Department of Botany & Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602 South Africa
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Dept. of Botany & Zoology
Stellenbosch University
Private Bag X1
Matieland 7602
South Africa

Tel: +27 21 808-3236
Fax: +27 21 808-2405

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Postgraduate Studies

Honours guide - for prospective students

Honours timetable 2015

BScHons-MSc-Phd Opportunities - for prospective students

Research groups

Postgraduate Student Guide

Conversion from Masters to PhD - Faculty Guidelines

Current Postgraduate Students

Faculty of Science website

Current Postgraduate students

Student Representatives 2015


Nikki Gartrell



Martine Viljoen


Honours Students 2015

Name Supervisor Project Title

Theo Busschau

S Daniels Phylogeography of Acontias breuceps and A. groalicauda?
Skye Jade Butterson S Clusella-Trullas  
Charli De Vos M Cherry Distribution of cuckoo birds
Amy Edwardes G Midgley Marion Island
Kayla Adriana Geenen G Midgley Dietary niche segregration of sympatric lizards.
Nicolas Hosking J Le Roux  
Katie Keanly T Robinson Do emerging and existing invasive mussels demonstrate differences in anti-predator responses?
Laas Tessa L Dreyer; J Aylward Population genetic structure of Knoxdaviesia capensis on Protea coronata across its natural host range.
Monique Laubscher T Robinson Risk assesment of alien marine species in a South African context.
Inge Marx C Hui; G Diedericks Dietary niche overlap and competitive interactions between two inavsive species, Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and small mouth bass (M. dolomieu) at Blyde River canyon, Mpumalanga
Lona Mjindi C Simon Measuring effects of substrate on Polychaete species composition and abundance in the West Coast of South Africa.
Blessing Mutiti J Le Roux; A Ellis Spatial variation in bacterial community found in natural and cultivated rooibos.
Elizabeth Opperman M Cherry; N Makunga Influence of harvesting of trees by the local community on the population size and dynamics of the endangered Dendrohyrax arboreus which uses these trees to make dens? In the Pirie forest.
Lisa Skein M Alexander; T Robinson Does a native predator exhibit prey naivety towards a new and emerging invaive mussel species
Lelani Smit L Dreyer; Francois Roets Population genetic structure of Knoxdaviesia capensis across difference Protea hosts in the Kogelberg area.
Jeroen Van der Merwe G Midgley  
Martine Viljoen T Wossler The occurrence and prevalence of parasite worms in the African Penguin along the West Coast of South Africa.
Casey Ward T Wossler Colony level reistence to Amerivcan foulbrood in Cape honeybees
Francell Zulch A Valentine; Shane Jacobs Do the ecotypes of Cyclopia assimilate inorganic N via similar pathways in soil, roots ans leaves

