Andrea Marais-Potgieter

Institution: University of Witwatersrand (Wits)

Unit & faculty: Department of Psychology, School of Human and Community Development

Research field: Ecopsychology, systems thinking and climate change

Supervisors: Prof Andrew Thatcher, Wits



Andrea is originally from Melville, Johannesburg, but moved to Noordhoek, Cape Town, in 2013. She completed a BA in Journalism and Honours in Psychology at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), where she was awarded the UJ highest merit bursary and invited to join the Golden Key International Honour Society. She also completed a postgraduate certificate in community psychological practice and received her Master’s in Research Psychology (both cum laude) in 2004 at UJ. Her master’s combined her passion for journalism and psychology as she researched whether personality traits predispose journalists to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when exposed to trauma. For her PhD at Wits, she will focus on developing typologies to use as an ecopsychological framework for understanding the relationship that people have with the biosphere in South Africa, using an explanatory sequential mixed-methods design. Andrea enjoys working with children in nature as well as taking long walks on the beach with her husband and three rescue dogs.