Candice Denner

Growing up across from the ocean in the Eastern Cape instilled a deep sense of admiration and love for nature’s dynamics in Candice. Her passion for conserving nature has led her to volunteer in beautiful parts of South Africa, working with orphaned rhinos, monitoring critically endangered wild dogs and learning about human-wildlife conflict first-hand. These experiences made her choice to pursue a BSc in Conservation Ecology at Stellenbosch University an easy one. During this degree, she built a strong foundation of skills in ecology, with fieldwork and scientific writing being favourite topics.

In Candice’s third year of studies, she became one of the founding members of the Western Cape branch of Lessons in Conservation (LiC), a non-profit organisation that educates children in rural communities about the importance of conserving nature. This year, she looks forward to working on the LiC Cape Town satellite team. Most recently, she has been working for the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), conducting surveys with private wildlife ranchers in the Eastern Cape with the goal of generating knowledge to help design sustainable, innovative and inclusive wildlife economies. This experience strengthened her passion for studying socio-ecological systems, and she hopes to pursue a topic in this field for the research component of the CB MSc.

Candice hopes to use the knowledge gained from this degree to make a meaningful contribution to solving conservation issues through adaptive management and the interaction of ecological, economic and social spheres. After this degree, she looks forward to combining her passions for traveling and conservation by volunteering on conservation projects abroad. If you can’t find Candice on campus this year, she’ll be either at the beach, in the mountains, in the bush or on the squash court.

Thesis: Understanding the socio-economic contributions of different wildlife ranching business models in South Africa. (Supervisors: Dr Alta de Vos, Dr Hayley Clements, Dr Matthew Child and Prof. Timm Hoffman)