Catherine Gribble

Branch Manager

Gianpaolo Gilardi

Branch Assistant

Keith Christian



Our committee 

Jeremy Wiley



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.

van As



I suppose growing up on a farm was always going to nurture an appreciation of all things natural. As a youngster, I started out raising ducklings. Then, wildlife became a big interest. More recently, though, I started learning about our indigenous trees – probably because I have been battling far too long (and without much success) to establish a Fynbos garden.

My day job keeps me busy with numbers in the financial services industry. But living in Hout Bay is a real luxury and a bit of an antidote to all those hours spent in front of the PC. Not much beats watching those last rays of the evening sun light up the ‘back’ of Table Mountain.

My wife and I have two teenage boys.There are also a couple of dogs, chickens and geese in the backyard. So, dull moments are few and far between.

It is indeed a privilege for me to join the Kirstenbosch branch committee as treasurer, and I hope I can contribute in some meaningful way during my tenure.

Carol Cornell



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


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 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.

Simon Tamblyn


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


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

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


Find out more about our fundraising activities. Or donate to our conservation work.