James S. Brink
James Brink, former Head of Florisbad Quaternary Research Department and Chief Specialist Scientist, was in charge of research activities at Florisbad since 1984 until 2018. In that time, he headed the assembly of one of the most complete mammal skeletal collections worldwide, and has driven the expansion of the Department’s Quaternary fossil collection through fieldwork at various sites across South Africa. James is an internationally-acclaimed scientist with specialist expertise in osteology, Quaternary palaeontology, and archaeozoology.
His contributions to these fields have formed the basis for much of our current understanding of the environmental changes that drove the evolution of large mammals, resulting in the unique faunal assemblages characteristic of present-day grasslands.
In 2005, James was awarded a DPhil degree from the University of Stellenbosch (SUN), for his work on the evolution of the black wildebeest, endemic to South Africa. He also holds an MA in archaeozoology (1987, SUN), two BA Honours degrees, in archaeozoology (1980, SUN) and Latin (1992, University of the Free State), respectively, and a BA (1978, SUN). During his career, James has received awards for international study, including from the German Foreign Exchange Programme (DAAD) to study osteology, Latin and Greek at the University of Münich, Germany. He was a B3 rated NRF scientist.