OUR TEAM

Catherine Gribble

Manager of the Kirstenbosch Branch

Gianpaolo Gilardi

Branch Assistant

Greg Donnelly

Bookshop Manager

Keith Christian

Bookkeeper 

– KIRSTENBOSCH BRANCH –

Our committee 

Jeremy Wiley

Chair

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Jeremy Wiley is the current chair of the Kirstenbosch Branch Committee and a longstanding member of BotSoc. He is a businessman with an interest in commercial property and other investments. Jeremy enjoys an active outdoor lifestyle. BotSoc’s conservation and bio-diversity objectives align well with his personal philosophy.

Jeremy has a BSc and Post-graduate Diploma in Future Studies from Stellenbosch, amongst other qualifications.

Moneer (Mo) Dalwai

Treasurer

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Mo grew up on the Cape Flats in Athlone, matriculating at Trafalgar High School. Due to the apartheid laws at the time, he was not allowed to continue with higher qualifications in the Cape so studied part time through UNISA, obtaining a B Compt Accounting qualification. After completing a stint at an auditing firm, Mo joined Shell Oil Company where he worked for 27 years in various financial positions. His last post was in forensic investigations in sub-Saharan Africa.

His passion has always been climbing mountains. He has climbed Thebana Ntlenyana in Lesotho, the highest mountain in Southern Africa, Kilimanjaro – highest in Africa, Everest Base Camp and attempted Elbrus in Russia – the highest in Europe.

At the age of 55, Mo retired from Shell and became a tour guide to primarily take visitors hiking up Table Mountain. Through regular hikes up Table Mountain, mainly Platteklip Gorge, he became familiar with the fauna and flora of Table Mountain and started learning more about the Cape Floral Kingdom and the fynbos that grows on our doorstep.

Mo joined the Kirstenbosch Branch of the Botanical Society of South Africa in 2019 and was appointed Treasurer. His understanding of the Cape Floral Kingdom has expanded tremendously since joining the Botanical Society.

Carol Cornell

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Carol’s working career as a physiotherapist included time in Groote Schuur Hospital, a long spell in community-based day hospitals on the Cape Flats, community work in the rural and hospital environment in KZN, and working in paediatric physiotherapy in her private practice. Throughout Carol’s professional life she had always been involved in community projects. These ranged from volunteer work with her professional society, Lifeline, to supporting various school and preschool projects, developing rural child programmes, community outreach work and church involvement. So on retirement she knew that she wanted to continue engaging with people and communities.

Carol was accepted to train as a Garden Guide at Kirstenbosch where she revelled in the opportunity to engage with people from all over the world and share our exceptional Cape Floristic Region with them. A particular passion of hers is to be part of outreach programmes specifically developed for children and young people to introduce them to the natural world and encourage in them a life-long understanding of and commitment to biodiversity.

Mmei Matjuda

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Mmei is an Environmental Advisor for Eskom Distribution in the Western Cape. He has 20 years of experience in conservation and environmental management on both government and provincial levels with Table Mountain National Park, CapeNature and the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station. His experience includes project management, stewardship and conservancies, contract nature reserves, island management, the Millennium Seedbank Project, biodiversity offset and spearheading the Fire Protection Association and other restoration projects. Donald has been part of the Western Cape Wetland Forum Steering Committee and a member of the Fynbos Forum Committee since 2014.

Mmei has an MSc in Project Management from UCT, business management qualifications from both the University of Stellenbosch Business School and UCT’s Graduate School of Business, an MPhil in Environmental Management from Stellenbosch, and a BTech in Nature Conservation from Tshwane University of Technology, amongst other qualifications.

Chris Moir

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Chris worked for over seven years for The Sunflower Fund which gives hope to sufferers of blood disorders such as leukaemia, whose chance of finding a matching donor is 1 in 100 000. As a donor recruitment specialist she helped create awareness, educate and recruit donors for this worthy cause.

One of her favourite pastimes – hiking – opened up a new plant world for Chris, and so began a process of learning and involvement in this unique opportunity for her to ‘know, grow, protect and enjoy’ our indigenous flora. Whilst her recent NGO experience was involved in saving human lives, she has now found herself learning how to save plant lives. Chris sits on our Conservation, Outreach and Fundraising Subcommittees.

Ceinwen Smith

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Ceinwen is a freelance marine researcher and outdoor educator. She is currently the project manager for the Ingcungcu Sunbird Restoration Project, one of the conservation and outreach projects supported by the Kirstenbosch Branch of the Botanical Society. This project aims to link the Table Mountain National Park with the Boland Mountains via a series of pollinator gardens that will act as filling stations for migrating sunbirds and sugarbirds crossing the densely urbanised Cape Flats by planting gardens of carefully selected nectar-producing plants on strategically located school grounds. The migration corridor crosses the suburbs of Cape Town where school children from diverse backgrounds are engaged in all aspects of the project, from planting to the collection of bird and plant data.

Previously Ceinwen was the logistics coordinator and resident lecturer at the Organisation for Tropical Studies (OTS) where she lectured on marine ecology and oceanography and provided field research expertise. She also coordinated the logistics for transport, accommodation, equipment and permitting for OTS, an undergraduate field-based semester abroad programme for conservation biology.

Ceinwen has an MSc Oceanography, Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography from the University of Cape Town.

Simon Tamblyn

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An appreciation of plants was instilled in me in my childhood. My father would often take
us hiking and gave me the best advice when it came to respecting the natural world, and
specifically, fynbos: that you have to get down on your knees to really see it.

But it took Cape Town’s recent drought to shake me awake and see the magnitude of the
natural world around us. I am proud to say that I am tearing out my lawn in Plumstead
and replacing it with endemic and indigenous flora.

Not one for half measures, this has resulted in me building a small hothouse, maintaining a
spreadsheet of plants in our garden (over 200 endemic and indigenous species so far and
counting), and always carrying a hand lens on me. On weekends you can often find me
riding my bicycle (modified to carry a pullsaw, garden gloves and herbicide) around the
Southern Suburbs eradicating wattles or photographing endemic flora and tapping away
on iNaturalist or Instagram.

I have been a regular volunteer since 2020 for both the Princess Vlei Forum and the
Botanical Society, Kirstenbosch Branch. I have met the most inspiring people along the
way, who have been gracious enough to share their expertise and experience with me
and others, and I hope I can do the same one day.

I work in the edtech industry as a digital design coach and I am passionate about
communication, education, technology and collaboration. I believe all the threats facing
our flora around the world are rooted in solvable human problems. We need to
communicate and collaborate to form consistent and vigilant strategies to safeguard
threatened species.

I believe its my duty to ensure my child and their generation have the role models,
knowledge and means to deal with these problems if they persist after I am gone.

Grant Smith

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Grant is a recent graduate of Stellenbosch University with a BSc in Biodiversity and
Ecology, and has previously completed a fouryear course in the SANParks Junior Rangers
Programme. Grant has always really enjoyed many outdoor activities such as camping,
bird watching, wildlife photography and hiking which have in turn led to a keen interest in
conservation.

Grant believes being a member of BotSoc will allow him the opportunity to assist in the
conservation of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the ecosystem which ignited his passion for
nature.

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