Meet the team

Dr Barry Clark

Dr Barry Clark

Project management; Estuarine, coastal and marine ecology; Freshwater, estuarine and marine fish; Natural resource management; Toxicology; Scientific diver; Birder

Dr Barry Clark is founder and Director of Anchor Environmental Consultants.  He has thirty years’ experience in marine biological research and consulting on coastal zone and marine issues.  He has worked as a scientific researcher, lecturer and consultant and has experience in tropical, subtropical and temperate ecosystems.  He is presently Director of an Environmental Consultancy firm (Anchor Environmental Consultants) and Research Associate at the University of Cape Town.  As a consultant has been concerned primarily with conservation planning, monitoring and assessment of human impacts on estuarine, rocky shore, sandy beach, mangrove, and coral reef ecosystems as well as coastal and littoral zone processes, aquaculture and fisheries.  Dr Clark is the author of 27 scientific publications in class A scientific journals as well as numerous scientific reports and popular articles in the free press.  Geographically, his main area of expertise is southern Africa (South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Seychelles, Mauritius and Angola), but he also has working experience from elsewhere in Africa (Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria), the Middle East (UAE) and Europe (Azerbaijan, Greenland). 

Dr Jane Turpie

Dr Jane Turpie

Project management; Estuarine ecology & birds; Ecosystem services; Environmental Economics; Conservation Biology; Livelihoods; Environmental Policy; Multidisciplinary problems; Survey design; Birder

Dr Jane Turpie has a background in Ecology and has also worked and taught in the applied fields of Conservation Biology and Resource Economics for the past 22 years. She is Director of Anchor Environmental Consultants, Senior Research Fellow of the Environmental-Economics Policy Research Unit, School of Economics, University of Cape Town, Honorary Research Fellow of the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity and a member of the co-ordinating committee of the Swedish-based Environment for Development Initiative, a global network of environmental economics academics. Her interests and experience are broad and multidisciplinary, and she thrives on the integration of ecological and socio-economic aspects of natural resource management problems. Her work has included avifaunal studies, estuarine ecology, biodiversity and ecosystem health assessment, water and environmental flows, quantification and valuation of ecosystem services, socio-economic/livelihood assessments, analysing community dependence and pressures on natural resources, modelling ecological-economic systems (estuarine, river systems, wetlands, fynbos, thicket and woodland), incentive and financing systems for conservation, and integrating ecosystem services into conservation, climate change and development planning. She has supervised 39 postgraduate students, published 45 peer-reviewed papers in ecology and economics disciplines, written 12 book chapters, 5 books/published reports and at least 142 technical reports.

Dr Ken Hutchings

Dr Ken Hutchings

Project management, Marine and estuarine ecology; Fisheries; Mariculture; Scientific dive supervisor

Dr Ken Hutchings has experience in fisheries and mariculture research and management, estuarine research and management, marine and estuarine spatial planning and management, marine impact assessment, research and conservation strategy development, fishery socio-economic studies, biological sampling and fish life-history studies, taxonomy, population genetics, fisheries modelling, marine ecotoxicology, physico-chemical, ecological and biodiversity surveys of marine, estuarine and freshwater habitats.  He has participated in international, collaborative studies in these fields in Angola, Tanzania, Namibia, Mauritius and Sierra Leone and has experience of fisheries in Mozambique, Madagascar, Seychelles, New Zealand and Belize.  He has practical experience in several commercial fishery sectors and has good understanding of commercial fishery assessments and management. He has undertaken socio-economic and scientific assessments of commercial and recreational fisheries, and has designed and managed fishery scientific observer programmes.  Dr Hutchings is a research associate of the University of Cape Town’s Marine Research Institute and has published 16 scientific papers and compiled numerous consulting reports for government, NGO and private sector clients. 

