Briza Authors

At Briza, our authors are our pride! They are specialists in their fields and above all great writers, producing excellent books which educate us and lead us to a greater understanding of our world.

Karen Esler

Briza Publications author Karen J. Esler developed her interest in the Karoo while studying for a BSc degree at the University of Cape Town. She formalized her interest in the Karoo by completing her PhD (1993) on vegetation dynamics at Tierberg, the Karoo Biome Project Research site in the Succulent Karoo.

After a post-doctoral year exploring the arid regions of North and South America, she returned to South Africa to join the Department of Botany at the University of Stellenbosch in 1995. Professor Esler joined the Department of Conservation Ecology at the the University of Stellenbosch in January 2005. She and her students have continued to co-author a range of publications on the ecology of semi-arid systems in Southern Africa and she has published over 100 peer reviewed publications in journals and books.

The overall goal of her research has been to understand how drivers of change (over-exploitation, habitat fragmentation and alien invasion) influence population and community structure and processes in South African fynbos, Karoo and riparian vegetation by researching aspects of seed bank ecology, germination ecology, seedling establishment and phenology. The applied aspect of this work has been to advise on aspects of best-practice management, restoration and conservation. Esler has a particular interest in social-ecological systems and in linking research and management. She is a core team member of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology, the Centre of Excellence for Tree Health Biotechnology, and an associate of the Stellenbosch University Water Institute.

Esler was the first female president of the South African Association of Botanists (2006-2008), and is particularly interested in promoting women in science. She currently serves on the HERS-SA board, is the South African representative of ISOMED, a founding member of the IUCN Mediterranean-Type Ecosystem Thematic Group (MTEG) from 2011 and serves on the SAEON Fynbos Node Liaison Committee. Esler has received several awards for her teaching, and has graduated 42 MSc and 8 PhD students (1998-December 2012).

Books by Karen Esler

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Rolf Becker

Briza Publications author Rolf Becker graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry, as well as a Master of Science and PhD in Biochemistry. He was Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Limpopo for 20 years, while also furthering his...

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Alma Möller

Briza Publications author Alma Möller graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Botany and Genetics, and a Master of Science in Entomology, after obtaining a postgraduate certificate in Electron Microscopy. She worked at the University of Limpopo as Electron...

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CJ Cilliers

Author CJ Cilliers is a retired researcher with a PhD in entomology. She is known for her research on the biological control of insects pests and aquatic weeds, implementing biological control and integrated pest and weed management in South Africa and elsewhere. This...

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CE van Ginkel

Author CE van Ginkel is a freshwater scientist, with a PhD in botany. As a special scientist in the then Department of Water Affairs, she practised aquatic science over several decades throughout South Africa. She was the coordinator of the National Eutrophication...

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Piet van Wyk

The late author Piet van Wyk (1931 - 2006) was a biologist who worked for three decades as a researcher in the Kruger National Park. He authored several popular books on southern African trees. Wyle outeur Piet van Wyk (1931 - 2006) was 'n bioloog wat drie dekades as...

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