The People of IDIA

Participants at the IDIA retreat included staff and researchers from all three partner universities.

Senior Researchers

Assoc. Prof. Sarah BlythUCT
Prof. Claude CarignanUCT
Dr. Christopher CleghornUP
Assoc. Prof. Roger DeaneUP/WITS
Prof. Thomas JarrettUCT
Prof. Renée Kraan-KortewegUCT
Assoc. Prof. Michelle KuttelUCT
Dr Michelle LochnerUWC
Dr Edward ElsonUWC
Prof. Lerothodi LeeuwUWC
Dr. Lucia MarchettiUCT
Prof. Russ TaylorUWC/UCT
Prof. Mario SantosUWC
Prof. Rob SimmondsUCT
Assoc. Prof. Mattia VaccariUWC
Prof. Patrick WoudtUCT
Dr. Jack RadcliffeUP
Dr. Kshitij ThoratUP

Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Iniyan NatarajanUP
Dr. Saurabh PaulUWC
Dr. Matt PrescottUWC
Dr. Srikrishna SekharUCT
Dr. Franceso CavallaroUCT

Former Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Sthabile KolwaUCT
Dr. Luke ChamandyUCT/UWC
Dr. Jonathan ZwartUWC
Dr. Zara RandriamanakotoUCT
Dr Fangxia AnUWC
Dr. Marcin GlowackiUWC
Dr. Sally MacFarlaneUCT


PhD students

Tariq BletcherUP
Lennart HeinoUCT
Fabio LuchsingerUWC
Zhunaid MohamedUCT
Nikki PekeurUCT
Zubair PatelUCT
Alex SivitilliUCT

Masters Students

Mustafa AlaminUCT
Reikantseone DiretseUCT
Boikhutso KgoadiUWC
Thato ManamelaUP
Sibusiso MdhluliUWC
Micaela MenegaldoUP
Chaka MofokengUWC
Boikhutso MabalaUWC
Mfundo MdwadubeUWC
Nkululeko QwabeUP
Laurisha RampersadUCT
Shilpa RanchodUP
Modisha TladiUWC
Heinrich van DeventerUP
Fernando VenturaUP
Leon MtshweniUP
Isaac MagolegoUP
Stefro MillardUP
Jacques SmuldersUP
Hope Orabile MolokoUCT
Michaela van ZylUCT

Honours Students

Willaim RasakanyaUP
Graham LawrieUP
Nicholas van der RietUP
Stefro MillardUP
Thumisang TshikareUCT
Orabile Hope MolokoUCT

Graduated Students

Dr. Kerry PatersonPhD
Nkateko BaloyiHons
Tumisang TshikareHons
Lauren HuntMSc
Dr. Preshanth JagannathanPhD
Dr. Samuel LegodiPhD
Jeremy SmithMSc
Dr. Emmanuel OcranPhD

IDIA Executive

Prof. Patrick WoudtInterim DirectorUCT/UWC
Prof. Rob SimmondsAssociate Director, New Technology InitiativesUCT
Assoc. Prof. Sally MacfarlaneAssociate Director, Development and OutreachUWC
VACANTAssociate Director, Astronomy OperationsSARAO/UCT


Dr. Angus ComrieVisualisation DeveloperUCT
Dr. David AikemaData ScientistUCT
Eslam HusseinData ScientistUWC
Adrianna PińskaSoftware DeveloperUCT
Dane KennedyBioinformatics SupportUCT
Kechil KirkhamProject ManagementUCT
Jeremi-Ernst AvenantSenior Technical SpecialistUCT
Michael CurrinSenior Technical SpecialistUCT
Jeremy SmithOperations ManagerUCT
Walter SilimaAstronomy Support SpecialistUCT
Tinus CloeteSenior Systems AdministratorUWC


Nicky WalkerIDIA AdministratorUCT
Lisa HendricksDevelopment and Outreach AdministratorUWC

Former Staff

Prof Russ TaylorDirector
Verena RasAdministrator (UWC)
Herbert NguruweUser Support (UWC)
Assoc. Prof. Michelle CluverAssociate Director, Development and Outreach
Dr. Jasper HorrellAssociate Director, Operations
Annastine AranjoIDIA Secretary (UCT)
Mfundo ZwaneDevelopment and Outreach Administrator (UWC)
Robin HallSenior Systems Administrator (UWC)
Oarabile Hope MolokoJunior Astronomy Support (UCT)
Okkert HavengaData Analyst (UCT)
Dr. Bradley FrankAssociate Director, Astronomy Operations (SARAO/UCT)
Dr. Jordan CollierAstronomy Support (UCT)


Associate Director Development and Outreach – IDIA

It is with deep sadness that we mark the passing of Carolina Ödman-Govender on 15 November 2022.  

Carolina was the Associate Director of IDIA for Development and Outreach and a dear friend to all at IDIA. As Associate Director she created and lead numerous initiatives in public engagement in science, outreach to communities of young scholars and researchers, societal development from astronomy and big data, and mentoring of students and colleagues.   Her outstanding contributions were recognised both nationally by the award of the 2020/2021 National Science and Technology Forum Award for Science and Communications, and internationally by the 2020 International Science Council award for “Science for Development”.   Carolina’s talent, passion for her work, tremendous energy and enthusiasm for life left an indelible legacy at IDIA.

Carolina had been fighting cancer for several years.  Despite her illness she remained a constant source of inspiration and encouragement to her colleagues at IDIA and all who knew her.  Carolina was an extraordinary colleague and friend.  She leaves a big hole at IDIA and in our hearts.  She will be deeply missed and remembered with great affection.

Our hearts and condolences go out to her husband Kevin Govender, and her children Xavier and Cyprian.