GCRO appoints five new research staff

  • GCRO
  • Date of publication: 20 April 2013

GCRO’s research capacity has been expanded with the appointment of 5 new research staff:

Christina Culwick was appointed as a researcher at the GCRO in April 2013. She has a focus on sustainability in the city-region with interests in urban environment, resilience, environmental governance and transforming the GCR towards sustainability and equality. Christina completed her BSc in Geography and Maths, and went on to do a BScHons and MSc in Geography at Wits University. Despite the quantitative focus of much of her studies, she is interested in the role of multi-disciplinary research. Her masters’ thesis fed into a Water Research Commission Project investigating the impact of climate change on municipal water services. She has published her research in local and international journals, and presented at a number of local and international conferences. Her background and interest in climatology have enabled her to work as a broadcasting meteorologist for the SABC, since 2008. Her climbing and traveling trips help to sustain her love for Joburg, where she grew up and now lives with her husband.
Dr. Koech Cheruiyot started as a Senior Researcher at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory in May 2013. He holds a PhD in Regional Development Planning from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA as well as post-graduate training in urban and regional planning and human settlements and a bachelor’s degree in economics. He has over 12 years of working in the field of urban and regional development planning both as a civil servant and a researcher. Prior to joining GCRO, he worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in the NRF:SARChI in Development Planning and Modelling Unit at the School of Architecture and Planning, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa between September 2011 and April 2013. During his research fellowship, he focused on modelling economic development both at the national and metropolitan level in the South Africa context. He was also involved in reviewing international and South African urban spatial change modelling techniques and initiatives. He has research interests in local and regional economic development and planning, the application of spatial analysis to model regional development issues and urban spatial change. At the GCRO, he will continue researching and publishing on these research areas. He has taught urban planning and statistics courses to undergraduate and post-graduate students. Currently, he teaches quantitative methods to post-graduate students in the property studies programme at Wits’ School of Construction Economics and Management.
Guy Trangoš joined the GCRO as a researcher in April 2013. An architect by training, he completed his professional architecture masters at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2008 and recently graduated with an MSc. in City Design and Social Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously, he has worked as a part-time researcher at LSE Cities, practiced as an architect, and designed and curated exhibitions. He lectures History and Theory of Urban Design at Wits University in the Urban Design Masters programme, teaches in the planning studio and writes regularly on urban issues and architecture for various publications. His research is focussed on socio-spatial inequality, mobility, the politics of space making in the city, housing and informality.
Kerry Bobbins was appointed as a researcher in May 2013, after completing an internship at the GCRO over 2012/13. She graduated from Rhodes University with a BSc Honours degree in Integrated Water Management and an MSc in Environmental Water Management and has completed additional masters’ courses in International Environmental Policy and Environment and Development from Wageningen University, in the Netherlands. Kerry’s academic interests focus in particular on how ecological considerations are factored into political and economic decision-making, the valuation of environmental infrastructure in urban and non-urban landscapes, provisioning of ecosystem goods and services, water governance and policy, mining impacts on the environment and landscape restoration. During Kerry’s internship at the GCRO in 2012/13 she was a key contributor to research around valuing green assets and infrastructure in the Gauteng City-Region (GCR) and led an investigation into the impacts of GCR’s mining legacy on the environment, in particular issues of environmental governance around acid mine drainage.
Potsiso Phasha has been appointed as a contract researcher at GCRO for the period May to December 2013, after completing his internship here over 2012/13. He holds an MSc degree in Development Planning and an undergraduate BSc (Honours) degree in Urban & Regional Planning. Potsiso completed his degrees at the University of the Witwatersrand where he was also a senior tutor and lecturer assistant. For his Masters dissertation, Potsiso studied the ways in which street artists and skaters appropriate and negotiate public space in inner Johannesburg using photography and film. Potsiso has worked on reviewing local municipality spatial development frameworks and has undertaken research into the National Treasury National Development Partnership Grant. He has a strong interest in urban photography and was an active member of Yeoville Studio, a participatory research initiative of the Wits School of Architecture and Planning. He has been the winner of several awards including the University of the Witwatersrand’s Post-Graduate Merit Award (2010/11); the Mallows-Pintoroux Prize for academic excellence; and the South African Planning Institute Award for ‘Innovative research method in understanding how urban youth perceive public space’ (2010). Potsiso has also recently returned from attending the Human Cities Symposium held in Belgium, where he presented his paper titled ‘Autophotography: a tool for recording ways in which street skaters and street artists have appropriated space in Johannesburg’.



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