A warm, heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Jan C. De Vynck who was awarded his PhD in Oceanography (Biological) (unconditional acceptance) on 19 April 2018.


After receiving his MSc. Botany (cum laude) at Nelson Mandela University in 2014 he started his PhD in Oceanography working closely with the African Centre for Coastal Palaeoscience.

His thesis title: Productivity and resilience of intertidal resources available to extant human foragers on South Africa’s Cape south coast: behavioural implications for early Homo sapiens

His research focused on pre-historic evidence which revealed the south Cape area to be of global significance for the emergence and development of modern human cognition. Intertidal resources were hypothesized to have played a role in this cognitive revolution due to potential productivity and resilience. The present can inform the past and this study’s ethno-archaeological approach, through modern analogues, examined productivity, resilience and temporal and spatial size variation of intertidal invertebrates on the Cape’s south coast. Productivity was shown to be as high or higher than all global energetic evidence and resilience was mutually impressive due to in-migration of mobile species from subtidal stocks (‘pantries’).