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Honorary Members

Honorary Members

Philip Dale Tanner obtained the BSc Agric (Hons) degree from the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1969), the MPhil (Soil Science) from the University of Rhodesia (1976) and PhD (Science) from the University of London (1989). Phil worked for 16 years at the Soil Productivity Research Unit in Marondera, Zimbabwe, initially as researcher, and for the last five years as Principal/Chief Research Officer in Charge. The unit investigated soil related agricultural problems (chemical, physical, microbiological) throughout Zimbabwe.

His focus was on plant nutrition, with special emphasis on soil acidity, phosphate and micronutrient availability.
In 1983, Phil joined Anglo American Coal in Emalahleni (Witbank), South Africa, initially with responsibility for developing the rehabilitation methodology for the open pit coal strip mines. In 1993 he set up and managed Anglo Coal Environmental Services, which assisted Anglo Coal mining operations with resolving the more complex issues of Land Rehabilitation, Water Management and Environmental Management Systems. A primary task during this period was the development and implementation of Risk Assessment and Risk Management approaches to ensure focus on key environmental issues. In 2001, he was transferred to Anglo’s Base Metals Division, becoming the Divisional Environmental, Health and Safety Manager, in which role he investigated mining related environmental issues in North and South America, Europe and Africa.
Phil retired from Anglo American in 2004 and continues to consult in the fields of Land Rehabilitation, Environmental Management and Risk Management. In 2005 he compiled the Guideline for the Rehabilitation of Mined Land, under the auspices of the South African Chamber of Mines and Coaltech 2020. Phil was a member of the team that developed the SHE Risk Management Process, now in use in a number of major mining companies. He is an Associate of Digby Wells Environmental, and was a Non-Executive Director of that company for 8 years.

David Tongway graduated from the Bendigo School of Mines in Australia in 1963 as a metallurgical chemist. He joined CSIRO shortly afterwards and has had nearly 50 years’ association with the institution, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Most of his work has been in the Australian Rangelands. He developed the monitoring system now called landscape function analysis (LFA) with colleagues Norman Hindley and John Ludwig.

David has used LFA in the rehabilitation of mined lands, and has worked on 65 mine sites in Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia, South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, Mali and Brazil. He has made valuable contributions in landscape ecology as a science as well as in the application of science-based monitoring procedures aimed at better management. He mentors graduate students at a number of universities and remains active in getting mining enterprises, regulators and consultants working together for improved outcomes in mine site rehabilitation.

Faan van Wyk obtained a Higher Teachers Diploma at the then Potchefstroom Teachers Training College in 1966; a B.Sc degree in Botany and Zoology in 1964; B.Sc Honours in 1989; M.Sc in 1983, and a PhD in 1994 (Title: ‘n Strategie vir die rehabilitasie van versteurde mynbougebiede in Suidelike Afrika) all at Potchefstroom University. He did research at, amongst others: Yskor (Sishen iron ore mine, Thabazimbi iron ore mine, Coastal Coal- and Grootegeluk coal mines); Gefco (Kromellenbogen, Penge, Bewaarkloof, and Asbestos –Kuruman); Samancor (manganese mines near Hotazel); PMC (copper mine at Phalaborwa); and Lime Acres (limestone mine).

Faan worked as assistant teacher in Biology 1966-1970; senior assistant teacher in Biology 1971-1978; lecturer at Potchefstroom Teachers Training College 1979-1981; senior lecturer 1982-1983; chief research scientist at the National Transport Commission Institute, Potchefstroom University 1984-1990; deputy director, Potchefstroom University’s Research Institute for Restoration Ecology (later Eco-Rehab) 1990 – 2002. He was also involved in the rehabilitation of all asbestos Mines until 2002 – Rustenburg and Zeerust Chrome; Roedtan tin mine, and the rehabilitation of the Sasol gas pipeline. In 2003 Faan retired but was appointed as contractor and from 2007 as consultant to Anglogold (later AngloGold Ashanti) for the rehabilitation of disturbed sites and alien and invader vegetation control. He is a consultant to De Beers (Venetia and The Oaks diamond mines) since 2003, as well as to ASSORE Mining (Rustenburg Chrome, Zeerust Chrome, Wonderstone mine and the Roedtan tin mine).

