Johanna ‘Marianna’ Lot
My mother tongue is Afrikaans but I understand and can speak English.
Where I come from
I come from a small village called Paulshoek ("Paul’s Corner") which is located in a communal area of rural Namaqualand, South Africa.
About my work
I have worked for several environmental organisations in the past including Landcare and BIOTA Southern Africa (www.biota-africa.org).
I currently work for the University of Cape Town on a project which investigates the use of plants for traditional healing and other purposes. My tasks include the compilation of an inventory of plants used by different households and a more detailed investigation of herbalist practices in the village. I also accompany the ecologists and collect leaves, flowers and fruits from specific plants which are then analysed for their detailed chemical composition.
I convey some of this information about conservation and sustainable land use to the children in our local school. I have undergone eight years of training as a paraecologist with the BIOTA Southern Africa programme where I learnt a range of skills including: Research and monitoring methods, household survey and farmer interview techniques, GPS use, basic computer literacy. Some of this work is explained in a video entitled "Bridging the Gap" which is available on http://vimeo.com/32897437. I am especially interested in animal-plant interactions and the way in which plants, animals and people are inter-connected. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge with scholars, students and researchers and in turn learning from them as well.
Contact for references
The following people can be contacted should you need a reference: