Vanessa has always loved exploring the outdoors and knowing what creature or plant she’s looking at and is never happier than when she’s out in the wilds. She is an ecologist with a great deal of experience across the African continent.
She graduated from the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology’s Conservation Biology MSc programme in 2006, after which she worked largely in savannah ecosystems, but harboured a growing passion for seabirds. Seabirds are not only phenomenal in their tempestuous environment, but they require a certain dedication to see them – which comes with a good dollop of adventure.
After travelling to the Antarctic Peninsula as an ecologist for a wildlife documentary company, this passion grew and established itself firmly in the Southern Ocean. Vanessa has since been lucky enough to sail on the SA Agulhas II three times, atlas-sing seabirds for the Atlas of Seabirds at Sea (AS@S). These trips took her back to Antarctic waters as well as along the South African coastline and she was recently one of a group of guides for Birdlife SA on their extraordinary birding voyage to Marion Island.