Aiden Biccard

Aiden Biccard

Marine biology; Marine and estuarine invertebrate taxonomy; Scientific diver

Aiden has an MSc from the University of Cape Town, and has a background in zoology, botany and ecology. He has worked on nutrient cycling in the marine environment and pollination biology of fynbos species and now specialises in invertebrate taxonomy and systematics. He has recently reviewed the cirripede fauna of South Africa and undertaken a specialist role of invertebrate taxonomist for the De Beers Marine Namibia Environmental Monitoring Programme and the annual Saldanha Bay Water Quality Forum Trust State of the Bay Report among others. He is author of 3 peer-reviewed scientific publications and many specialist reports in his capacity as a taxonomist.

Gwyneth Letley

Gwyneth Letley

Conservation Biology; Ecosystem services; Environmental Economics; Tourism

Gwyneth has an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Cape Town and a postgraduate certificate in Applied Environmental Economics from the University of London. During her MSc degree in Conservation Biology she developed a strong interest in the social and economic aspects of natural resource management and conservation. She has worked on the quantitative socio-economic aspects of conservation-development problems in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and has experience in ecosystem services valuation methods, econometric analyses and cost-benefit analysis. Recent studies have included determining the amenity value of green open space in Durban using a hedonic pricing approach, developing a series of water treatment cost models to estimate water quality amelioration value and determining the tourism value of Durban’s green open space system using novel methodologies and big data. Gwyn is also experienced in spatial analysis and conservation planning using Marxan software, and undertook South Africa’s conservation planning of estuaries for the 2012 National Biodiversity Assessment. She has also carried out integrated conservation planning taking ecosystem services into account.

Amy Wright

Amy Wright

Marine ecology; Hydrodynamic modelling; Marine and estuarine systems management; Regulatory guideline compliance

Amy has an MSc degree in Biological Sciences and BSc. Hons. degrees in Marine Biology and Applied Biology from the University of Cape Town. She specialises in two- and three-dimensional hydrodynamic modelling of marine, estuarine and freshwater systems to inform impact assessments and regulatory compliance, as well as monitoring program design and implementation. She is proficient in both hydrodynamic, water quality and particle tracking applications across a range of numerical model systems, with experience in Delft3D modelling suite (FLOW, SWAN, WAQ, PART), CorMIX, Deltares MAMPEC and Ancylus MOM, with training in Delft3D FM (FLOW, WAQ).  She has dispersion modelling and permitting experience across a range of diverse industries, including land- and sea-based mariculture, reverse osmosis operations, power and gas facility intake and discharge, as well as shipping (antifoulants/ heavy metals). As such, her work involves biophysical and socio-economic aspects in the assessment of human impacts on temperate and tropical coastal regions of South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Kenya and Tanzania.  She is the author of four scientific publications in Class A scientific journals, and over sixty technical reports.

Dr Jessica Dawson

Dr Jessica Dawson

Marine biology; Marine and estuarine invertebrate biology and taxonomy; Scientific diver

Jessica has a background in marine biology, estuarine community ecology and food webs, benthic invertebrate biology and taxonomy, and is a class IV commercial/scientific diver.   She has a PhD in estuarine ecology (zoology) from the University of Cape Town.  Her academic training has enabled her to acquire skills in a wide variety of scientific disciplines, exposing her to a broad array of scientific methods. Jessica has worked on the taxonomic descriptions of new species (BSc Hon. UCT), the effects of grazers on community structure of soft-sediment estuarine and rocky shore communities (BSc Hon. and MSc., UCT) and the indirect effects of the presence of large herbivore species on benthic estuarine communities and food web structure during a drought (PhD).  Jessica has additionally been working as a taxonomic specialist on the benthic invertebrates of the Western Indian Ocean, as well as species from the Southwest Atlantic Ocean (NAMDEB Diamond Corporation Environmental Monitoring Programme). During her studies she has collaborated with both international and local researchers, spending time as a research assistant for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Centre in the USA, as well as working with academic teams from several South African universities. Her training has equipped her to consult on a wide variety of research and consulting projects incorporating the conservation of intertidal, sub-tidal, marine, and estuarine ecosystems. Jessica has co-authored four peer-reviewed articles in well recognised scientific journals as well review for the Quarterly Review of Biology.

