WELCOME TO OUR RESEARCH CENTRE

Cape Conservation Research Centre is relocating to a new location in the Limpopo province of South Africa. This move will expand our range of research opportunities, providing practical experience to students and volunteers who wish to actively engage in fieldwork. In line with our move to this beautiful new location, we will be changing our name to reflect our presence in Limpopo province. Despite this change, nothing else about our research center or operations will be affected. Stay tuned for more updates.

The Research Centre is located within the Savanna biome, Central Bushveld bioregion. Typically this central bushveld bioregion is represented by woody vegetation and a grass dominated herbaceous layer. Depending on local conditions, trees form semi-open to closed thickets or woodlands, and can range from short deciduous bush cover to a medium-tall +5m tree cover of deciduous and evergreen trees. 

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Bushveld Biodiversity - Nature

The Bushveld Biodiversity Research Centre (BBRC), situated 50km from the Botswana border in the Northern part of the Limpopo Province, South Africa. Established in 2022 by Pieter and Chanelle Becker, our passion for this remote landscape drove us to create a platform for exploration and learning. Our mission is to facilitate research and foster knowledge exchange. Our aim is to contribute to research and conservation, alongside community outreach. We offer unique opportunities for students and volunteers to engage in practical fieldwork on the Game Reserve. Surrounded by magnificent baobab trees and boasting over 15 different antelope species, the reserve also hosts a diverse range of predators, including Leopard, Cheetah, Caracal, African Wildcat, Brown Hyena, and Serval, making it an ideal location for research. 

MEET OUR TEAM

PIETER BECKER

CCRC DIRECTOR

Pieter was born and raised in South Africa on a game and potato farm. He served his country for two years in the South African Defence Force where he was a corporal, artillery and parabat. Afterwards, he studied Agricultural Research and Botany. Upon finishing his degree, he moved back to the family farm to farm with his father. After farming potatoes, onions, and sugar beans for 33 years, he decided to move to the Western Cape to their family-owned properties. Pieter and his wife Chanelle manage the day-to-day operations at the CCRC.

DR LEAH FINDLAY

RESEARCH MANAGER

Leah holds a PhD in human-wildlife conflict from Durham University. Her research focuses on mitigating tensions between human communities and wildlife, emphasising sustainable co-existence. With a strong academic foundation, she implements fieldwork, applying her expertise to develop practical solutions that benefit both people and wildlife. She brings a wealth of experience as a mentor, having supervised numerous undergraduate, master’s and PhD students, guiding them on their academic journeys. Beyond her academic achievements, Leah has made a tangible impact by establishing a successful research centre in Alldays, South Africa and is now extending her impact assisting other research centres in their establishment and success. Recognising the importance of shared knowledge, she actively facilitates information exchange, delivering data collected at these research sites to other organisations who can use the data in the most impactful way. Driven by a passion for conservation, Leah’s work at the intersection of academia and on-the-ground initiatives showcases her commitment to fostering harmony between humans and the natural world. 

CHANELLE BECKER

OPERATIONS MANAGER

Born and raised in South Africa, Chanelle is incredibly passionate for wildlife and conservation. As a child, she spent so much time in the Kruger National Park, which made her career choice easy. She decided to study Game Ranch Management and did her FGASA Level 1 in the Kruger National Park. Afterwards, she went into lodge management, where she was first introduced to volunteer and student research programs. Chanelle then went full-time into research working with rhinos, game translocations and habitat management. Several years later her artistic side came to life when she discovered pottery and sewing. Chanelle moved down to the Western Cape with her husband Pieter to fulfil her lifelong dream of having her own research centre while making a difference in other people’s lives.

CHARLOTTE EPPS

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

 

Charlotte is from the UK

and has an undergraduate degree in Zoology from University of Exeter. After graduating she worked as an Assistant Ecologist gaining knowledge on legislation and ecology of protected species in the UK. Her work as an ecologist lead to her gaining a level 1 licence for surveying for Great Crested Newts from Natural England. She has always been interested in conservation and research and this led her to working with Chanelle with giraffes. Charlotte is now continuing to work with Chanelle as the social media manager for CCRC.

JULIA CRISCUOLO

RECRUITMENT & CO-ORDINATOR

 

Julia has a BSc from the University of Vermont in Wildlife Biology. She is currently pursuing a binational MSc in International Nature Conservation with Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in Göttingen, Germany, and Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand. As a wildlife trade intern with World Wildlife Fund, she fell in love with the complexities of international wildlife trade and its impacts on wildlife behaviour. This led her to assist giraffe behavioural research AWCCRC in South Africa, this is how she became connected to Chanelle and the CCRC.