By: Natasha Rambaran
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and National Research Foundation (NRF) initiated the DST-NRF Internship Programme to offer unemployed science, engineering and technology graduates an opportunity to gain practical work experience at selected host institutes. SAAMBR has been the proud host for DST-NRF interns since 2015 and we recently welcomed our 2018/19 interns – Nikita van Schoor and Andrea Hilton-Barber.
Nikita was placed at the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI), under the mentorship of senior scientists, Fiona MacKay and David Pearton. As a member of the Estuarine and Soft Sediment Ecology portfolio, Nikita will be working on the ACEP Suitcase Project (www.facebook.com/saambr1/posts/668995159892427). Her research project will focus on using genetic tools to analyse and compare macrobenthic communities from similar estuarine lakes in KwaZulu-Natal and south-east Madagascar.
Andrea joined uShaka Sea World’s Animal Health team – her mentors are veterinarian, Francois Lampen and David Pearton. Andrea will assist the veterinary staff with the daily care and monitoring of the aquarium animals. Her research project will involve studying the range and identities of the diverse parasitic organisms found on the various animals in the aquarium, with an emphasis on fish ecto-parasites.
We wish Nikita and Andrea a great internship experience!