Mirijam Gaertner

Research interest

I am a Restoration Ecologist and my research focuses on impacts of alien plant invasions on the native ecosystem. I am specifically interested in legacies of alien plant invasions and resilience of native ecosystems. To date I have investigated the impacts of invasive alien plant species on fynbos ecosystems and tested different restoration strategies aiming to both reduce the abundance of alien species and re-introduce native species.

Additionally, I have a strong interest in nature conservation focusing on sustainable use of natural resources and the processes of land degradation.

Current research

Recently a clear divide between scientific information available and that needed for policy and management has been identified for the field of biological invasions. Reasons for this so called ‘Knowing-doing gap’ are amongst others a lack of involvement of stakeholders and practitioners during formulation of research programmes. With the newly established cooperation between the Invasive Species Unit of the City of Cape Town and the C·I·B we are aiming the bridge this gap by identifying research needs and prioritising research action for the Invasive Species Management Unit and by developing and coordinating short term and long term research projects.

The main research areas addressed are:

Project detail

Research topic: invasive species impacts, management and restoration

The first project undertaken is a restoration study at Blaauwberg Nature Reserve including two MSc studies, one on fynbos seed ecology and germination and the other one on restoration after alien clearing.