Dr Andri Van Aardt
Senior Lecturer
Plant Sciences
Plant Sciences
IB 63
Biology Building

Short CV

I am a senior lecturer at the Department of Plant Sciences. I completed my PhD (2016) in Botany specializing in Vegetation science and Palaeoecology. My research in this field has led me to become involved in various collaborative projects in South Africa. I offer an advanced knowledge in the field of vegetation science and vegetation mapping. My key focus is on understanding plant-soil interactions, biodiversity and how the environment influences plant community assemblages. In addition, I also investigate the species composition of past environments (palynology) to improve our understanding of their development to their current state. I am passionate about understanding ecosystems from the past and the present that inform our predictions on possible future adaptations due to climate change.

I am managing a third-stream income at the Department where national and international researchers send samples of palaeoenvironments to be prepared for analysis.

I have authored 13 publications in accredited scientific journals such as Koedoe, Quaternary International and Journal of Archaeological Sciences. I regularly acts as a reviewer for various national and international journals as external examiner for masters and PhD studies from other tertiary institutions. I am an author of a chapter in a scientific book and has two published abstracts as well as three industry reports on vegetation science. My passion vor nature and research is shared with my supervision of several masters and doctorate students. In terms of research collaboration I am involved in various research projects involving national and international researchers/institutions including North West University, National Museum (Bloemfontein), Texas State University, Hebrew University, Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) (Spain) and the PEOPLE project (PalaeoEcology and Open-LandscapE adaptations of Pleistocene humans in South Africa funded by Horizone Europe). As a vegetation scientist I regularly participates in the SANBI VegMap project.

I am a registered plant ecologist (Pri Sci Nat) with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions, while also being a member of four professional bodies (South African Association of Botanists, South African Society for Quaternary Scientists, SA Academy for Science and Arts and International Association for Vegetation Science).




Goder-Goldberger, M., Gilead I., Boaretto E., Edeltin L., Horwitz L.K., Jacoby-Glass, Y., Lavi R., Neumann F.H., Porat, N., Toffolo, M., Van Aardt, A.C., Zilberman, T., Crouvi, O. 2023. Living in an Ecotone: Late Middle Paleolithic occupations in the lower Besor Basin, north-western Negev Desert, Israel. Antiguity 97: 1-8. IF 1.953. Q1.

Esterhuizen, N., Berman, D., Neumann, F., Ajikah, L., Quick, L., Hilmer, E., Van Aardt, A., Hoek, W., John, J., Garland, R., Hill, T., Finch, J., Bamford, M., Seedat, R., Manjra, A., and Peter, J. Accepted. The South African Pollen Monitoring Network: Insights from two years of national aerospora sampling (2019-2021). Clinical and Translational Allergy IF3.57. Q2

Lombard, M and van Aardt A.C. 2023. Method for generating foodplant fitness landscapes: With a foodplant checklist for southern Africa and its application to Klasies River. Journal of Archaeological Sciences 149: 1-12 IF 3.216.Q1

Scott, L., Neumann, F.H., van Aardt, A.C. and Botha, G.A. 2023. Palaeoenvironmental sequences surrounding Border Cave, South Africa, and review of conditions during Middle and Later Stone Age occupation. Quaternary Science Reviews 300:1-12 IF 4.112. Q1

Lombard, M and Van Aardt, A.C. 2022. Taking stock of foodplants growing in the Cradle of Humankind Fossil Hominin Site, South Africa. African Archaeological Review 39: 59-77 IF 1.29. Q1

Scott, L., Sobol, M., Neuman, F.H., Gil Romera, G., Fernández-Jalvo, Y., Bousman, C.B., Horwitz, L.K. and Van Aardt, A.C. 2022. Late Quaternary palaeoenvironments in the central semi-arid region of South Africa from pollen in cave, pan, spring, stream and dung deposits. Quaternary International 614: 84-97 IF 2.199. Q1

Brown, L.R., Van Aardt, A.C., Janecke, B.B. 2020. A tribute to Pieter Johannes (Johann) du Preez. Koedoe 62(2), a1640. DOI: 10.4102/koedoe.v62i2.1640. IF 0.900. Q3 (Tribute)

Janecke, B.B., Van Tol, J.J., Smit, I.P.J., Van Aardt, A.C., Riddell, E.S., Seaman, M.T., Swart, W.J., Du Preez, P.J. and Le Roux, P.A.L. 2020. Biotic and abiotic connections on a granite catena: Framework for multidisciplinary research. Koedoe 62(2), a1585 DOI: 10.4102/koedoe.v62i2.1600. IF 0.900. Q3

Theron E.J, van Aardt A.C., du Preez P.J. 2020. Vegetation distribution along a granite catena, southern Kruger National Park, South Afrika. Koedoe 62(2), a1588. DOI 10.4102/koedoe.v62i2.1588. IF 0.900. Q3

Van Aardt A.C., Codron, D., Theron, E.J., du Preez P.J. 2020. Plant community structure and possible vegetation changes after drought on a granite catena in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Koedoe 62(2), a1585 DOI: 10.4102/koedoe.v62i2.1585. IF 0.900. Q3

