“The most enjoyable aspect of the internship has been travelling to wetlands in parts of the country I have not seen before and meeting the enthusiastic and dedicated people involved in their conservation.”
Spending time on her grandmother’s farm and in other natural spaces as a child instilled in Anisha a passion for the outdoors. Anisha enjoys running, mountain biking, photography, hiking and anything else that gets her outside to smell the grasses. She believes that everyone creates purpose in their lives based on the things that they love and consider important, and she has therefore crafted her career around protecting the environment.
Anisha considers it important to be able to apply her academic learning in a practical way. She decided to pursue studies within conservation and ecology that would teach her field research and data analysis techniques, which are useful in a range of conservation contexts. She attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology, Ecology, Environment and Conservation; an Honours degree in Ecology, Environment and Conservation; and a Masters degree in Resource Conservation Biology, all from the University of the Witwatersrand. After graduating with her Masters degree, Anisha worked on the Threatened Species Programme at SANBI and in a consulting firm as a Junior Natural Scientist Ecologist, where she conducted ecological assessments.
One of the goals of Anisha’s internship with the WWF-SA Mondi Wetlands Programme is to broaden her experience of different areas of ecology and conservation through hands-on research experience. Anisha is based in the Mondi Wetlands Programme in the Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve. Her work involves research and project management in support of the sustainable management of wetlands and associated biodiversity. She currently works on the identification of wetlands within the Pongola catchment, which is presently under threat from mining. She also assists with the identification of suitable wetland habitat for the Wattled Crane.
Anisha believes that conserving biodiversity is an all-encompassing career route, which can achieve conservation of animal and plant species, as well as their habitats, while taking the needs of humans into account. Over the course of her career she hopes to support conservation in a way that encourages existing conservation and consulting bodies, alongside ecosystem users, to work together in a mutually beneficial way.