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Gobabeb Research & Training Centre

Associates of Gobabeb

Mary Seely

Dr Mary Seely

Board Member

Mary was Director of Gobabeb from 1970 to 1998 when the Joint Venture Agreement was signed. While particularly interested in the intricacies of the dune ecosystem, during recent years she has focused on ensuring that young Namibians become involved in the environment with an eye to sustainable development. Her favourite programme for the past 16 years has been the Summer Development Programme, newly emerging as the Critical Thinking Programme, focused on learning research approaches and critical thinking for enhanced decision making toward sustainable development. She recently edited Namibia's submission to UNESCO nominating the Namib Sand Sea as a World Heritage Site. 



Joh Henschel

Associate of Gobabeb

Joh is an ecologist who has been at or otherwise affiliated with Gobabeb for 36 years in the positions of intern (1977-1978), post-doctoral fellow (1986-1990), data manager (1992-1993), research coordinator (1996-2001), executive director (2002-2011) and associate (since). He continues to express his passion for the Namib as member of NERMU and manager of EnviroMEND, conducting research, training, environmental assessments and regularly writing scientific and popular environmental articles. His fields of research include biodiversity, community ecology, landscape ecology, and restoration ecology.



Cornelis van der Waal

Associate of Gobabeb

Cornelis has a background in rangeland ecology. He has been an associate of Gobabeb for the last 6 years, where he assisted with learner and student projects, environmental impact assessments, as well as various research activities as member of the Namib Ecological Restoration and Monitoring Unit (NERMU). Cornelis continuous to be actively involved in the Sendelingsdrif Ecological Restoration Research Programme. Among other interests, he is passionate about finding practical ways to restore and manage natural systems, particularly degraded rangelands.



Sian piccy

Sian Sullivan

Associate of Gobabeb

 Sian is an environmental anthropologist who has conducted field research in west Namibia since the early 1990s, currently through a Gobabeb affiliated project called Future Pasts. Her research in Namibia has focused on cultural and conservation landscapes, local ecological knowledge/‘ethnoecology’ (particularly with Dama / ≠Nūkhoen peoples), ecological surveys, and historical narratives regarding southwestern Africa. Much of her published work from this research can be accessed through the Namibian Environment Information Service. Sian holds the position of Professor of Environment and Culture at Bath Spa University (UK). She regularly returns to Namibia to conduct field research and to share material from this work. 



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