Scott L., van Aardt A.C., Brink, J. S., Toffolo, M. B, Ochando, J. Carrión, J. S. 2019. Palynology of Middle Stone Age spring deposits in grassland at the Florisbad hominin site, South Africa. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 265: 13-26. IF 1.904. Q2

Van Aardt, A.C., Scott, L and du Preez, PJ. 2017. Western Free State vegetation ecology: From past to present. South African Journal of Botany 109, 372. IF: 1.792. Q2 (Abstract)

Van Aardt, A.C., Scott, L., Du Preez, P.J. 2016. Towards addressing the disjunction between palaeo- and modern ecology in the western Free State. Quaternary International 404: 190. IF: 2.481. Q1 (Abstract)

Van Aardt, A.C., Bousman, C.B., Brink, J.S, Brook, G.A., Jacobs, Z., du Preez, P.J., Rossouw, L. and Scott, L. 2015. First chronological, palaeoenvironmental and archaeological data from the Baden-Baden fossil spring complex in the western Free State, South Africa. Changing Climates, Ecosystems and Environments within Arid Southern African and Adjoining Regions: Palaeoecology of Africa. CRC Press. PP117-152 (Chapter in a book)

K.J. Brown, M.J. Power, M. Slowinski, A.C. van Aardt, O. Blarquez and P. Grondin. Workshop Report: Applying Palaeofire Records in Ecological Management. Wildfire Magazine. 27.1 February 2018



Publications (Short List)


Van Aardt, A.C., de Jager, J.C.L., Giddy, J.N., Dayaram., A. 2023. Karroid Islands in a sea of grasses, Free State Province, South Africa. 65th Annual Symposium of the International association of vegetation science, Coffs Harbour, Australia, 3 – 8 September 2023.

Scott, L. and van Aardt, A. C. 2022. Updating the African Pollen Database (APD) for the Quaternary in the South African interior. workshop of the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), Pleistocene Archaeology and Palaeoecology of the Free State, Florisbad, Free State, 14 July 2022.

Müller, M., van Tol, J.J. van Aardt, A.C. 2022. Community distribution along topographical units in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Free State Province, South Africa. South African Mountain Conference, Champagne Sports Resort, KwaZulu-Natal, 14 – 17 March 2022

McLean, C.C., van Tol, J.J., van Aardt, A.C., Kotze, E., Edwards, A., Swart, W., Kotze, J.J. 2022. Quantifying soil degradation through microbial activity of alpine soils in the Northern Drakensberg, South Africa. South African Mountain Conference, Champagne Sports Resort, KwaZulu-Natal, 14 – 17 March 2022

Ferreira, E.L., van Aardt, A.C., Joubert, L. 2022. Possible effect of community composition on pollination rewards in three Nemesia species from Namaqualand. South African Association of Botanists 28th Annual Conference, 17-20 January 2022

Nienaber, K, Van Aardt, A.C. Van Tol, J.J. 2021. Phytosociological classification of wetland vegetation in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Free State Province, South Africa. National Wetland Indaba 2021. Online. 20-21 October 2021

Scott, L., Gil-Romera, G., Neumann, F. H., Sobol, M., Horwitz, L. K., van Aardt, A.C., Fernandez-Jalvo, Y. 2019. Diverse modes of pollen taphonomy and late Quaternary palaeo-environments in the Kalahari. Session: Wonderwerk Cave and Related Research Projects in the Northern Cape Province. ASAPA 2019 (Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists), Kimberley, South Africa, 2-4 July, 2019.

Van Aardt, A.C., du Preez, P.J. and Scott,L. 2019. Major plant communities and physical environment in the catchments of the putative palaeo-Kimberley and palaeo-Modder Rivers, Free State South Africa. 16th Kimberley Biodiversity Research Symposium in Kimberley

Van Aardt, A.C., Scott, L., Theron, E.J., and Rossouw, L. 2019. Charred Cuticles in Tswaing Crater lake deposits: A palaeoenvironmental indicator? Oral communications. XXII Biennial Congress of the South African Society for Quaternary Research in Mossel Bay.

Van Aardt, A.C., Scott, L., Brink, J., Toffolo, B., Tomas, J.O. and Carrion, J. 2018. Palynological reconstruction of middle Pleistocene environments at Florisbad, Free State Province, South Africa. Oral communication. Proceedings of the 20th Biennial Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa in Bloemfontein.

Van Aardt, A.C., Scott, L and du Preez, PJ. 2017. Western Free State vegetation ecology: From past to present. Oral communication. 43rd Annual Conference of the South African Association of Botanists, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Area(s) of Interest


Courses Presented

BTNY2616 - Plant adaptations for survival on land (Vegetation Ecology)

BTNY3712 - Field Excursion 2 (Vegetation Ecology)

BTNY3734 - Vegetation science and environmental management

BTNY6814 - Advanced Plant Ecology

BTNY6894 - Methods in Palaeoecology (Pollen and Charcoal)

BTNY6798 - Botany Honours research project

BTNY6796 - Botany Honours literature studies



Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531

Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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