Johanna Brühl

Johanna Brühl

Environmental economics; Environmental policy; Ecosystem services; Biodiversity economy; Conservation; Sustainable development

Johanna Brühl holds a master’s degree in Applied Economics from the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics and a Bachelor of Science in International Business from the Copenhagen Business School. Johanna’s interests are in the fields of environmental policy and economics, the assessment and valuation of ecosystem services, the biodiversity economy, and the design of strategies to increase biodiversity conservation. Johanna’s previous work at the Environmental Policy Research Unit (EPRU), part of the Environment for Development (EfD), focused on water economics and water policy in developing country contexts. At EPRU, she designed, implemented, and evaluated large-scale projects to achieve more sustainable water management in South Africa. She has a strong background in data management and quantitative and qualitative analyses and evaluations.

Kirti Gihwala

Kirti Gihwala

Marine ecology; Marine invertebrate taxonomy

Kirti earned degrees in Marine Biology and Ocean & Atmosphere Science from the University of Cape Town. Her academic training and field exposure, has equipped her to become highly competent in zoology and ecology. Kirti has a strong and key interest in ecological research, specifically understanding the ecological processes and patterns in sustaining marine ecosystems, along with how climate change/human disturbances influence the stability and integrity of these natural systems. These interests have been showcased and expanded through her postgraduate studies, which have focused largely on intertidal soft-sediment ecosystems (BSc. Hons and MSc). During her MSc, she explored the ecological drivers and differential effects of greater flamingo feeding techniques in intertidal sandflat ecosystems in Langebaan Lagoon, South Africa. This research contributed to ecological literature internationally, where she published as a first author in two class A scientific journals (Marine Ecology Progress Series and Marine Biology) on the topic. Kirti Gihwala has undertaken a specialist role in invertebrate taxonomy for the De Beers Marine Namibia and the NAMDEB Diamond Corporation Environmental Monitoring Programmes as well as the annual Saldanha Bay Water Quality Forum Trust State of the Bay Report among others. Her training has equipped her to consult on a wide variety of research and consulting projects incorporating the conservation of intertidal, sub-tidal and marine ecosystems.

Cheruscha Swart

Cheruscha Swart

Marine invertebrate taxonomy and biology; Invasion biology; Marine ecology

Cheruscha has an MSc in Biodiversity and Ecology from Stellenbosch University. Her work focused on producing and implementing novel approaches to understand the drivers governing successful invasions, their impacts and identifying species of concern. Her project was the first in South Africa to identify, prioritise and create a watch-list of emerging marine invaders. Her training and experience have equipped her to consult within a variety of disciplines including environmental monitoring and assessments, terrestrial and marine ecology, invasion biology, marine invertebrate taxonomy and biology and conservation biology. Her other interests also include environmental legislation and management, and sustainable development. Cheruscha is the author of three peer reviewed scientific publications and has contributed to various scientific reports. 

Kevin Schmidt

Kevin Schmidt

Marine Ecosystem Sciences; Physical Oceanography, Remote Sensing; GIS; Scientific & Technical Diver

Kevin has an undergraduate degree (BSc and Hon) in Marine Ecosystem Sciences from the University of Delaware and a graduate degree (MSc) in Applied Marine Sciences from the University of Cape Town. During his undergraduate degree, he investigated the influence of anthropogenic climate change on community dynamics of coral reef and their associated ecosystems.  During his graduate degree, he collaborated with scientists from the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observatory (SOCCO) to investigate the wind field variability of the Southern Ocean using WaveGlider technology and remotely sensed satellite reanalysis data.  In January of 2017 he published his MSc findings in the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Journal of Atmospheric and Ocean Technology (JTECH).  Since then, Kevin has been actively incorporating satellite-derived data “on the ground”; performing validation and extrapolation tasks to broaden the spatial and temporal coverage of atmospheric, land and oceanographic variable datasets.  With his expertise in querying global repositories, he can provide his peers and clients holistic and globally unique data inputs for impact assessments, variability studies and computational fluid dynamic models.  Kevin intends to use these remotely sensed environmental variables, satellite imagery, and machine learning to bridge the gap between ecology and oceanography and to increase the efficacy of ecological surveying techniques and the strategic implementation of conservation management strategies.

