Page 19 - UCT2012 Research Dashboard

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Research Dashboard
Chairholder Profiles
Stable Isotopes in
Archaeology and
Judith Sealy, the newly-appointed South African
Research Chair in Stable Isotopes, Archaeology and
Palaeoenvironmental Science, is Professor of Archaeology
and the former Head of the Department of Archaeology at
UCT. She also heads UCT’s Stable Light Isotope Laboratory,
a major facility housing analytical equipment.
Professor Sealy obtained her PhD from UCT in 1989,
for a thesis centred on stable isotope techniques of
dietary reconstruction in ancient human skeletons.
Her work has included laboratory and field studies,
investigating archaeological questions ranging from
the emergence of modern humans approximately
200 000 years ago, to the origins of slaves brought
to the Cape in the colonial era. Her main focus
has been on coastal hunter-gatherers of the past
10 000 years, using isotope approaches to explore
variations over time and space in the diets people
consumed, and using these patterns to elucidate
larger-scale processes of economic and social
change. Her work has also contributed to the
development and improvement of stable isotope
methods and techniques.
Professor Sealy has published more than 75 peer-
reviewed journal articles and book chapters, including
articles in
Nature and Science
. She is currently an
Associate Editor of the
Journal of Archaeological
and a member of the editorial boards of
Azania and Southern African Humanities
; she was
formerly editor of the
South African Archaeological
. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South
Africa and of the University of Cape Town, and holds
a B1 rating from the NRF. (
Also see page 106
Environmental and
Social Dimensions of the
Associate Professor Rachel Wynberg holds the South
African Research Chair in the Environmental and Social
Dimensions of the Bio-economy, and is the deputy director
of the Environmental Evaluation Unit at UCT. She holds
two cum laude master’s degrees from the University
of Cape Town, one in Marine Biology, and the other in
Environmental Science, and a PhD from the University of
Strathclyde, Glasgow.
She is well recognised as a leading scholar on the bio-
economy, reflected in her B2 NRF rating. Her work
is focused on bio-politics, the commercialisation and
trade of biodiversity, access and benefit sharing,
and the social and environmental implications
of new biotechnologies. She has consulted and
published widely on these topics, including more
than 140 scientific papers, book chapters and
technical reports, and four recent co-edited books.
She is currently serving on the board of three non-
profit organisations and is also a member of the
Expert Committee for the UK Government’s Darwin
Initiative, one of the largest and most significant
global funders of biodiversity projects.
Associate Professor Wynberg’s scholarship is
characterised by an unusual breadth of experience
as a researcher, policy advisor, and activist,
demonstrating her strong commitment to social
justice and transformation in the sphere of biodiversity
conservation and use. Because of the complexity of
her research topic, and the importance of developing
a holistic and integrated understanding in this field,
she has consciously developed a research strategy
crossing many disciplines and engaging a body of
literature and colleagues across the humanities, arts,
and sciences. (
Also see page 162
Associate Professor Rachel Wynberg
Professor Judith Sealy