What’s the most challenging part of your job?
In a word… Summer! When the weather warms up and a week of 40+ is forecast there is little choice but to start early and then retreat to the office for the day. Sometimes I think the desk work is almost as challenging as the hot weather for an outdoors person like me.
You’ve discovered a few endangered plant species latest, what’s your favourite discovery so far?
The flora list was under represented when I began with Banrock Station which was a joy for me to be able to put my skills to work. Since 2012 I have added 178 species to bring the list to a total of 315 making it tough to pick a favourite. A standout would be the Quena (Solanum esuriale) which is a small kind of bush tomato. I found it in 2016 when monitoring one of our critically endangered Spiny daisy sites.
The land was Tilled prior to that planting and since the Quena wasn’t present at all in the area it suggests that there may have been some old seed still viable buried which was bought the surface and able to grow within a fenced area away from animals. A good reminder to the testament of some of our lesser known plants.
What is the best time of year to visit the Banrock Station wetlands and why?
I love it here in the early spring. The mornings start to warm a little, flowers bloom after a winter slumber and the birds return to the wetland as we raise the water levels to feed and breed.