Student researchers @ Gobabeb

Gobabeb hosts many student researchers. Here are our current students in residence. To see a fuller profile, hover your cursor over the picture. For alumni student researchers, visit our alumni page here.

Martin Handjaba

Student Associate

Martin Handjaba

Student Associate

Martin is modeling the biophysical ecology two nocturnal gerbil species that are endemic to the Namib Desert: Gerbillurus tytonis (a dune-dweller) and Gerbillurus setzeri (occupying gravel plains.

His research will contribute to our understanding of how Namib fauna may respond to changing climatic conditions.

Supervisors: Stuart Piketh (North-West University); Eugene Marais (Gobabeb)

Patemoshela Kashikola

Student Associate

Patermoshela Kashikola

Student Associate

Patemoshela graduated from the University of Namibia with a B.Sc. (Honours) in Environmental Biology.

Besides participating in routine research tasks at Gobabeb, she is now pursuing an M.Sc. degree in Environmental Sciences at North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, assessing the plant diversity of inselbergs along an aridity gradient in the central Namib.

Supervisors: Stefan Siebert (N-WU); Gillian Maggs-Kölling & Eugene Marais (Gobabeb)

Rosa-Stella Mbulu

Student Collaborator

Rosa-Stella Mbulu

Student Collaborator

Rosa is interested in evolutionary processes and genetic diversity of selected desert-living beetles (Tenebrionidae) and angiosperms (Kissenia capensis, Huidobria fruticosa and Zygophyllum stapfii collected from the Atacama and Namib deserts.

Rosa will perform sequencing to study genetic desert adaptation enhancing mechanisms.

Rosa is pursuing a PhD in Biology at the University of Cologne (UoC), Germany.

Supervisors: Thomas Wiehe (UoC); Co-supervisors: Dietmar Quandt (University of Bonn) and Reinhard Predel (UoC)

Valeria Nakale

Student Associate

Valeria Nakale

Student intern

Valeria recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPA) in Brazil.

 

She is interested in climate change, atmospheric aerosols, and atmospheric composition. With her interest in atmospheric sciences, she is will be registering for an MSc degree in Environmental

Sciences at North-West University Potchefstroom.   

She will investigate synoptic circulation patterns to characterise weather systems for Namibia.  

Iipumbu Shilongo

Student intern

Iipumbu Shilongo

Student intern

Iipumbu Shilongo is a student intern with a Bachelor of Science Honours in Applied Physics from the Namibia University of Science and Technology.

Iipumbu aspires to pursue a Master's degree in Atmospheric Science at North West University, South Africa. With a focus on research, Iipumbu's interests align with the exploration of atmospheric phenomena, making a valuable contribution to the field at the Gobabeb Research Institute.

Nelao N Hauulu

Student Associate/Training Coordinator

Nelao N Hauulu

Student Associate/Training Coordinator

Nelao holds a BA (Hons) degree in Geography and Environmental Studies (Sociology) from the University of Namibia. She is pursuing an MSc in Environmental Scienceat North-West University in South Africa, studying indoor air quality in informal settlements in Swakopmund.

Nelao is currently training coordinator at Gobabeb Namib Research Institute, whilst assisting with routine research tasks around campus.

Supervisors: Dr Brigitte Language (N-WU), Prof Stuart Piketh (NWU) and Prof. Gillian Maggs-Kӧlling (Gobabeb)

Augustinus Mbangu

PhD Student Associate

Augustinus Mbangu

Augustinus Mbangu is a PhD Student Associate who joined the Gobabeb team in February 2023. He is registered with the University of Cape Town and is currently working on his PhD research project, which is based here at Gobabeb. His research project aims to (1) carry out a De Novo Genome Assembly and (2) assess the phylogeographic history (including climate niche modeling) of disjunct Acanthosicyos horridus (!nara) populations in the Namib Desert. His study is supported under the SASSCAL funded FRAMe project.