From early in the 1980s, Gerard Hydenrych (deceased) was committed to the cause of environmental improvement and rehabilitation excellence within southern Africa. His passion for nature was strongly interlinked with a passion for improving peoples’ lives; it was this passion and an incredible ability to structure and manage on-the-ground teams that gained him great respect as a ‘master of land rehabilitation’  throughout the academic, consulting, regulatory and community fraternities over the past 40 years.

Starting off by managing projects on road cuttings, Gerard ventured into asbestos and gold tailings rehabilitation projects, and spent much of his later work years focusing on social upliftment and community projects. Whether planning, managing or mentoring, Gerard’s experience, dedication and enthusiasm to the discipline of land rehabilitation was exemplary.

Roley Nöffke has been actively managing Hydromulch activities in the erosion control, environmental rehabilitation and landscaping industry since 1971. He serves on the board of directors of the Vetiver Network International (www.vetiver.org) on technical and community participation issues.

Roley is also President of the International Erosion Control Association (IECA) for Region 2 (www.IECA.org) which encompasses Africa, Asia, Oceania, Australasia and the Far East, and he has presented technical papers on his work with local communities at various International Conferences on Vetiver, namely  Venezuela 2006 -ICV4; India 2008 -ICV5; Ethiopia 2008,  Kuwait 2009; Australia 2011; Colombia 2013; United States in 2014, and Vietnam 2015- ICV6.
He has carried out extensive training of local communities in erosion and sediment control for the Rio Tinto rehabilitation project in Fort Dauphin, Madagascar in 2008 and for Sherritt Mining in Tamatave, Madagascar in 2009 where local communities were trained in erosion and sediment control practices on their projects; the Department of Agriculture (Landcare) in Limpopo & Northern Cape provinces 2012 and SANParks Richtersveld and Mokala National Park during 2016. He has also carried out expensive erosion and sediment control training for the Ethiopian Roads authority in 2010.
He has acted internationally for major mining companies, providing training for Rio Tinto and Ashanti Gold in Guinea.

Duncan Cameron was schooled in Zimbabwe and completed a B.Sc.Civil Engineering degree at Natal University. After graduation he spent a number of years with local authorities in Zimbabwe and on various construction projects in England and Australia. He subsequently joined consulting engineers Stewart Sviridov and Oliver in Johannesburg focussing in water and wastewater treatment projects throughout South Africa.

Thereafter he joined Anglo American South Africa, Consulting Services, initially involved in project management and infrastructure design before migrating to the geotechnical section. Whilst there he has been involved in the design, operation and monitoring of mine residue disposal facilities for the group and was directly involved in the introduction and acceptance of integrating reclamation and closure into these activities as well as the development of group standards and guidelines.
Within the ongoing restructuring of the Consulting Services profile the responsibilities have extended to include global group oversight and assurance for mine residue disposal within which reclamation and closure are integral along with environmental impact (water issues particularly) and mitigation and integrated social issues. He has been directly involved in the reclamation and closure of a number of Anglo’s coal mining operations as well as legacy mine residue deposits.

Piet van Deventer is an environmental earth scientist (soil science and geology) and terrain analyst. He holds a BSc, BSc Hon and MSc. in Soil Science as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Terrain Evaluation from North West University.
He has more than 45 years experience in exploration geology, engineering geology, soils science, construction of sports fields, environmental geology and rehabilitation of disturbed areas.

