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Ashley Lipsett

MSc candidate in Geography, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg Supervisors: Prof. Stefan Grab (WITS) and Dr Dave Thompson (SAEON Ndlovu)

Ashley completed her Honours in 2013 and continued working with her supervisors to expand that research to form her current MSc. Her research interests include climate change, water management, and environmental management and sustainability.


The spatio-temporal effects of rainfall patterns on streamflow and riparian zone integrity within the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Description: The overall aim of this research project is to investigate the impacts that climate change over the past century has had on the riverine ecosystems of selected regions of the Kruger national Park. Making use of extensive historic rainfall (South African Weather Service) and river flow data (Department of Water Affairs) we aim to determine the extent to which rainfall events, in particular, extreme rainfall events and drought, influence flow regimes. These data extend back as far as 1920, thus providing a near 100-year analysis of hydrological response in relation to climate change and variability. Long-term river flow regimes under ‘normal’ and ‘extreme’ climate conditions can be extrapolated and modeled using various climate change scenarios for eastern South Africa. Compounding any climate effects are ongoing land-use and land-cover changes occurring in catchments external to the protected area, as well as water abstraction and the interruption of river flow through damming. Kruger National Park management, decision makers and policy planners will benefit from this multi-faceted assessment of climate and hydrological regimes that will inform water restoration initiatives and water provisioning objectives.

Ashley Lipsett
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