A 2017 Recap

It’s a new year, a chance to improve, conquer and be fierce. The new year brings opportunity, a chance to correct our mistakes and of course work towards finishing what we started. I’m one of the most prominent believers in women. Women are powerhouses, we sometimes forget just how valuable and influential we are in society. Unfortunately, our contributions are often suppressed or undermined- gender inequalities. With that said, I would love to applaud women in science, you ladies are doing an amazing job! In 2017 I had the opportunity to interview prominent and up and coming women in the world of STEM. This is an idea my supervisor, Dr Sarah Fawcett had placed in my brain. Sarah believed that I would do it so well and no one would do it like I would (*blush*), and the rest is history!

In 2017, the second half of my first year and the first half of the second year of Ph.D., I had an opportunity to visit the South African Prince Edward Islands (46°46’23’’S, 37°51’09’’E) for Ph.D. sampling (a chapter in my Ph.D.). It was a great experience with its ups and downs. We, at some point, had the opportunity to fly by helicopter to one of the islands, a very eerie island, Marion Island. It was EPIC! On that sampling expedition, I spotted a mooring that had been astray for some time and carried with it very important data. I spotted it with the naked eye from the bridge of the R/V SA Agulhas II.


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The ocean-based scientists, including the chief scientist (bottom right) after a long night on the ship.
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Night sampling, with problems occurring occasionally.
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That’s everyone on the bridge looking for the mooring. Not to worry though. I located it.

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The team in the aircraft.
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Our home, the ship from the island.
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Hiking on Marion Island. Photo by Makhudu Masotla


In the Subantarctic it looks sunny from inside the vessel, but as soon as you step outside you realise just how bone-cracking cold it is outside.

In August of 2017, I also became a runner-up in the UCT leg heats of FameLab. This is a triumph I will forever be proud of. It somewhat opened doors for me. Due to this accomplishment, I was featured in the 2017 UCT Science Faculty Newsletter (ABSOLUTELY WOW!). Additionally, the South African Women In Science and Engineering (SAWISE) featured me in their October newsletter. What an honour.

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The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng at the University of Cape Town, announcing our wins.

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A snippet of the SAWISE newsletter feature.

For the year 2017, I finally would love to applaud my mentor, Dr Sarah Fawcett, a pioneer of greatness while being the greatness herself. She was awarded a “Prestigious P rating”.  Sarah’s team is predominantly made up of women. We (our team) embody the women in science narrative. We do not just speak of it, it is a reality. Onwards and upwards to you all in 2018, from womeninsciencehub.wordpress.com!

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Fawcett’s point of view.

On the cruise and on land, I had a chance to mingle with National Geographic photographer, Thomas Peschak who gave us two presentations of his work, on the ship. Finally, at one of the UCT Engineering events, I had the privilege to meet South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology, Minister Naledi Pandor who I am on a mission to interview for this very blog.

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Thomas from Nat Geo.


The intriguing Minister Naledi Pandor


With this and more, 2017 was a year to remember!


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