Above picture:  Tarryn Havemann at Birha Beach in the Eastern Cape; photograph by Carl Havemann

At the beginning of March, Tarryn Havemann (née Retief) joined the Mouse-Free Marion Project Team as its Development Officer.  Tarryn is a South African, residing in the coastal city of Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) in the Eastern Cape Province.  Her role includes actively supporting the fundraising component of the project, as well as supporting its administrative, financial, logistical and management aspects.  Importantly, she will take a leading role in managing the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database and maintaining communications with project donors and sponsors and ensuring that their valued contributions are acknowledged, including on the MFM website and via social media.

Tarryn has BSc, BSc Hons and MSc degrees from the University of Pretoria, gained between 2005 and 2014.  For her MSc she studied the influence of distance to perennial surface water on ant diversity in Botswana, after looking at sexual selection and genital allometry in the Hottentot Golden Mole for her Honours degree.  From her thesis and other research, she has co-authored 10 scientific publications.  After completing her MSc, Tarryn worked from 2014 to 2021 as the Conservation Coordinator on North Island in the Seychelles.  Her role included developing and managing terrestrial, marine and sustainability projects, as well as implementing biosecurity protocols for the island.

Tarryn has written to MFM News on her contribution to the MFM Project, how she sees its importance and her expectations for it.

“Every person who enters the field of conservation does so with the hope of making a tangible impact on the conservation of a species or area.  It is a privilege to be a part of the Mouse-Free Marion Project that, once completed, will not only safeguard the breeding grounds of thousands of seabirds, but will have a far greater reach, ultimately influencing the ecology of the entire island.

“As a Zoology student at the University of Pretoria, a large portion of my education was interspersed with references to a secluded, majestic island that a few fortunate students were able to work on – Marion Island.  My studies took me on a different path to Botswana, after which I worked on a small island in the Seychelles.  However, everywhere I went I met people who had been involved, either directly or indirectly, with Marion.  Almost 20 years after hearing about the island for the first time, I now count myself as one of the lucky few who will have the opportunity to work (albeit from a distance) on a project on this imposing island, a true gem of the sub-Antarctic.”

The MFM Project welcomes Tarryn to its ranks and looks forward to working with her as we all strive to attain the goal of a Marion Island free of introduced House Mice and on the way to recovering its former pristine condition.


Selected Publications by Tarryn Havemann

Feare, C.J., Waters, J., Fenn, S.R., Larose, C.S., Retief, T., Havemann, C., Ahlen, P.-A., Waters, C., Little, M.K., Atkinson, S., Searle, B., Mokhobo, E., de Groene, A.& Accouche, W. 2021.  Eradication of invasive common mynas Acridotheres tristis from North Island, Seychelles, with recommendations for planning eradication attempts elsewhere.  Management of Biological Invasions 12: 700-715.
Millett, J.E., Accouche, W., van de Crommenacker, J., van Dinther, M.A.J.A., de Groene, A., Havemann, C.P., Retief, T.A., Appoo, J. & Bristol, R.M. 2019.  Conservation gains and missed opportunities 15 years after rodent eradications in the Seychelles.  pp. 580-587.  In: Veitch, C.R., Clout, M.N., Martin, A.R., Russell, JK.C. & West, C.J.  (Eds).  Island Invasives: Scaling up to meet the Challenge.  Proceedings of the International Conference on Island Invasives 2017Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
Retief, T. & Havemann, C. 2019.  Successes and challenges of vegetation rehabilitation on North Island.  Kapisen  Plant Conservation Action Group Newsletter 22: 8-10.


John Cooper, News Correspondent, Mouse-Free Marion Project, 25 April 2023


The Mouse-Free Marion Project is a registered non-profit company (No. 2020/922433/08) in South Africa, established to eradicate the invasive albatross-killing mice on Marion Island in the Southern Ocean.  The project was initiated by BirdLife South Africa and the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.  Upon successful completion, the project will restore the critical breeding habitat of over two million seabirds, many globally threatened, and improve the island’s resilience to a warming climate.  For more information or to support the project please visit mousefreemarion.org.