Meet the team

Science and Innovation Programme

Left to right: Nolumanyano Camagu, Robin Colyn and Ernst Retief.

Robin Colyn

Science and Innovation Programme Manager

Robin is responsible for providing scientific input into and coordinating ecological monitoring and research on priority threatened species and habitats. Core interests include threatened species conservation ecology, climatic and habitat modelling, population dynamics and developing effective survey methodology for elusive and range restricted species. Project milestones completed since joining BirdLife South Africa include the development of an effective method of surveying elusive wetland species, identifying the vocalisation and breeding status of the Critically Endangered White-winged Flufftail and assessing the population status and trend of flagship endemic species within the mesic highland grassland and Nama Karoo regions. Robin currently manages the conservation modelling project, which aims to create macro- and micro-habitat layers for all threatened and endemic avian species in South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini.

Ernst Retief

Data and Spatial Planning Manager

Ernst’s main responsibility is to manage the various bird datasets within BirdLife South Africa and to make them available to the conservation planning sector in South Africa. These tasks include analysing data and converting spatial information into a format that comply with applicable standards. He also supports data collection projects such as the Southern African Bird Atlas Project and BirdLasser. He also supports biodiversity stewardship work in various ways, especially by providing data which support the management of biodiversity stewardship sites.

Nolumanyano Sesona Camagu

Birds and Renewable Energy Intern

Nolumanyano Camagu, originally from Port Elizabeth, came to the Western Cape in 2014 to pursue her honours degree in Conservation Ecology at Stellenbosch University. Nolu assists with the development and mainstreaming of sensitivity maps for bird species that are vulnerable to the impacts of renewable energy and drivers of large-scale habitat change. She also provides administrative and technical assistance with the overarching goal of ensuring that species at risk are considered during strategic planning, site screening and impact assessment.