I am an earth scientist with a passion for writing about Earth. I have enjoyed teaching university students over the past 30 years on our understanding of Earth, providing them with a deeper, more inclusive, interconnected sense of our planet.
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My writings attempt to convey the same to the general public. To this end, I have established Earthspun Books, which strives to publish beautiful books that enlighten, stimulate and inform readers about Earth. Simply click on the book cover images to explore more. I believe that a greater appreciation for Earth not only enhances our experience of being a part of it, but makes us better stewards of our one and only home.
A history of geology through encounters with Table Mountain
Towering above the city of Cape Town, Table Mountain has a tumultuous story to tell that extends back over 500 million years. The iconic landmark at the south-western tip of Africa has been a welcome sight to locals and overseas visitors for more than 500 years.
One of the most-climbed mountains in the world, Table Mountain inspired many to record their thoughts and impressions. While the rocky massif has remained virtually unchanged, people’s perceptions of it have changed dramatically.
This book chronicles the evolution of how we think and feel about mountains through the written records of those who encountered Table Mountain, and how we came to read Table Mountain’s story in parallel with the development of geology as a science.
My book, ‘West Coast, A Natural History’, is a series of vignettes on various aspects of the West Coast that I have come to know through numerous research projects over the last 25 years.
‘Human Origins, How diet, climate and landscape shaped us’, provides a narrative of where, when and how our species may have evolved. Human Origins covers our deep (or ‘big’) history from the big bang to the present with projections into the future, It includes new perspectives based on the latest evidence from southern Africa.
The Rocks & Mountains of Cape Town
‘The Rocks & Mountains of Cape Town’ is a field guide to understanding the landscape, geological history and human interactions with Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain.
Topography & Bathymetry of South Africa
The maps below combine the digital elevation model (DEM) or topography of the land surface with the offshore bathymetry (water depth in shades of blue). The topography (DEM) is courtesy of Computamaps (now LuxCarta) and the bathymetry is from Willem de Wet’s 2013 MSc thesis.