Growing up at Isipingo Beach, CJ or ‘Roddy’ Ward as he is better known, developed a love of nature from a young age. However, Ecology was hardly known as a word let alone a subject when starting at University in 1946. Later at the University of Durban Westville, Roddy was the epitome of what a lecturer should be – intelligent, patient, kind and always willing to share his time and expertise with students.
In the 50 years following, he has had a profound impact on thousands of students and colleagues who have sat in his lectures and joined him in field. In his last 25 years as a consulting ecologist, he has concentrated on the KwaZulu-Natal coastal vegetation and its associated environmental factors. He has also worked inland and in Namibia, Nigeria and Swaziland. Cecil Ward has been registered with a number of professional bodies and also has vast experience in aerial photography and photographic interpretation. Publications include the Plant Ecology of the Isipingo Beach Area, for which he was awarded the Captain Scott Memorial Medal, as well as countless papers in scientific journals.
With his soft-spoken words and ‘get on with it’ attitude, Cecil Ward continues to investigate, report and advise on the changing landscape of our environment, in the hope that it will motivate others to follow his example of talking less and doing more.