Dr Adam Rees

Dr Adam Rees

Marine ecology; Fisheries; Natural resources management; GIS

Dr Adam Rees has a PhD in Marine Science from the University of Plymouth, UK. He has experience in temperate marine ecology, benthic ecosystems research, marine protected areas, marine spatial planning and management, marine impact assessment, commercial and recreational fisheries. He is well experienced in quantifying and assessing changes to benthic systems, affected by marine protected areas (MPAs), fisheries/offshore aquaculture, marine renewable energy installations and anthropogenic developments/modifications. His PhD assessed the effects of commercial potting on reef habitats and the associated commercially important fauna within an MPA. He has published in class A scientific journals as lead author. One of his papers is in the Top 100 downloaded papers in Ecology for 2021 from Scientific Reports (Nature portfolio publishing group) and is now influencing inshore fisheries management policy of the UK and Europe. He is proficient in ecological survey design and planning, underwater video sampling and analyses, multivariate analysis of large quantitative datasets (PERMANOVA, R), spatial data analyses (ArcGIS, QGIS), boat and lab fieldwork and data collection, technical reporting, project and budget management, stakeholder engagement, grant writing and public speaking. He is a SACNASP registered Professional Natural Scientist in Aquatic Science (Registration Number: 141530). He has previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher with the University of Plymouth and the Blue Marine Foundation (international marine eNGO) and is currently a Visiting Researcher with the University of Plymouth. He has practical experience in several commercial fishery sectors and has good understanding of commercial fishery assessments and management. 

Luke Wilson

Luke Wilson

Conservation biology, GIS, Ecosystem services, Landscape ecology

Luke holds an MPhil in Conservation Biology and a BSocSc Hons in Environmental and Geographical Studies. His academic training has exposed him to a broad range of disciplines across both the natural sciences and the humanities, ranging from pure ecology to fields like ethics, sociology and anthropology. This has equipped him well to meet the demands of the increasingly multidisciplinary environmental and conservation sphere. His MPhil dissertation involved the assessment of elephant browsing around waterholes in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi National Park to inform future water augmentation plans in the park. In his time at Anchor so far, Luke has been involved in natural capital accounting, geospatial analysis and hydrological modelling using the InVEST software packages. In his spare time, he is a keen contributor to the South African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP2).

Songezo Mtsokoba

Songezo Mtsokoba

Laboratory technician

Songezo has an BTech in Environmental Management from Cape Peninsula University of Technology. His academic training has equipped him to understand various aspects of environmental management system and knowledge to identify significant impacts on the environment and human health. He worked on monitoring of wastewater treatment plants under department of Public Works, where he was ensuring that the plant met the sewage purification objectives, to ensure compliance with current legislation and permit standards. Currently he works as a laboratory technician and field assistant on different projects such as De Beers Marine Namibia and the NAMDEB Diamond Corporation Environmental Monitoring Programmes as well as the annual Saldanha Bay Water Quality Forum Trust State of the Bay Report.

Bianca Lombard

Bianca Lombard

Office Manager

Bianca has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and over 10 years’ experience in office management and corporate administration. She has a diverse background in high-volume fast paced corporate environments and has worked in a variety of industries. She ensures the smooth and harmonious operations of the office, and enjoys working in a company that makes a difference to the various facets of the environment through their research and project management.

Vacancies

Consultant/Senior Consultant: GIS & spatial analysis

Anchor is seeking a talented and enthusiastic scientist with particular expertise in GIS and spatial analysis, to join a team of dynamic individuals who are passionate about what they do. We are seeking someone who will be responsible for providing GIS support for various types of projects, ranging from map production and managing geospatial and related data to undertaking spatial analysis relating to ecosystem services, conservation and resource management and natural capital accounting.

Aquatic Invertebrate Taxonomist position: Marine Ecosystems & Resources Group

Anchor is seeking a talented and enthusiastic person with experience in the identification of invertebrate species.  We are looking for someone with a broad range of interests and a willingness to learn new skills, to work within a multidisciplinary team, starting as soon as possible.  The technical aspects of the positions will include (though is not necessarily limited to):