Dr Ingrid Wiesel was awarded a PhD in 2006 by the University of Hamburg entitled Predatory and foraging behaviour of Brown Hyenas (Parahyaena brunnea Thunberg, 1820) at Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus Schreber, 1776) colonies. Earlier, in 1998, she had completed her MSc dissertation Observations of Brown Hyenas at the Wolf Bay seal colony: their feeding ecology and hunting behaviour at the same university. She undertook her fieldwork in the Sperrgebiet, the diamond mining areas north and south of Lüderitz. Fieldwork on a rare species in the Namib Desert is challenging, and data accumulates slowly, so the process of acquiring enough data to be the basis of a PhD is a long and arduous one. During the years of her PhD research, she supervised 16 student research projects, many at masters level. These are students who assisted her with fieldwork, but at the same time had their own projects. Ingrid was appointed an Honorary Research Associate of UCT in 2011.
Ingrid leads the Brown Hyena Research Project, a non-profit organisation based in Lüderitz. The objective of this project is to do the research on the ecologically unique Brown Hyena population and its biodiversity-rich habitat along the coastal Namib Desert which will help conserve this species and its environment. This harsh desert appears deserted to the casual observer, but it is inhabited a vast variety of fauna and flora. The coastal strip is especially important. This nutrient poor terrestrial ecosystem is supported by the adjacent rich marine ecosystem, the Atlantic Ocean.
In 2012, Ingrid will be co-mentor of the research project of ADU postdoc Sophie Kohler, who will be based at Lüderitz and do her research in the Sperrgebiet. She will also be cosupervisor of the research project of ADU PhD student Elsa Bussiere, who will study Brown Hyenas at the Tswalu Nature Reserve near Kuruman, Northern Cape.
[ Staff login ]