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Green Talents Award

6 Nov 2014 - 17:30
Lova Marline

PhD students Lova Marline at University of Cape Town received a Green Talents Award

Research focus: Understanding the factors affecting the diversity and distribution of bryophytes in Madagascar under a changing environment

As one of the first scientists to make a comprehensive study of the bryophytes of Madagascar, Lovanomenjanahary, who also goes by Lova, is a pioneering botanist. Her native country is considered one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world and is a priority area for conservation. Lova’s PhD research project will not only significantly enhance the body of knowledge on tropical bryophytes but also explore innovative new uses for the study of these plants. An example of this, as she explains, is “the importance of bryophytes within the ecosystem as important bio indicators of climate change and their use as models in the design of new protected areas”.

The research has three concrete over-arching aims for guiding sustainable development, which Lova characterises using bryophytes in the following ways: “as a model to better understand the accumulation of species richness in a hotspot of biodiversity; as an indicator species to predict the migration of climatically sensitive ecosystems through the community’s response to climate change; and as a basis for new approaches to conservation planning of tropical forest systems”.

Lova’s ambition is to continue her work in tropical bryology as a full-time researcher at the post-doctoral level. Through this, she hopes to expand the knowledge base as scientific progress in its own right and to continue her study of bryology in the context of climate change solutions.

The Jury was impressed with Lova’s academic record – she has shown great initiative and broken new ground in the study of tropical bryology in Madagascar, working under difficult research conditions and being awarded with both national and international scholarships. They believe that participating in the Green Talents forum will help her expand her scientific network and present the emerging results of this new area of botany to the international scientific community.