Institution: University of Cape Town (UCT)
Unit & Faculty: Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science
Research field: Biodiversity, human ecology
Supervisors: Emeritus Professor Les Underhill
A Capetonian, Peta Brom completed her undergraduate B.Consumer Sciences (Housing) degree at Stellenbosch University, her honours studies in Development Planning at The Sustainability Institute, and her MPhil in Urban Ecology at UCT. For her master’s studies, she compared garden habitats that had frogs in with them with those that didn’t, and included a social survey on people’s attitudes towards frogs. Among other things, she discovered that people like or dislike frogs depending on the normative attitudes of their dominant culture and whether or not they were dis/encouraged to play/ interact with them. For her PhD, Peta will build on her master’s studies by asking volunteers to run experiments in habitat creation for biodiversity. She will explore what effect participating such projects have on people’s attitudes towards nature, and if citizen scientists can contribute successfully to urban biodiversity stewardship. Peta enjoys a good adventure and regularly hikes the mountains of her hometown; appreciates an eclectic spectrum of music, and can probably beat you at pool.