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Lectures

Here are short descriptions of l the lectures we offer at VIST. Anyone can be adjusted to suit specific needs.

Mammals from dwarfs to giants, from steaks to salads
This lecture is an introduction to the mammals of South Africa. Different formats of this lecture is possible; choose between an overview or more specified presentations of groups of mammals, e.g. small mammals, carnivores, large mammals, etc.
Birds kings of the sky
Because of South Africa's large number of birds, including many endemic species, birding is a very popular hobby. In this lecture we teach students where some of the best birding spots are and help them to identify South Africa's diverse avian fauna.
Scorpions, spiders and insects that bite back
Even in the age of modern medicine, arthropods are still among the biggest disease vectors and cause the death of well over a million people a year. We take a closer look at the medically important arthropods that one can encounter in Southern Africa.
Ecology - Understanding the pieces of the puzzle
Ever wondered how everything in nature fits together? In these lectures we unpack the intricacies of nature and foster a deeper appreciation of its connectedness and complexity.
A human problem: saving biodiversity in a time of extinctions
Recently the ‘biodiversity crisis is rightfully receiving more and more attention. This presentation explores the systems driven by biodiversity, the benefits of conserving biodiversity and the importance of cataloguing life. It also takes a closer look at the meeting point of evolutionary biology, ecology, animal behavior and organismal succession.
The ocean - not as vast as we first thought
What was once considered an infinite resource, is now been regarded as one of the world's most threatened ecosystems. This lecture explores the role society and individuals can play in conserving our oceans.
H2O - a dwindling resource
We use it every day. We depend on it for our survival. This lecture focuses on how freshwater conservation can help us meet our needs for water and why is it so important to protect our dams and rivers when problems like climate change and a global energy crisis is virtually on our door step?
Map reading - before the days of GPS
Map reading is both an art and a science - bewildering to many people. Find out how to correctly use and interpret the wealth of information provided on topographical maps and never get lost in the bush again!
Reptiles scaly, scary and beautiful
South Africa's very rich reptile biodiversity is often misunderstood, especially in the case of snakes. In this lecture we aim to teach students how to identify reptiles and have a better understanding of our reptile fauna. We place special emphasis on venomous snakes and first aid treatment.
Frogs a night time symphony
Frogs are often overlooked even though they are one of South Africa's most beautiful animal orders. We teach students the importance of these animals and educate them about the potential threats that these animals face.
More than a million insects: an introduction
There are more insect species than all other animals and plants combined. Insects are, as far as we know, the most diverse group of animals on the planet. Classification and identification therefore obviously play an integral part in the study of insects. This lecture introduces the students to the world of taxonomy (classification) and insect identification.
What lies beneath our oceans?
Coral reefs contain more than 25 percent of all marine life, yet only cover a tiny percentage (less than 0.2 percent) of the ocean's bottom. This presentation will guide you through the almost alien like world and introduce you to some of its weird and wonderful inhabitants.
Vertebrate conservation
Habitat destruction and pollution is a constant threat to all vertebrates across the world. This coupled with invasive species have the potential to put the vertebrates in South Africa under real pressure. In this lecture we share studies on conservation, the threats to South Africa's our vertebrates preventative measures to counter extinction.
Insect conservation - the little things that run the world [E. O. Wilson, 1987]
This series of lectures focus on the smaller creatures of nature that are often overlooked by both scientists and lay-men and show how and why we need to care about them and their conservation.
Geography - the great stage of nature
The great kaleidoscope of nature plays itself out on the physical earth. In this lecture we discuss geographical aspects of the earth as well as how they relate to biology.
Insect conservation - the little things that run the world [E. O. Wilson, 1987]
This series of lectures focus on the smaller creatures of nature that are often overlooked by both scientists and lay-men and show how and why we need to care about them and their conservation.