All in the family

17 June 2009 | Story by Myolisi Gophe

Prof Nan Yeld & familyFamily circle: Members of Dr Eleanor Yeld's (middle) family who attended her graduation included (from left ) her stepfather, Emer Prof Robert Segall, her mother, Prof Nan Yeld, Eleanor's husband, Dr Ken Hutchings, and her grandparents, Sybil and Emer Prof Arthur Noble. Noble is a former dean of education at Rhodes University.

When UCT student Eleanor Yeld presented her PhD work in the Department of Zoology Graduand's Symposium on Friday 12 June, her parents, John Yeld and Professor Nan Yeld, couldn't contain their delight.

It's fantastic. I feel so proud of her and I'm happy," said dad John, who is the esteemed environmental and science writer for the Cape Argus.

He indirectly influenced Eleanor to follow a career in conservation biology. While she was a child he introduced her to a researcher who was working on anthrax, this during a holiday in Etosha.

"I was so fascinated, that really gave me direction," Eleanor says. "I wanted to study biology."

Eleanor is also a presenter on Shoreline, an environmental documentary set to be screened on SABC in July. This means both father and daughter work on translating hard science into simple terms.

Nan Yeld, dean of the Centre for Higher Education Development, said she was pleased, adding that attracting young women to science is a national need.

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