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Our Authors


Ronnie McKenzie

Meteorites: A Southern African Perspective


Ronnie McKenzie, a civil engineer with a PhD in Water Resource Management, runs an engineering company in South Africa.

His interest in – and collecting of – meteorites spans some 30 years, and many specimens from his extensive private collection are featured in this book.

His experience and wisdom on the topic will be of broad general interest, and invaluable to potential new enthusiasts and collectors.



The Story of Life & the Environment: An African Perspective / Die Verhaal van Lewe & die Omgewing: 'n Afrika-perspektief:


Jo van As Jo van As, compiling author, has been HOD of Zoology & Entomology at South Africa’s University of the Free State since 1988. He is a leading expert on African fish parasites.

Johann du Preez, Departmental Chair of Plant Sciences at the University of the Free State, is a recognised plant ecologist and environmental consultant with a passion for environmental education.

Leslie Brown is Professor in Plant Ecology at the University of South Africa. His research interests include plant phytosociology, veld management, restoration, long-term monitoring, and plant / animal interactions.

Nico Smit is Professor of Ecology at the School of Environmental Sciences and Development at the University of North West, Potchefstroom campus. He has published more than 60 papers in international journals and delivered over 100 presentations at international and national conferences. He has also written numerous popular science articles and contributed to national and international natural history TV shows.



Eric Chaline

Fifty Minerals that Changed the Course of History


A graduate of Cambridge University, Eric Chaline majored in Japanese History at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

He is conducting doctoral research in sociology at London’s South Bank University. His previous publications include The Book of Gods and Goddesses: A Visual Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Deities, Traveller’s Guide to the Ancient World: Ancient Greece, History’s Worst Inventions, History’s Greatest Deceptions and History’s Worst Disasters.



Field Guide to Rocks & Minerals of Southern Africa /Pocket Guide: Rocks & Minerals of Southern Africa/Sasol First Field Guide to Gemstones of Southern Africa/Eerste Veldgids tot Gesteentes & Minerale van Suider-Afrika


Professor Bruce Cairncross is head of the geology department at the University of Johannesburg. He has an inherent interest in Southern African mineralogy and geology, and his research efforts are aimed at documenting important geological sites and promoting the preservation of the region's mineralogical heritage. He is the author of four books, The Minerals of South Africa, The Manganese Adventure, The Desmond Sacco Collection - Focus on Southern Africa and the First Field Guide to Gemstones of Southern Africa. He is consulting editor for an American journal, Rocks & Minerals, and is an accomplished photographer of minerals and gemstones.
Bruce Cairncross



Geological Journeys: A traveller's guide to South Africa's rocks and landforms / 50 Must see Geological sites (May 2015)


Gavin Whitfield graduated from Rhodes University with Honours in geology and later completed an MSc in kimberlite studies. After working in a geological research laboratory he spent 28 years in mineral exploration for a number of major mining companies.

This work took him to the Middle East, the Netherlands and Zambia. He currently runs a geological consulting business. He lives in Johannesburg with his wife and has an adult son.



Nick Norman

Geological Journeys: A traveller's guide to South Africa's rocks and landforms / Geology off the Beaten Track /Box of Rocks(April 2015)


Nick Norman, born and raised in KwaZulu-Natal, graduated from the University of Natal in Durban with an M.Sc. in geology. He has worked in mineral exploration in Africa and South America, has served as honorary secretary to the Geological Society of SA, and currently works as a consulting geologist.

He co-authored Geological Journeys – A traveller’s guide to South Africa’s rocks and landforms and authored The Extraordinary World of Diamonds.

He lives in Franschhoek in the Western Cape.



The Story of Earth & Life/How on Earth? / Hoe op aarde?


Terence McCarthy was born in Johannesburg. After matriculating he studied geology and chemistry at the University of the Witwatersrand and geochemistry at the University of Cape Town, and also obtained a teaching diploma at the Johannesburg College of Education.

His entire working career has been spent on the academic staff of the University of the Witwatersrand, where he has held the posts of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Professor of Mineral Geochemistry.
Terence McCarthy



The Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind & A Guide to Sterkfontein and the Cradle of Humankind


Prof. Lee R. Berger is the Reader in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He has written extensively for the international scientific press, and his work has been featured regularly in National Geographic. In 1997 he was awarded the first National Geographic Society Prize for Research and Exploration for his ground-breaking work in the study of human origins.

Brett Hilton-Barber is a former broadcast journalist who has developed his passion for prehistory into a profession. He established the Prime Origins Project, a multi-media initiative aimed at unlocking the commercial value of southern Africa's rich prehistory.