The Joan Wrench Kirstenbosch Scholarship Fund, established in 2018, is supported through the bequest of the late Mrs Joan Kathleen Boteville Wrench. The intention of this funding is to provide financial support to pursue practical training or postgraduate studies in relevant biodiversity fields. The Joan Wrench Kirstenbosch Scholarship has also provided new opportunities for further collaborative research between CapeNature and the South African National Parks (SANParks), whom the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) collaborates with on joint projects.
On 23 April 2019 SANBI hosted its 1st annual event to welcome and celebrate the first group of interns and postgraduate students that will benefit from the Joan Wrench Kirstenbosch Scholarship Fund. Appointed interns, students, their mentors and supervisors attended the event. The opening address was delivered by SANBI Board Chair Ms Beryl Ferguson who said ‘The other purpose of the event was to highlight the incredible contribution to building capacity of the next generation of biodiversity professionals.’ The young professionals were delighted to attend the event. The interns shared their niches and prospects for their internship programmes, whilst the students shared their research topics and university affiliation details.
Professor John Donaldson
Professor John Donaldson who is the Chief Director of SANBI’s Biodiversity Research, Assessment and Monitoring Division in his closing remarks said, ‘It is very exciting to share the start of the journey with the new interns and students under the Joan Wrench Scholarship Fund, and we hope this event will repeat in future years, so our students and interns can share their successes and experiences with us.’
We congratulate these exemplary 2019 scholarship recipients and wish them every success in higher education and beyond, Prof. Donaldson emphasized.