The R2AIN™ Model was founded by Dr Vanessa Weyer as a vehicle to facilitate the collaboration of research and consulting sustainability scientists and organisations on projects small to large across the environmental, minerals, energy, urban, agricultural and social sectors. Multi-disciplinary teams are customised and managed based on project and client needs. An emphasis is placed on mentorship - the giving back of skills and knowledge to emerging or young sustainability scientists. Diversity in teams is celebrated.
Knysna, Western Cape
South Africa
PhD| Environmental Management| University of Pretoria, South Africa, 2020
MSc| Environment & Development| University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Professional Registrations
Professional Natural Scientist (Pr.Sci.Nat.)Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP)
Environmental Science, South African Council for Natural Scientific ProfessionsEnvironmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa

Vanessa’s career commenced as a horticulturist and then as a landscape contractor and designer, where she worked with landscape architects and gained hands-on rehabilitation and sustainability experience, at a time when environmental sustainability was mostly unpracticed and voluntary. With the first Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations promulgated in South Africa in 1997, Vanessa became more involved with environmental planning and EIA work. This led to her completing a MSc in Environment and Development at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2002. Vanessa then worked as an EIA practitioner for several years, on diverse projects including social housing, infrastructure, industrial, petrol filling stations/underground storage tanks, and alternative fuels projects. Vanessa commenced a PhD, on a full scholarship in 2013 at the Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Her PhD was later transferred to the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and conferred in 2020. Through her PhD Vanessa has well established networks in Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, Canada and South Africa. Vanessa’s PhD focused on mined land rehabilitation, risk assessment and integrated environmental modelling. Mining was chosen as a focus area due to its destructive nature, with the view that if problems can be solved for mining, principles can be applied to enhance sustainability and respond to climate change in other development activities. Vanessa was a co-author on a recent international Ecological Engineering Nature-based Solutions paper. Vanessa is passionate about her work and sees it as a calling, a calling she has had since a small child whilst traveling Mozambique with her adventurous exploring parents. She believes that we never stop learning, sharing and making a difference, to make the world better. This being more critical now than ever before as the world faces extreme challenges recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, political and economic instability, and as climate change impacts intensify and natural disasters become more prevalent. The world’s remaining resources will face severe pressure from development and population growth pressures. Maintaining a delicate environment-people balance and ensuring that social-justice is upheld  will be a key challenge.