Avian Demography Unit
Department of Statistical Sciences
University of Cape Town
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Barbara Paterson Barbara Paterson
PhD student

Barbara's PhD project is an interdisciplinary study on software development for knowledge based wildlife management in Namibia. Barbara's study centers on the computerised representation of wildlife management knowledge. She developed a hypermedia information system for rare species management and a knowledge based decision support system for wildlife translocation, which is based on a combination of GIS technology and fuzzy logic, for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Namibia. A critical evaluation of the usefulness and appropriateness of these information systems led her to investigate the complexities involved in developing sustainable software for wildlife management in the Namibian context by exploring the ethical and epistemological issues underlying both conservation and computerization.

Barbara is based at Moewe Bay, Skeleton Coast Park, Namibia. Her supervisors are Prof Les Underhill (ADU), Prof Tim Dunne (Department of Statistical Sciences) and Prof Britta Schinzel (Institute of Computer Science and Social Research, University of Freiburg, Germany).

Qualifications and experience

Barbara studied English and German Literature and Linguistics, Philosophy and Computer Science at the Aachen University of Science and Technology, Germany, and graduated in 1995 with an MA. The title of her thesis (Institute for German Language and Literature, Department of Philology) was The linguistic requirements for applying the lexical parser PARLEX on the data corpus of the Grammatical Telephone. Towards automatic analysis of natural language material.

Since 1995 Barbara has worked in Namibia as a computer science consultant for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism as well as several environmental NGOs. She has developed several information systems and GIS for wildlife management and research.

From 2002 until 2004 she coordinated the Transboundary Mammal Project, a joined research project between the Namibia Nature Foundation and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, which involved the development of decision support tools for wildlife management, coordinating the development of a rare species knowledge base and the development of strategic species management plans.

Barbara's outside interests include hiking, birdwatching, rock climbing and Buddhism.


Paterson, B. 2003. The transboundary mammal project. Newsletter Namibia Scientific Society. 44: 31-34.
Winschiers, H., Paterson, B. 2004. Sustainable Software Development. Proceedings of 2004 Conference of the South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists. Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Paterson, B. In Press. Hypermedia as a Knowledge Management Tool in Wildlife Management. Game & Wildlife Science Journal.
Paterson, B. In Prep. The importance of ethics discourse in wildlife conservation: Why should we conserve rare and endangered species?
Paterson, B., Stuart-Hill, G., Tagg, J., Lindeque, P., Beytell, B., Demas, F., Brown, C., Weaver, C., Uanivi, U. In Prep. A fuzzy knowledge based decision support model for wildlife translocations into communal conservancies in Namibia.
Paterson, B., Brown, C., Lindeque, P., Beytell, B., Demas, F., Uanivi, U., Weaver, C. In Prep. The development of strategic management plans and a computerised decision support system for endangered and high value mammal species with shared transboundary populations.

Conference Presentations

Paterson, B. 2004. Hypermedia as a Knowledge Management Tool in Wildlife Management. 6th International Wildlife Ranching Symposium. Paris, France.
Paterson, B. 2004. The Transboundary Mammal Project: A Knowledge Based Approach To Wildlife Management. (Poster). 6th International Wildlife Ranching Symposium. Paris, France.
Paterson, B. 2004. IRAS, Ein Hypermedia System fuer Wissensmanagement im Artenschutz in Namibia. 9. Tagung der Deutschen ISKO (Wissensorganisation'2004) Wissensorganisation und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung. Informationstheoretische, ökonomische und ethische Aspekte. 5 - 7 November 2004, Universität Duisburg, Germany.
Paterson, B. 2004. Softwarewerkzeuge im Artenschutz in Namibia. Workshop zum Thema "Grenzflächen der Informatik". Methoden von Informatik und Gesellschaft. 8.-12.November 2004, Schloß Dagstuhl, Germany.

Popular articles

Paterson, B. 2003. Caprivi pivotal in transboundary wildlife management. Conservation and the environment in Namibia 4: 18-19.

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Last updated: 6-April-2005