Who We Are
Gillian Maggs-Kölling. Executive Director
As Executive Director, Gillian Maggs-Kölling defines the strategic vision for Gobabeb and leads all aspects of the institute’s operations.
This includes planning, resourcing, fund-raising, marketing and stakeholder outreach, as well as forging links with both existing and potential research partners.
Her most fulfilling role is enabling the development of young Namibian scientists.
Gillian has long experience in managing research systems in the public sector in Namibia.
Her vision for Gobabeb is to grow the Institute’s reach and impact as a strategic centre for desert research.
She is a passionate plant person, particularly for indigenous cucurbits like the !nara (Acanthosicyos horridus).
She is becoming increasingly fascinated by the dynamic and diverse research disciplines associated with Gobabeb.
Eugene Marais. Research Manager
Eugene Marais coordinates and manages Gobabeb's research programmes. He identifies and guides Gobabeb’s long-term research programmes with international research associates.
He also develops and supervises short-term research projects for students at all educational levels, fostering their professional growth.
Eugene trained and worked as a geologist and entomologist, specialising in evolutionary biology, insect biodiversity and palaeoenvironmental assessments.
He has been doing research throughout Namibia since 1986 and has extensive knowledge and experience of the diversity and ecology of the different terrestrial environments in the country.
Bernice Coetzee. Office Manager
I am a mature, friendly and hardworking individual who always strive to achieve the highest standard possible with every opportunity given to me.
My career experience includes management and hospitality. My life experience has taught me to enjoy life and appreciate what I have a round me; people and nature. Being outdoors is what makes me happy.
Upon entering the gates of Gobabeb I fell in love with the institute, for what it stands and the work they do. I look forward to grow within the institute.
Jason Gertze. Maintenance Supervisor.
Jason joined the Gobabeb team in January 2023. He comes with an outstanding record of service in the construction and tourism industry here in Namibia.
As Site Manager, Jason handles all aspects of managing Gobabeb's infrastructure, including building maintenance, servicing our vehicle fleet, the electrical, water, and sanitation systems, and training of staff and interns on safety, particularly of the quad bikes.
Jason is aided by gobabeb's fine Tech Team.
Leena Kapulwa is Gobabeb's first point of contact for anyone wanting to visit or work at Gobabeb.
Leena first came to Gobabeb in December 2016 as an intern in managing hospitality and accommodation.
She’s now employed as Gobabeb's Receptionist.
She helps visitors arrange reservations for accommodation, and assists in coordinating schedules and accommodation for students, researchers and visitors.
She soon plans to study for a tourism diploma. She grew up in Oniipa, in the northern part of Namibia.
Ileni Hiwilepo is the accountant for Gobabeb-Namib Research Institute.
She has been in this position since 2016.
Her duties include maintaining, analysing and recording financial transactions, preparing for Gobabeb's annual audit, and preparing Donor Reports.
She has more than 15 years of experience in accounting and enjoys the challenges that come along with this job.
Gobabeb Namib Research Institute
PO Box 953
Walvis Bay 13103, Namibia
+264 (0)64 20 5555 (T)