I have a basic degree in forestry from Stellenbosch University, with post-graduate qualifications (MSc, PhD and DSc) in applied ecology (see research interests). I spent 15 years working as a research officer in the Department of Forestry, and 25 years as an applied ecologist in the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). I joined Stellenbosch University as an employee in April 2014. After obtaining my PhD from the University of Cape Town in 1985, I became program coordinator for a large interdisciplinary ecological study of the effects of fire on fynbos at the Jonkershoek Research Centre (1985 – 1990). Between 1992 and 1994, I acted as lead author of a large multi-disciplinary environmental impact assessment of proposed dune mining in the St Lucia area. Between 1996 and 2004, I was first Program Manager of, then Scientific Advisor to the Working for Water programme. In 2005, I became a core team member of the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology. I serve as a part-time staff member working on invasive species research in my capacity as Emeritus Professor.
My research focusses on a number of related main fields under the broad umbrella of terrestrial ecology.