« back | more news »      


At the launch of Invaded were conservationist and former Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, Prof Kadar Asmal, and Leonie Joubert. Photo by Ben Williams (BookphotoSA)

Once again the Centre for Invasion Biology (C·I·B) is proud to be associated with science writer and columnist, Leonie Joubert. Joubert, who is no stranger to the field of environmental reporting, has recently been awarded with the prestigious 2009 SAB Environmental Journalist of the Year award.

The SAB Environmentalist and Environmental Journalists of the Year Awards are South Africaís most celebrated accolades for journalists reporting on environmental themes. This year marked the 21st year of the awards and it was during this event that Joubert was rewarded for her latest book, Invaded: The Biological Invasion of South Africa.

In her book, she gives readers an overview of plants and animals that have spread around the globe by human movement and those that pose a threat to their new adopted habitat. The book also informs the public on some of the high-profile invasive species found in South Africa, for example the Mediterranean mussel, triffid weed, Argentine ants and numerous wattles. By using different case studies, the author explains the significance of these species in the restructuring our ecosystems and ultimately changing our landscapes.

Many of the themes in the book are based on research topics that scientists at the C·I·B are working on, both at species and landscape level. Invaded also discuss current policies surrounding invasion biology, how to contain invasion and the management of transformed landscapes.

This passionate writer entered the field of environmental journalism in 2002 when she joined the C·I·B as part of the Capacity Building Programme for Climate Change Research (CBPCCR). From this collaboration Leonie produced her acclaimed book, Scorched, and was awarded with the Honorary 2007 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction.

According to the judges, Joubert is an elegant writer, a tireless researcher and has made environmental science palatable to a wide audience.

“The C·I·B is truly proud to be associated with Leonie as she has the ability to draw the publicís attention to the threats of invasive species by giving a powerful local colour to a global problem,” says C·I·B director Prof Steven Chown.

Another book from Joubertís pen is the outstanding book, Boiling Point: People in a Changing Climate that discussed social effects of climate change in the South African context. She also maintains several columns in The Mail & Guardian and was listed in the Mail & Guardianís 200 Young South Africans You Must Take To Lunch.

Invaded: The Biological Invasion of South Africa is available from Wits University Press