Current Staff

Conservation Ecologist

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Brittany Arendse

Brittany is a Conservation Ecologist and Creative Director at Nature’s Valley Trust. She completed her tertiary studies at the University of Cape Town, majoring in marine biology and ecology during her undergraduate degree and obtaining her MSc. in pollination biology.

Before starting at NVT she spent a year with CREW (Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers), SANBI, where she gained a plethora of practical botanical experience. Brittany started at NVT as a WWF-SA intern and upon completion of this 2-year development program was offered a permanent position. She manages NVTs various long-term estuarine and fynbos projects and has also branched out into the shorebird monitoring section of the #ShareTheShores coastal impact programme. While at NVT she has become captivated with birds and has consequently qualified as a bird ringer. She also heads up most of NVTs creative output on social media and in terms of merchandise and other paraphernalia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                            
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Craig Midgley

Craig, born and raised in Gauteng, completed his M.Sc in Fisheries Science from Rhodes University in 2014. A career change followed when he became a bird and wildlife rehabilitator at SANCCOB (Cape Town) and Tenikwa Wildlife rehabilitation Centre (Plettenberg Bay).

He completed a 3 month shorebird internship at Nature’s Valley Trust from September-November 2015, and when the opportunity arose to join the NVT staff in November 2016, he couldn’t pass it up.

Craig currently heads the line-fisheries research component of the Coastal Impact Programme (#ShareTheShores) and assists in the various environmental education programmes of NVT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Conservation Education Manager

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Kirwan Strydom

Kirwan is the Conservation Educator at Nature’s Valley Trust. He holds a degree in Environment and Development from the University of Stellenbosch. After completing his undergraduate studies, he started volunteering at CapeNature in the Stewardship and Corridor department. Impressing as a volunteer, he was employed as a Groen Sebenza intern within CapeNature.  While working as a Community Conservation Intern he completed his honors in Integrated Water Resource Management at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

As his internship came to an end, an opportunity arrived at the Nature’s Valley Trust which he grabbed with both hands. This enabled him to continue to live out his passion and dream to help uplift the community.  

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Conservation Educator

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Mardré Cupido

Mardré is a Conservation educator at the Nature Valley Trust. She is a thriving Boland girl, who grew up in Robertson. She holds a BSc. Medical Biosciences degree from the University of the Western Cape. For her thesis she completed a research project on Malaria. After which, she taught for over 3 years at both primary and high schools. Her main subjects were mathematics, mathematics literacy, life sciences and Afrikaans. She will also be completing her PGCE diploma at UNISA in 2018.

She developed a keen interest in life sciences at university and this has fueled her passion for conservation, teaching learners and creating awareness in communities. This is how she now find herself working for NVT, with their main pillars focused on conservation, community awareness, environmental education and ecological research fitting well into her life goals.

Her goals while working at NVT is to open doors to the environment, connecting learners with their surrounding and cultivating a love for nature and sustainable utilization of it. She would also like to be more involved in the research projects NVT has to offer, to continue learning and fueling her love for the life sciences and conservation biology. 

 

Conservation Volunteer Manager

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 Kellyn Whitehead

Kellyn began her journey with NVT three years ago as a volunteer and since then has been a member of the team as a post-graduate student. Originally from Jo'burg, Kellyn has since made the Garden Route her home. She studied at Stellenbosch University where she completed her BSc. and BSc. Hons. in Biodiversity and Ecology.

Kellyn recently finished her MSc. in Pollination Ecology with the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and now oversees the volunteer and internship programme for NVT as well as various other ecological research.