Storme and Marine spread their results in the science community!

Recently, Storme and Marine presented some of their work at different conferences. Storme attended the 45th Annual Parasitological Society of Southern Africa conference, while Marine went to the 9th Science Student Council Symposium at UCT.

This is what Storme reports about the conference: “I’ve just returned from the 45th annual Parasitological Society of Southern Africa (PARSA) conference where I presented some of the blood parasite and tick data from the predators we sampled from farmlands. What an incredible conference, with some exceptional speakers!

This year’s conference was held at the Lagoon Beach Hotel in Cape Town, a stone throw away from UCT. While many of the talks had a marine (not our Marine!) or freshwater focus, numerous sessions were dedicated to parasites of medical and veterinary importance. My talk, which looks at wildlife pathogens, and why they may be important to consider in the ‘One Health’ paradigm was well-received, with many delegates appreciating the real world context of the problem that I presented. It was also very encouraging to see the variety of wildlife species that are being investigated for parasites, as well as the various tools that are being used to look at parasite problems in wildlife and domestic animal species.

Overall, it was a great experience to have the opportunity to spend a few days discussing parasites with fellow researchers from around southern Africa and beyond!”

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Presentation given by Storme Viljoen at the 45th Annual Parasitological Society of Southern Africa conference.

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Storme presenting her applied work on wildlife pathogens.

Marine was also glad to present some of the work she has been conducting as part of the Karoo Predator Project on mesopredators. She spoke about predators diets and prey preference on farmlands and in Anysberg Nature Reserve and how these diet profiles drive the conflict with farmers in the Karoo.

The other talks were very interesting and covered a vast range of topics from galaxies to unemployment, and from impacts of urbanization on otters to genetics in plants!! It was a very good day and a rich exchange of knowledge between students of different specialties.

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Black-backed jackals and caracals are considered to be responsible for most of the predator-related losses in the sheep wool industry in South Africa.

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The flexible diet of mesopredators allows them to survive and even thrive on farmlands where sheep represent an abundant food source.

The next Karoo Predator Project talks will be presented during the SAWMA Symposium at Tzaneen Country Lodge, Limpopo Province on 18-21 September 2016. We hope to see you there!

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