He has worked for several mining companies, private consultants, contractors and universities and is a consultant to government departments and non-government organizations and research institutions in geology, soil science and environmental rehabilitation.
His current position at North West University includes the following:

  • lecturing :
    – rehabilitation of disturbed areas
    – engineering geology
    – Cenozoic geology
  • research:
    – several projects on rehabilitation of mine tailings and post closure land use options of mine tailings
    – metal trace elements of soils polluted from mines (soil screening values)
    – Cenozoic geology of South Africa (aeolian, fluvial and chemical deposits)
    – engineering aspects of dolomites
    – geotechnical characteristics of pedological soils
    – classification of anthropogenic soils in South Africa
    – portable XRF assessments on polluted areas
    – geothermal exploration
    – exploration of base metals which are covered with superficial deposits

Martin Venn Fey obtained the BSc Agric (soil science, chemistry, 1971) and PhD (soil science, 1976) degrees from the University of Natal. After brief jobs mapping soils in the Eastern Cape for the Soil and Irrigation Research Institute, and evaluating bauxite deposits in the Natal midlands for a private exploration company, he spent most of his career in academic positions at the Universities of Natal (Pietermaritzburg), Texas A&M, Georgia (USA), Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Western Australia.

He has lectured various courses in soil science and environmental geochemistry. His research has dealt with the genesis, classification, chemistry, mineralogy and fertility of soils. Recently returned from five years in Australia, he was appointed Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Plant Production and Soil Science at the University of Pretoria and works as a consultant in crop nutrition, bauxite exploration, environmental geochemistry and land rehabilitation. He is an associate of Digby Wells Environmental and a short term consultant with the IFC. He has authored or co-authored some 70 papers in refereed journals and another 50 articles published as book chapters or papers in conference proceedings. He initiated and is lead author of Soils of South Africa published in 2010 by Cambridge University Press. He was awarded the BP Scholarship in Agriculture in 1985 and has been the recipient of silver and gold medals from the Soil Science and Fertilizer Societies of South Africa. He grew up in Kenya, England and Natal and is a citizen of South Africa and Australia. He is married to Eileen and their daughter and two grandchildren live in the USA.

Klaus Kellner’s fields of expertise include vegetation dynamics, with the emphasize on land degradation and desertification, restoration/rehabilitation ecology and range condition assessment of mainly the arid- and semi-arid lands in especially Southern Africa. Her has long-term experience working within the UNCCD, having been the CST (Committee on Science and Technology) Bureau Chair (2009-2011) and representing Africa regarding Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) matters.

Klaus is the Science and Technology Correspondent (STC) for South Africa in the CST of the UNCCD and have represented South Africa at the last 5 COP’s of the UNCCD (COP-Conference of Parties). He is also on the Roster of Experts for the UNCCD regarding Conservation and Rangeland Management. He was the Co-chair of the Advisory Group for the Provision of Scientific Advice on DLDD issues (AGSA) for the UNCCD (only 12 experts from the world served on AGSA) and is presently on the Science-Policy Interface (SPI) committee for the UNCCD. The SPI committee consists of only 20 experts from 20 countries.
Klaus has contributed to Chapters in reports and documents for the UNCCD (e.g. White papers for the 2nd UNCCD scientific conference in Bonn) and also contributed to the scoping report for land degradation and restoration assessment as required by IPBES through the UNCCD’s CST Bureau. All projects involve bio-physical and socio-economic assessment that influence the ecosystem services of rangelands and has led to the supervision and collaboration in many National, Regional and International research and development (R&D) projects. These projects include the evaluation of existing and development of new range condition assessment and restoration/rehabilitation technologies, incorporating local and indigenous knowledge that can be used as a DSS (Decision Support System) and consulting tools for future decision making. By using Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) and Participatory Action Research (PAR) approaches, efforts are made to bridge the gap between scientists, extension, environmental managers, land users and policy makers. The latter includes the synergies and collaboration between the three main Rio Conventions, i.e. UNFCCC, CBD and UNCCD Klaus has been involved in the education, training and capacity building of many learners, students, managers and extension officers in agriculture and conservation and has made presentations at international conferences and workshops in more than 30 countries (mainly on invitation) regarding DLDD. He is also the Principle Investigator (PI) of Internationally funded projects, and currently involved in Deliverable 3c (Scenarios and Models) of IPBES and co-author of Chapter 2.

