Pat’s qualifications include a BSc (Hons) in Ecological Science from the University of Edinburgh (1977), a teaching diploma from the Dundee College of Education (1980) and a PhD from the University of Cape Town Botany Department (1989). During her undergraduate years in the Forestry and Natural Resources Department, her interests gravitated towards plant ecology and soil science. After moving to Cape Town in 1984, she became fascinated by the Cape Flora: exploring, conserving and restoring this wonderful floral kingdom has remained a strong passion of hers ever since, both through various working spheres and as an active Botanical Society member and volunteer in local conservation work. For this reason, Pat is “delighted to be associated with FynbosLIFE and to assist wherever [she] can in this worthwhile initiative”.
Pat’s work experience during the past 36 years has mainly focussed on the ecology and management of invasive alien plants and fynbos vegetation dynamics, including seed ecology and restoration ecology. During full-time employment at the City of Cape Town municipality (2005-2018) as the City’s Biophysical Specialist, she was also responsible for City-wide conservation planning and advisory work. Pat currently co-supervises post-graduate students at Stellenbosch University, where she is an Associate Professor Extraordinary in the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, and Associate Researcher at the Centre for Invasion Biology. Her publication record of 55 peer-reviewed scientific papers or chapters and ten semi-popular articles is available on request. Apart from academia, Pat works through her consultancy, Cape Ecological Services.