been brought down to us through the centuries by a
body of people who traditionally carry the title of professor, but
even that title is not part of the real Univesity. The real
University is nothing less than the continuing body of reason

>From  "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by R.M.Pirsig.

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