Shaidan Gonlag

Shaidan grew up on sugar cane farm in Kwa-Zulu Natal where he was very fortunate to be surrounded by nature and with parents who valued and respected the natural world. After completing his FGASA level 1 qualifications, Shaidan’s heart and mind became set on the natural sciences. He began his BSc (Environmental Science) degree in 2018 and during this time developed a fascination for botany and the role plants play in ecosystems. During his honours (Biodiversity and Ecology) degree at Stellenbosch University, he become extremely interested in plant-animal interactions and restoration/conservation ecology.

During his year here at the Fitz he plans to deal with how to best implement inter-disciplinary approaches in degraded ecosystems, to better conserve the remaining biodiversity while maintaining as much natural ecosystem functioning as possible. When not in the classroom, Shaidan enjoys keeping fit and exploring the outdoors, often going on hikes and trail runs. In a couple of years, he wishes to complete his first IRONMAN 70.3.

Thesis: Managing plastics: Identifying key rivers for plastic litter trap installations in Cape Town, South Africa. (Supervisors: Peter Ryan, Patrick O'Farrell).