MSc Students

Name Supervisor/Promotor Division/Subject Subject title
Dale Abrahams      
Robyn Adams Dr Tammy Robinson, Dr Charles von der Meden, Dr Lara Atkinson, Prof. Isabelle Ansorge   Spatial- and temporal changes in epi-faunal sub-Antarctic assemblages: towed camera imagery as a surveying tool within an MPA
Ricki Allardice Prof AJ Valentine Botany  
Pieter Botha Prof. A Pauw Plant-Animal Interactions The world without birds: an experimental test of the ecological significance of pollinating birds for plant communities
Casey Broom Dr S Clusella-Trullas Dr S von der Heyden CLIME Thermal tolerance, preferences and implications of climate change for Clinus superciliosus
Susan Canavan Dr JR Wilson, Prof. DM Richardson Invasion Biology Bamboo in South Africa: An assessment of potential impacts and developing guidelines for cultivation best practices
Tessa Cooper Prof MI Cherry, Prof A Wanneburg Zoology The effect of deforestation and increased plantation of non-indigenous trees on avian distribution in South Africa
André De Villiers Dr J Measey Invasion Biology Demography, dispersal and performance of Cape Xenopus
Casparus Du Plessis Dr NP Makunga, Dr G Stafford Medicinal Plant Biology Medicinal pant and ecological knowledge assessed using ethnobotanical approaches in the Griqua people of South Africa
Zishan Ebrahim   Zoology  
Madelaine Frazenburg   Botany  
Lida-Mari Groenewald Prof AJ Valentine Plant Physiology Biochemical and molecular changes in Phosphate metabolism during P-stress in M. superciliosus
Llewellyn Jacobs Dr JR Wilson, Prof DM Richardson Botany A global review of non-native Melaleuca (Myrtaceae) species and assessment of potentially invasive species in South Africa
Jacques Jansen Van Rensburg Prof DM Richardson Invasion Biology  
Michelle Jooste Prof L Dreyer, dr KC Oberlander Botany Phylogenetic significance of leaf anotomical character in Oxalis
Jenna Keightley Dr S von der Heyden, Dr S Jackson Zoology Population structure of the indigenous South African oysters and their potential for cultivation
Rashawe Kgopong Prof TC Wossler, Prof SL Chown, Dr C Janion Invasion Biology Interaction between invasive plants and springtails on Marion Island: evidence for
Chris La Grange Dr NP Makunga, DrH Volschenk Botany Screening of in vitro antifungal activity of medicinally important Cape flora plants against Cryptococcus neoformans
Amy Lui Prof. SL Chown CIB The radiation of Seira: a high diversity springtail genus in the Fynbos
Tandokazi Magangana Dr NP Makunga Botany Influence of growth promoting agents on the physiology and metabolites of the sweet medicinal plant, Stevia rebaudiana
Mashudu Mashau   Botany  
Thapelo Mathabela Dr TB Robinson, Dr Brett Macey (DAFF) Zoology Effect of probiotics on the prevention of infectious diseases in dusky cob, Argyrosomus japonicus
Nozibusiso Amanda Mbongwa   Zoology  
Philip Mclean   Botany  
Bongani Mnisi Prof. A Pauw, Dr S Geerts Animal-Plant Interactions The Ingcungcu project: How restoring the nectar feeding bird community can identify and nuture leadership for biodiversity ( Part-time)
Luisa Morais   Zoology  
Elana Mostert Dr M Gaertner, Dr P Holmes Botany Identifying priority areas for restoration in Cape Town
Anche Muller Prof. VR Smith Botany Functional traits of Marion Island plants
Nombuso Ngubane   Botany  
Erica Nielsen Dr Sophie von der Heyden, Dr Romina Henriques, Molecular Ecology/Marine research Integrating genetics into biodiversity planning in South Africa: implications for MPA design
Mllue Nsikani   Zoology  
David Phair Dr C Hui, Dr JJ le Roux, Dr V Visser Invasion Biology Modelling the genetic structure dynamics of the European Starling during its range expansion
Nikki Phair Dr S von der Heyden, Dr Deena Pillay Botany Genetic diversity, relatedness and gene flow in the endangered sea grass, Zostera capensis
Andria Rautenbach Dr NP Makunga, prof AM Engelbrecht Botany Genomic-metabolomic repationships in wild populations of the nmedicinal plant Dodoneae viscosa L. Jacq.
Alex Rebelo   Zoology  
Janneke Rubow   Zoology  
Cleo Rudman Dr TB Robinson, Dr K Sink (SANBI) Zoology Intertidal communities of Madagascar
Amir Sadat Rezaei   Zoology  
A. Francis Sands  Prof. CA Matthee, Dr S Matthee Evolutionary Genomics Group A molecular genetic perspective on the evolution of Hyalomma ticks
Safiyya Sedick   Zoology  
Paula Strauss Dr K Tolley, Dr S Clusella-Trullas Zoology Investigating the genetic and physiological adaptive potential of Meroles knoxii (Family: Lacertidae) in response to climate change
Jessica Toms Dr S von der Heyden, Dr C Hui Zoology Using phylogenetic diversity and species richness of nudibranchs in South Africa to enhance biodiversity planning
Cheruscha Swart   Zoology  
Corey Thorp   Zoology  
Jessica Toms Dr S. von der Heyden, Prof. C Hui Zoology Using molecular systematics and species richness data of nudibranchs (Opisthobranchia: Nudibranchia) to enhance understanding of South Africa’s marine biodiversity
Jacqueline Tonkie Prof. VR Smith Botany Marion Island bryophytes: evidence for functional types based on traits related to photosynthesis and desiccation tolerance
Gareth Walker   Botany  
Benjamin Weighill Prof. Bruce Anderson and Prof. Theresa Wossler Zoology Rodents & Restios: Investigating the seed-seed disperser interaction of Gerbillurus paeba & Willdenowia incurvata

