Caitlin’s multifaceted job as Managing Director of FynbosLIFE puts many of the skills acquired from her non-linear career path to work. A childhood interest in veterinary science was steered towards human medicine, but ultimately the pull of natural science led her to botany, pollination ecology, horticulture, and wildlife habitat restoration. She has worked at SANBI, WESSA and Iziko Museums, and dabbled in insights analysis, french translation, art, writing, design, marketing and communications, while studying a PhD in Botany (plant-animal interactions) part-time.
It was Caitlin’s mother, Jane – long-time environmental educator and volunteer garden guide at Kirstenbosch – who inspired her to follow a fulfilling career in fynbos conservation. Although she is not the veterinary or reconstructive surgeon once intended, Caitlin has had extraordinarily intriguing experiences dissecting cadavers; delivering babies; assisting in surgery on humans and animals; treating township pets; documenting threatened plants off the beaten track all over the Cape Floristic Region; teaching schoolchildren from Harmony Flats to Pondoland about plant monitoring, and, more recently, researching pollination and floral colour divergence in the snotrosie.
Having carried out extensive botanical fieldwork, she uncovered an Endangered plant species new to science, which contributed towards the declaration of the Moutonshoek Protected Environment. She considers this discovery her proudest moment, given that it helped protect one of the most spectacular natural areas on Earth from construction work.
Now, through FynbosLIFE, she devotes her life to the rehabilitation of landscapes altered by urbanisation, and does so with the utmost care and passion for her work. Click here to listen to Caitlin chat to Phemelo Motene on SAfm about biodiversity restoration and how she believes that locally indigenous plants can heal the earth.
Bank name Nedbank
Account name FYNBOSLIFE
Account number 1127617079
Branch code 198765
Please email proof of payment to firstname.lastname@example.org
Support us with a CoralBloom fynbos floral face mask or any CoralBloom textile homeware products (tea towels, napkin sets and table runners) – designed by Dr Michelle Jooste with botanical illustrations by Ann C. Jooste and Megan L. Jooste for our collaboration range exclusive to Happy by Nature. 5% of your purchase proceeds will be donated to FynbosLIFE. View options
Would you like to create your own community or school garden? Why not start your own fundraising campaign for our Cape Flats Fynbos Nursery to grow plants for your project’s original veld type?
Register as a FynbosLIFE champion on Back a Buddy