Although Heather’s post-graduate training was in plant physiology, she has worked for the past 15 years on the management of water quality with a view to sustaining functional aquatic ecosystems. She is fascinated by the impacts of pollutants on the environment, be it in seeds, terrestrial plants or aquatic organisms. Heather was a senior Research Officer with the Freshwater Research Unit until it closed in 2012, and was principally involved with research projects funded by the Water Research Commission (WRC). These projects have included modeling environmental flows and water quality, several projects on water quality in wetlands, two strategic reviews of wetland research needs and a brief foray into the realm of allelopathy in riparian habitats. She was project coordinator for Phase II (Wetland Health and Importance) of the National Wetland Research Programme which ran from 2006 to 2010. She is currently leading a WRC-funded project investigating trajectories of change in wetlands of the Fynbos Biome. She is a team member of a project rationalising assessment methods for wetlands and on another which will be investigating the establishment of a National Wetland Monitoring Programme.

Formal education

PhD (Plant physiology, University of Cape Town)
MSc cum laude (Plant physiology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
BSc cum laude Honours (Botany, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
BSc cum laude (Botany, chemistry, biochemistry, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)

Professional Memberships/Accreditations

Member - Southern African Society of Aquatic Scientists (SASAqS)


Assessment of wetland environmental condition, water quality, environmental flow assessments and water quality, water quality modelling, analysis of pollutants (AAS, ICP), lecturing on aquatic pollution, wetlands, freshwater ecology.


Research Associate (University of Cape Town)


Scientific publications