Jaci van Niekerk

Jaci van Niekerk

Researcher

jaci.vn@gmail.com
+27 21 650 2872
Room 2.24

I completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Stellenbosch, majoring in zoology and genetics. After that I set off to travel and work my way around the world, spending a total of seven years exploring countries, languages, cultures, and particularly cuisines (!) in Europe, the Middle East, Australasia, and Asia. I returned to South Africa in 2007, whereupon I completed an MPhil Degree in Environmental Management at UCT. My Masters dissertation examined the contribution of the international trade in an endemic medicinal plant – Pelargonium sidoides, to rural livelihoods in South Africa and Lesotho. I started working at the Environmental Evaluation Unit in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science in 2009, conducting research into the commercial use of southern African biodiversity and traditional knowledge, and investigating ways in which to protect, promote and enhance the rights of small-scale farmers. Currently a Junior Research Fellow within the SARChI Chair team, I continue to pursue my research interests, am responsible for supporting the Bio-economy Research Chair administratively, and co-supervise  post-graduate students. I like to spend my free time with my four rescued dogs – either hiking around the Southern Peninsula or lounging on the couch with a good book.