PhD Students


Promotor Division/Subject Subject title
Jessica Allen Prof SL Chown CIB Rate of acclimation, coadaptation and acclimation costs in Tenebrio molitor and Cyrtobagous salviniae: importance in the face of global climate change
Willem Augustyn Prof. AG Ellis Plant-Animal Interactions Plant-insect diversity relationships in the Cape: Restios and their herbivores
Janneke Aylward Prof. L Dreyer Botany Comparative genomics and phylogenomics of Protea-associated ophiostomatoid fungi
Christopher Bosc Prof. Anton Pauw, Prof. Cang Hui & Dr Francois Roets Animal-Plant Interaction Arthropod communities in Fynbos (South Africa) and their interactions with plants, fire and birds
Anina Coetzee Prof. A Pauw, Dr Phoebe Barnard (SANBI) Animal/Plant Interactions Bird pollination systems in the fynbos biome
Arno De Klerk Prof. JH van Wyk, A-M Oberholster (Genetics), P Oberholster (CSIR) Zoology A Comparative study of two river systems using abiotic, biotic and molecular indicators
Caroli De Waal Dr BC Anderson, Dr AG Ellis Plant-Animal interactions The evolution of seed dispersal and dormancy in unpredictable environments
Genevieve Diedericks Prof. C Hui, Dr S von der Heyden, Dr OLF Weyl Invasion Biology Determining the mechanisms driving the invasion success of the Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu)
Hanlie Engelbrecht Prof. SR Daniels Zoology  
Nanike Esterhuizen Prof. TC Wossler Zoology  
Tina Glyn-Woods Dr NP Makunga & Dr Michelle Cocks (Rhodes) Botany conservation of indigenous Western Cape knowledge through Ethnobotanical documentation and pharmacological validation
Yordan Hristov Prof. TC Wossler Behavioural Ecology Investigations on some epizootological and clinical aspects of nosemosis in Apis mellifera capensis
Elindi Jansen van Rensburg Prof. JH van Wyk Ecophysiology Endocrine disruption effects of agrichemical mixtures in the aquatic environment: biochemical responses and linkage to population -level effects
Clova Jurk Dr Tammy Robinson and Prof John Wilson Marine Biology / Invasion Biology Eradicating marine invasions - South Africa as a case-study
Christopher Johnson Prof. A Pauw Plant-Animal Interactions The role of pollinators in the genesis and maintenance of Proteaceae diversity
Jan-Hendrik Keet Dr JJ Le Roux Invasion Biology - Botany  
Jurene Kemp Prof. AG Ellis Botany Plant-insect diversity relationships in the Cape Floristic Region
Siviwe Lamani   Zoology  
Sandra Macfayden Dr C Hui, Prof Dr P. Verburg Botany Linking long-term landscape heterogeneity patterns to changes of ecosystem processes in the Kruger National Park
Anathi Magadlela Prof. AJ Valentine Botany  
Lisa Mertens

Dr S von der Heyden, Dr S Clusella-Trullas

Molecular Ecology/Marine research Assessing the evolutionary and physiological resilience of southern African marine species
Minnaar Prof. Bruce Anderson Animal-Plant Interactions Pollinators and Pollen Fate
Ingrid Minnaar Dr S Clusella-Trullas Zoology Is the invasiveness pf insects associated with functional traits and their plasticity?
Mohlamatsane Mokhatla Dr John Measey Zoology  
Ethan Newman Prof. BC Anderson Animal-Plant Interactions Floral variation of Cape bulbs across a pollinator landscape,
Koebraa Peters Dr TB Robinson, Dr K Sink SANBI) Marine Research Assessing the intra-regional transfer of marine alien species along the South African coastline
Terry Reynolds Dr Simon van Noort, Prof CA Matthee Zoology Systematics and evolution of the Afrotropical Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera)
Simon Rizutto Prof. JH van Wyk   The effect of persistant organic pollutants, acting as potential disruptors of the endocrine system, on the reproductive health of the Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
Marius Rossouw   Botany  
Gary Stevens Prof. AJ Valentine, Prof E Steenkamp (UP) Botany Phosphoenolpyrovate carboxylase (PEPC) regulation in biological nitrogen fixation in phosphate deficient nodules of Virgilia orobiodes
Ross Shackleton Prof. David Richardson, Dr David Le Maitre, Prof. Brian van Wilgen Invasion Biology A multi-scaled, transdisciplinary study on the impacts and management of Prosopis, one of the world’s worst woody invasive plant taxa
Rochelle Thuynsma Prof. AJ Valentine Botany The role of lupin clusters roots in nitrogen metabolism during P deficiency
Christoff Truter Prof. JH van Wyk & Prof. PN Mouton Ecophysiology Testing for endocrine disruptors in South African waters: a comparative study to evaluate in vitro  (recombinant cells) and in vivo (aquatic animals) testing approaches in laboratory and field situations
Waafeka Vardien Dr AJ Valentine, Prof E Steenkamp (UP) Botany The regulation of organophosphate mobilization by intracellular Acid Phosphatases (APase) during phosphate deficiency in the nodules of Virgillia oroboides
Giovanni Vimercati

Dr J Measey, Dr Sarah Davies

Invasion Biology Exploring the invasion of the gutteral toad, Amietolhrynus gutteralis
Louisa Wood Prof. SR Daniels Zoology Phylogeographic patterning in the Cape Freshwater Prawn (Palaemon capensis: De Man 1897) and selective freshwater taxa in the Cape Floristic Region
Samkele Zonyane Dr NP Makunga Medicinal Plant Research Genetic mapping of Sutherlandia frutescens populations growing in different geographical locations in South Africa for the understanding of chemotypic variations

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