M. Lorraine Ramotjiki

Background

Iím currently doing my second year MSc with the university of Venda under the title the impacts of exotic plants on Macadamia flower visitors in Luvuvhu valley. I did both my undergraduate degree and honours at the University of Venda. Completed my degree in BSc Botany and Zoology in 2016; registered and completed my Hons in Zoology in 2017. My honours thesis was checking the effectiveness of rotenone treatment by comparing the detection probability of three fish survey method (fyke nets, underwater videos and photos) in the two farm dams at Krom rivier Cederberg mountain in Western Cape. I was one of the students that were part of the river rehabilitation project in 2017 Jan-Feb at Cederberg working with Prof Olaf Weyl at SAIAB.

Current research

Current research investigates the impact of exotic plants on Macadamia flower visitors. Iím using two sets of methods; camera traps (continuous sampling) and visual observation (10 minutes time periods stratified throughout the day). Pollinators are monitored monthly over a five-day period before, during and after the flowering period of Macadamia. Pollinator assemblages found on native, exotic and macadamia flowers are compared in both time and space. The importance of native and alien species in supporting macadamia pollinators inside and outside flowering seasons are evaluated.

Camera trap on Lantana camara

Camera trap on Lantana camara (one of the exotic plants)

Visual observation of macadamia flowers

Visual observation of macadamia flowers

Picture showing the flower visitors captured by one of the cameras on Gymnanthemum

Picture showing the flower visitors captured by one of the cameras on Gymnanthemum (native plant)