It’s Summertime in Cape Town

After a very long and posterior numbing trip from Boston to Amsterdam (7 1/2 hours) and then Amsterdam to Cape Town (11 1/2 hours), we’ve finally arrived in South African summer. Our accommodation is outside of the city, in Constantia, because of a Cricket Test Match with Sri Lanka. It’s all wickets and overs in the media, with the outcome of the tournament providing bragging rights for the next few years. South Africa already lost to Australia in a November Test Match, and Sri Lanka may overtake the Proteas during this engagement. We’re off to stock up on dry food–the selection in Cape Town is much wider than in Graaf Reinet–and begin to adjust to the 7-hour time change.

Today was a day for getting over jet lag, shopping for provisions, wine tasting at Groot Constantia, and a trip to Boulders to see the northern most colony of African (Jackass) Penguins.  Dinner was over a setting sun overlooking False Bay without any notice of a great white shark.


Tomorrow, we’re headed over the Cape Fold Belt into the Karoo Basin, where the rocks of Permian-Triassic boundary are exposed, and will meet up with the remainder of our field party from various parts of the world.

About Robert Gastaldo

Professor Gastaldo is Whipple-Coddington Professor of Geology and served as Department Chair from 1999/2000 academic year, upon his initial appointment, until 30 June 2012. He was awarded a Forschungspreis (Research Prize) from the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Bonn, in 1991, and returned to Germany as a short-term visiting scientist in 2012. He has been awarded two Fulbright Fellowships. The first appointment was at the Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Utrecht, The Netherlands; the second is at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the Paleontological Society, served as co-Editor of SEPM's journal PALAIOS and on the society's Executive Council, and continues as a reviewer and funding-panel member for various U.S. and international grant agencies. Professor Gastaldo's research focus is in the plant-fossil record and the response(s) of terrestrial ecosystems to perturbation, and engages undergraduate students early in their careers in original research endeavors. His wife, Elvira, is one of the Colby Quilt Club advisers, and she assists departments across campus with temporary, short-term assignments. Together, they have 3 grown sons who have pursued their own career paths outside of academia.
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