Africa’s science leaders have babies too

It has been difficult to accept, psychologically, that Maya is almost entirely my responsibility while she is a baby, and a breastfeeding one at that. In my mind, as a modern woman in a free and equal society, I had thought her care should be shared 50/50 between myself and her father Stephan. He, naturally,…

Our daughter Maya is here and healthy because of veggies, dog walks and a cyborg technology that costs R50 a day

When we decided to have a baby, my HbA1C (a long-term measure of blood sugar control) was 7.2. Not too bad for a type 1 diabetic (T1D), but it should be closer to 6 for a healthy pregnancy. For about 4 months we reduced alcohol, eating out and stress. We exercised and slept more. We…

Science and ‘social learning’ key to reduce climate disaster risks – Oxpeckers

Disrupting the Future: How communities and experts work together to reduce flood disaster risks in Limpopo. A multimedia #ClimaTracker investigation by Anina Mumm EXPLORE THE FULL MULTIMEDIA FEATURE HERE When the Western Cape experienced its worst storm in three decades in early June, disaster relief teams were on stand-by thanks to the early warnings provided by…

Pee, poo & pollen say climate change is real

While chatting with one Nigel Barker of UP (@Nigel_GEBP) about something different entirely, he mentions that Dassie middens, used by generations of the little critters to drop their deposits into neat, sticky piles over 100s of years come rain or shine, can tell us if, in fact, it was raining or shining. The stickiness of the…

Yesterday I learnt that it is us

Us. We who live in cities. We who are employed. We who are academics. We who are food secure. We who have air conditioning. We who drive cars. We who write about how climate change affects vulnerable communities from the comfort of the conference couch within cable distance of the plug. We who attend said…

“Puff adders don’t smell … like anything” – meerkats, dogs

These little guys learn much faster than dogs apparently, at least when it comes to learning how to pick out a snake’s scent from a line-up. A photo posted by Anina Mumm (@aninja_m) on Jan 11, 2016 at 12:19pm PST In this photo, Ash Miller, a Wits post-grad, demonstrates how she trained meerkats to recognise…

Better get used to this heat

When the maximum temperature approaches 36 degrees around 2pm in Jozi, I’m like, screw this, I’m done; let’s pick it up after dark. And then I thank the flying spaghetti monster I’m not in Pretoria right now. I’m lucky enough to have that kind of flexibility, and many other people are lucky enough to enjoy…