Supervisors: Terry Hedderson (University of Cape Town), Dietmar Quandt (University of Bonn)

PhD Student Associate

Brave Mukena

Student Associate

Brave Mukena

Student Associate

Brave studies the habitat occupation and dispersal of the Littledale’s Whistling Rat (Parotomys littledalei) in the Tumas Drainage System of the central Namib. For his M.Sc. research, he is using a combination of camera trapping, live trapping, visual observations and a habitat assessment in order to determine the species’ movement and habitat occupation patterns.

Supervisors: Neville Pillay (University of Witwatersrand); Eugene Marais (Gobabeb)

Natanael (Nata) Ndilenga

Phd Associate, Stellenbosch University

Natanael (Nata) Ndilenga

Phd Associate, Stellenbosch University

Nata is studying the pollination systems of the dioecious cucurbit Acanthosicyos horridus (!nara) for his PhD at Stellenbosch University.

His focus is on advancing our understanding of the Namib Desert endemic species and its ecological significance within a broader context. This research is a three-year programme under the SASSCAL-funded FRAMe project.

Supervisors: Allan George Ellis (Stellenbosch University); Gillian Maggs-Kölling (Gobabeb); Eugene Marais (Gobabeb)

Chester Silavwe

Student collaborator

Chester Silavwe

Student collaborator

Chester Silavwe is a MSc student at the University of Zambia, pursuing Tropical Ecology and Biodiversity. His research and studies are being sponsored by Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) under the project; Farmer Resilience and Melon Crop Diversity in Southern Africa (FRAMe).

His research is investigating melon diversity and ethnobotany in southern Africa, and their potential for optimisation as food security resources.

Supervisors: Dr. David Chuba (UNZA), Dr. Agripina Banda (UNZA)

Amalia Iilonga

NUST Intern

Amalia Iilonga

NUST Intern

Amalia is currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management: Nature Conservation at the Namibia University of Science and Technology. She will be at Gobabeb for six months on a Work-Integrated Learning internship. Her main interest is Botany, and she hopes to see and learn more about the flora in the Namib Desert.

Supervisor: Jonathan Kamwi (NUST)

Mentor: Emily Nakale (Gobabeb)

Rachel Mbokoma

NUST intern

Rachel Mbokoma

NUST intern

Rachel Mbokoma is doing her bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management at Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). Here at Gobabeb, Rachel is doing her six-month Work-Integrated Learning Internship. During her internship, she will be investigating gerbils as seed dispersers in the Central Namib Desert.

Supervisor: Prof. Jonathan Kamwi (NUST)

Mentor: Mr Natanael Ndilenga

Emilia Nakale

Student Associate

Emilia Nakale

Student Associate

Emily is pursuing a Master degree in Natural Resources Management with the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She is interested in arboreal biomass production and carbon sequestration in the Kuiseb riverine forest, where she aims to investigate the forest’s capacity to capture and store carbon.

At Gobabeb, she participates in various short- and long-term projects on ecology and climate.

Supervisors: Jonathan Kamwi (NUST), Eugene Marais & Gillian Maggs-Kölling (Gobabeb)

Silke Rügheimer

Student collaborator

Silke Rügheimer

Student collaborator

Silke has an Honours degree in Plant Taxonomy (UCT) and has been working on the Namibian flora for the past 23 years. Silke is studying the phenomics of the !Nara in the Namib desert and will be doing morphometric measurements of various !Nara populations from the Skeleton Coast Park to Tsau//Khaeb National Park.

 Silke is pursuing a Masters in Botany at the North-West University (N-WU), South Africa.

Candy Muhau Simwanza

Student Associate

Candy Simwanza

Student associate

Candy holds a B.Sc. Honours degree in Agriculture (Crop Science) from the University of Namibia, Ogongo Campus. She came to Gobabeb as a participant CAMP (Climate Action for Millennials Programme) in 2021. Candy is situated in the Zambezi Region for her MSc research characterising the Citrullus lanatus-amarus species complex .

Supervisors: Ezekeil Kwembeya (UNAM), Gillian Maggs-Kölling (Gobabeb)