Dry season fieldwork in the Niassa Reserve. Dom, Claire and David and the field team (including Iahaia “Mele” Buanachique and Carvalho Issa Nanguar, here with some helmet-shrike bycatch) are joined by Jessica van der Wal, who has just finished her PhD at St Andrews studying New Caledonian crows, another bird with a fascinating foraging ecology. She learned Kiswahili as a kid in Tanzania, which will also come in handy.
Ricardo Guta, our dear colleague and friend in our research team, tragically died on 1 December 2022 following a swimming accident in the Cape mountains. All our thoughts are with his wife, Lailat, and their children Adrielle and Piotr. Ricardo’s life was honoured by his colleagues in a memorial at the University of Cape Town on 9 December 2022. He will soon be laid to rest by his family in his home city of Beira, Mozambique.
Ricardo’s warm and generous personality and passion for natural history touched everyone he met. He was much loved and respected at Gorongosa National Park where he worked as an entomologist, at the University of Cape Town where he had just completed his MSc studies, and at the Niassa Special Reserve where we recently carried out a wonderful field trip together. Ricardo had just begun his PhD in our research team, studying the influence of honeyguide-human mutualism on honeybee ecology. We are heartbroken to have lost a wonderful scientist, conservationist and human being, and we miss him deeply.
Ricardo’s legacy will live on in our team as we remember his joy and optimism, and his remarkable capacity to bring people together.