Roy Lubke is Associate Professor Emeritus at the Department of Botany at Rhodes University. Roy is a botanist / plant ecologist with an interest in restoration ecology and coastal and dune systems. He is a founding director of Coastal & Environmental Services. He has been involved in restoration ecological projects in many parts of Africa and Madagascar. In recent years he has spent more time on his Grahamstown small holding, Waterloo Farm, and with his family, animals and outdoor wildlife events.

Mike Zingel’s basic training in genetics and first career in the seed industry, culminating in managing director of MayFord Seeds, launched him into his second career, wildlife management. He founded Zingela Consulting (Pty) Ltd in 2003. Mike is currently involved in research into veld assessment for wildlife management using satellite imagery and analysis of vegetation. Combined and using the software that he has recently developed, objective and repeatable mapping is generated of qualitative and quantitative aspects of a property. The outcomes facilitate management and monitoring of wildlife areas.

This research and its application in the veld was done simultaneously with investigations into rehabilitation of disturbed areas. This lead to his devising the Biomosome ®range of seed products, based on biome and plant succession principles. A recent development is the application of these seed products and plant succession principles to rehabilitation of mine properties and environmental civil engineering. This was introduced in a poster presentation at the LaRSSA congress in 2014. The software that he has developed for satellite image classification and for vegetation analysis is available for use under licence and is continuously updated and supported. With adaptation it is applicable to vegetation assessment generally and not specifically to wildlife.

Brian Lee Dawson obtained a BSc degree with Honours (Plant Ecology – 1977) from the University of the Witwatersrand, and an MSc degree (Plant Ecology – 1987) from Potchefstroom University. After working as a research assistant in the Botany Department at Potch University, he joined the Department of Transport (National Roads) as a Landscape Developer, involved in the revegetation and maintenance of national road roadsides.

He returned to Potch University in 1982, where he served for a further eight years as Research Scientist and then Assistant Director in the then Institute for Ecological Research under Prof JJP (Koos) van Wyk, continuing with research projects on national road revegetation, while also acting as a consultant to the National Roads Department. In 1990 he moved from Cape roadsides and fynbos re-establishment to mining rehabilitation, joining the Chamber of Mines of SA’s Vegetation Unit as Operations Manager, responsible for mine rehabilitation projects in the gold, coal (opencast and underground), copper and various other mineral sectors. In 1998 he was offered the opportunity to buy the Vegetation Unit (by then privatised and known as EMPR Services) from the Chamber of Mines, together with business partner Doug Edgar.
He is Managing Director and owner of EMPR Services, involved in the design and practical implementation of numerous mining, roadside and other civil rehabilitation projects, and currently particularly in phytoremediation projects in association with the EEPS group at Wits University.

Michael Theodore Mentis (BSc, BSc (Hons) Natal, MSc (Nature Conservation) Stellenbosch, PhD (Agriculture) Natal, MBA (Wits) has consulted in business and the environment since 1991. Previously he was Professor and Director of the Resource Ecology Group at the University of the Witwatersrand (1985-1991), senior lecturer in Grassland Science in the Faculty of Agriculture at Natal University (1979-1985), and chief professional officer in the Natal Parks Board developing and running an advisory service to private landowners (1969-1979).

Mike has had many prestigious consultations on some of the biggest projects around, including the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (for which he is coordinator of the international environmental panel); Transnet’s New Multi Products Pipeline, and Eskom’s Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme. Mike has worked on rehabilitation of coal-mining-disturbed land for over 30 years, and with among the big players South32, Optimum Coal, Shanduka, developed standards for rehabilitation. His rehabilitation insights are based on around 10 000 plot years and thousands of kilometre years on pipeline rehabilitation.
He has authored or co-authored over 80 refereed papers and chapters in technical books. He is author of Environmental Risk Management in South Africa. He is a professional member of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa, a Principal Environmental Auditor with and Full Member of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (UK), a Chartered Environmentalist with the Society for the Environment (UK), and Member of Editorial Board for Forest Ecosystems (Beijing).