Catherina Caspers

Catharina’s story is like many that of many others: As a child, she spent a lot of time outdoors; she was curious about how the world works and was inspired by the likes of David Attenborough and Steve Irwin. Growing up watching these documentaries, living in a household full of animals and wandering wild in the local forest, she couldn’t help but fall in love with the natural world. Going on her first safari to South Africa at four years old, she immediately knew what she wanted to do with her life. The simple slogan ‘help save some plants and animals’ has been a guiding principle ever since.

This took her first to volunteering with conservation projects after high school, and eventually into a bachelor’s in political science, focusing on environmental policymaking and economics. People are, of course, the primary cause of environmental problems, so understanding them and how to change their behaviour is crucial to saving our natural spaces. Exploring the complex and diverse range of factors affecting the natural world at various levels and from a range of perspectives is the driving force for her for studying conservation biology. After completing a marine, bird and fynbos guiding program, she decided to dedicate her time to protecting these particular plants and animals – the unique fynbos, which is exclusive to South Africa, and the many endemic species that occur there and nowhere else.