ArchiveMarion IslandPhoto Gallery

New photo collection on the archive

Collection of: Anché Louw (Müller)
Overwinter Team: Marion 70 (M70)
Overwinter Job Description: Field Assistant (Stellenbosch University – Botanist)
Take-overs: 2011 and 2016
Number of photos in the collection: 254
Keywords for this collection include: Fieldwork, parties, base life, field huts, landscapes, team members, hut food, Christmas and many more.
How to get to this collection: Archive – Discover – Author – Louw,Anche


Where did you first hear about Marion Island?
During my Honors degree at Stellenbosch University, I met Professor Valdon Smith, who specialised on plant physiology and production on Marion Island at the time. He spoke with great enthusiasm about the island and referred to it as the great “natural laboratory”. I was very intrigued and an honours project with Prof Smith sounded like a great adventure, and indeed it was. A year after I did my honours degree I found myself inside a laboratory job, in the city of Johannesburg and it was not long before I decided to make a change. I applied for an overwintering position on Marion in 2012 and was fortunate enough to get a field assistant position to do my own fieldwork for my Masters degree in Botany in 2013/2014.
Did you meet anyone special on the island?
Yes, I became very good friends with Hennie Louw, who was appointed as a sealer for the Marion Island Marine Mammal Programme, University of Pretoria. I enjoyed helping with this sealer’s fieldwork and needless to say…in November we will be married for 2 years. We even had a Marion themed seating plan at our wedding (see photos below).
Your current job?
I am now appointed as the science communicator/technical assistant of the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa. My days are filled with archival duties, social media updates, planning of Polar Promoting Activities with collaborators, and anything that needs attention in the ALSA office.
Can yo sum up your Marion Island Overwintering Experience in one sentence?
A once in a life-time, life-changing, extreme adventure.


Anché also added photos that was taken by Hennie Louw (Sealer, M70), Mariëtte Wheeler (Oceans and Coast Birder, M70), Irma du Plessis (Medic, M70), Nadia Hansa (Killer whaler, M70), Carson McAfee (Space Engineer, M70), Prince Mlongwana (Team Leader/Senior Meteorologist, M70), Johan van der Vyver (Sealer, M70), Makabongwe Siggala (Oceans and Coast Birder, M70), Dr Gwynneth Matcher (Microbiologist, RU).

Ria Olivier, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, 06 October 2017

Join the discussion