The Team

Ryan van Huyssteen

Ryan van Huyssteen started the Soutpansberg Centre for Biodiversity in 2014 in an effort to catalogue and map the reptiles of the Soutpansberg. It soon became apparent that other groups could benefit from cataloguing and mapping and soon amphibians, scorpions, baboon spiders and birds were added to data collection process. Ryan’s background is in media, but the pull of the natural world proved too strong. After training and working as a field guide, Ryan became involved in research and has since then pursued a career in field research. Ryan is currently director for the SCBC organisation.
Our project manager with a Horned Adder (Bitis caudalis)
Ryan van Huyssteen (far left) teaching our volunteers and some students from Goro Game
Reserve about Pacydactylus geckos.
Melissa Petford

Melissa Petford has been involved with the SCBC since the early stages in 2014. Melissa has contributed countless hours of fieldwork as well as a tight sense of organisation and professionalism. Currently enrolled as a PhD candidate at WITS University under the supervision of Graham Alexander, Melissa is contributing massively to knowledge of reptiles in the Soutpansberg region. Melissa is currently research coordinator for SCBC.

Our project coordinator Melissa Petford with a Southern African Rock Python (Python natalensis)
Melissa with one of our volunteers Ryan MacDonnell and a Snouted Cobra (Naja annulifera)
Us in The Field

Bird atlasing  at Mapangupwe.
Photographing a little snake during a night drive.
Installing drift fence with funnel traps at Goro Game Reserve.
Photographing lizards, Lajuma.
Roadkill is valuable data.

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