Mariette Pretorius

Mariëtte Pretorius

Year of internship: 2017/18

Background

I am an avid adventurer, scientist and all-round nerd, who recently completed an MSc in Zoology and Ecology through the University of Witwatersrand. One of my interests lies in investigating human-wildlife conflict, as it is a topical issue in many countries today.

I was born in 1993 in Boksburg, Gauteng. My curiosity about the natural world started from a young age, when I would eagerly read my father’s National Geographic magazines each month. Many of my childhood holidays with my family were spent in the Kruger National Park, where I was taught how to identify a variety of animal and bird species (thanks, mom and dad!). I never enjoyed nor excelled at school and counted books, our pet dogs and documentaries by Sir David Attenborough amongst my best friends. Only when studying zoology at the University of the Witwatersrand did I start to reach my potential, being exposed to like minded people who encouraged my independent personality and natural scientific inquisitiveness.

I have never had a set idea about what I would like to do when I ‘grow up’, aside from knowing that I was never one for a solely desk job. I enjoy the variety in my day that comes from working outdoors, away from the bustle of the city. Being an intern with AfricanBats NPC and having never before been much exposed to bat biology, I find working with these often-overlooked mammals absolutely fascinating. I hope to expand the on the knowledge and conservation planning for bats by commencing my PhD on the effect of a changing landscape on cave-dwelling and migratory bat species’ space use next year.

Some images from my time as an intern:

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