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Andile Gambushe

2023 intern

Andile Gambushe has always been driven by a strong sense of curiosity. This led her to the underwater world of marine life in the province of KwaZulu-Natal where she grew up. Hailing from Scottburgh, she completed honours in Marine Biology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is now doing an internship with South African National Parks (SANParks) as an ecologist based in Sedgefield in the Western Cape.

We spoke to her to find out more about what drives her and where she sees her future heading:

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about scientific research, conservation and monitoring. I have a deep fascination with the ocean’s complex ecosystems and the diverse organisms that make up those ecosystems. With the threats that climate change poses, I am interested in the management of marine and estuarine natural resources.

What inspired your choice of study?

I grew up in a rural area and was thus not exposed to many career options, but I became curious about marine life and what is out there. I am fascinated by the beauty of the ocean and have also become very interested in laboratory work, so my choice of study fits in well.

What excites you about your internship?

I am excited about learning and expanding my knowledge. With SANParks, I hope to meet others who have similar interests to me, and who also have a passion for conservation science.

What are your expectations of this internship?

I hope to acquire new skills and improve on my existing ones. I expect to learn more about scientific writing, data analysis and management in the world of conservation science. I am excited that I will be working on research and monitoring in my intern role as an ecologist where I get to study the relationship between plants, animals and the environment. I hope this will culminate in me being a suitable candidate for future permanent positions in the workplace.

What contribution do you hope to make towards a future in which people and nature thrive?
When considering the current state of nature, most of our biodiversity is being degraded daily. While many people might be interested in this topic, few have information on how to conserve what we already have. I would like to contribute towards teaching others about conservation so that humans and nature can both thrive in the future.

Who inspires you most and why?

No one inspires me. I am my own inspiration. Knowing where I come from and where I want to be has always inspired me the most.

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