Department of Botany & Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602 South Africa
home page
research groups
courses / modules
News items
important safety information
contact information

Contact details:

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

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

Check us on facebook!



Postgraduate Studies

Honours guide - for prospective students

Honours 2016 — Timetable— Course outline

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


Nikki Phair






Honours Students 2017

Name Supervisor Project Title

Tiaan Barnard

Prof. S Clusella-Trullas Thermoregulation of ecotherms (lizards) in competimng environment
Delene Bezuidenhout Dr T. Robinson  
Mari Brink Prof. L. Dreyer, Dr K Oberlander Phylogenetic significance of seedling morphology in South African Oxalis
Kathryn Gardner Prof. T. Wossler  
Kerry Grey Prof. G. Midgley Predictive understandig of global climate change risks to endangred indigenous flora: Aloidendron dichotomum (Quiver tree)
Bianca Hagen Dr S. Kumschick Comparison between 3 impact scoring systems using mammals as a template
Oli Hansen Prof. G. Midgley, S von der Heyden Paleoclimate modelling of predator-prey interaction (penguins-sardines)
Wesley Hartmann Prof. T. Wossler, A Ellis  
Kapdi Khatja Prof. B Anderson Learning in the Cape Honeybee
David Kesner Dr S. Kumschick Impact scoring of alien invasive Molluscs of South Africa
Keanu Martin Prof. B Anderson  
Caveshlin Naidoo Dr C. Simon The identification and use of bloodworms in the Western Cape
Wian Nieman Dr A Leslie, Prof. T Wossler Identification assesment of anthropogenic to the persistence of leoprad in two adjacent UNESCO biosphere reserves in Western Cape, South Africa.
Nikki Vorster Dr T. Robinson Winner takes all? Competition between alien and native colonial ascidians
Staci Warrington Prof. J Le Roux Testing major plant-microbial mutualism hypotheses in invasion ecology: a case study using legumes and rhizobia
Carina Wessels Prof. C Matthee Phylogeographic structure of the soft tick (Ornithodoros capensis), found in the nests of a seabird that cannot fly (Spheniscus demersus).

MSc Students 2017

Name Supervisor/Promotor Division/Subject Subject title
Dale Abrahams Dr RV Rambau Evolutionary Genomics Chromosomal reanngements in Otomys across the transition zone in the Eastern Cape.
Robyn Adams Dr Tammy Robinson, Dr Charles von der Meden, Dr Lara Atkinson, Prof. Isabelle Ansorge Marine Biology Long-term epifaunal assemblage changes at a sub-Antarctic Marine Protected Area.
Luca Afonso Dr M Gaertner Invasion Biology Urban plant invasions: how to prioritise assess manage and eradicate emerging species; Cape Town as a case study.
Casparus Du Plessis Prof. NP Makunga, Dr G Stafford Medicinal Plant Biology Medicinal pant and ecological knowledge assessed using ethnobotanical approaches in the Griqua people of South Africa
Brian Du Preez Prof. L Dreyer, Prof. A Valentine Botany Systematic revision of Polhillia (Leguminoceane)
Amy Edwardes Prof. G Midgley Climate Change biology The Ecophysiological and growth responses of Nama Karoo shrub and grass forms to simulated climate warming and rainfall seasonality shift
Mizpah Hoffman Prof. NP Makunga Medicinal Plant Biology Metabolomic characterisation and pharmacology of Dodonaea viscosa Jacq
Katie Keanly Dr T Robinson Marine/Invasion Biology Encapsulating yachts to manage the transfer of marine alien species
Judith Kushata Prof. M Cherry, W Conradie   Phylogeography and diversity of Anurans in the Eastern Cape forests, South Africa
Dianah Kutama Prof. Susana Clusella-Trullas   Investigating parasite-host dynamics in a fungal-alien beetle system
Chris La Grange Prof. NP Makunga, DrH Volschenk Botany Screening of in vitro antifungal activity of medicinally important Cape flora plants against Cryptococcus neoformans
Marike Louw Dr J Measey Invasion Biology Alien plants and calling animals: Using acoustic arrays to examine the effects of invasive flora on local fauna in the fynbos biome.
Nkoliso Magona Prof. JR Wilson Invasion Biology Determining the invasive status of Australian acacias in South Africa and the potential for eradicating species with limited distributions.
Eugene Marais Prof. JH Van Wyk   Potential sources of poisoning in ruminants with special reference to giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) on a private game reserve in the Little Karoo.
Nozibusiso Amanda Mbongwa Prof. S Von der Heyden Evolutionary Genomics Species richness and phylogenetic diversity of South AFRICAN sandy beach species: Implications for the conservation of sandy beach ecosystems
Philip Mclean Dr M Gaertner Invasion Biology Why are the constraints faced by less well-resourced category B municipalities in South Africa implementing strategies for invasive Alien species management?
Luisa Morais Prof. TC Wossler Behavioural Ecology Vocal dialects in large assemblies: A study of European starling roosts in introduced ranges.
Ella Morran Prof. S Clusella-Trullas   Effects of alien plant invasions on a small epidemic tortoise Homopus areolatus
Jake Mulvaney Prof. M Cherry    
Khensani Nkuna Dr Sabrina Kumschick Invasion Biology Risk assessment of alien grasses in South Africa.
Olamide Omolewa Dr RV Rambau Evolutionary Genomics Population structuring of the woodland dormice Graphiurus murinus in southern african
Bryone Peters Prof Theresa Wossler   Behavioral and chemical death-feigning characteristics in the defence strategy used by the ant Tetramorium
Matilda Randle Prof. GF Midgley   Impacts of warming on woody plants in savannas
Amir Sadat Rezaei Prof S Von Der Heyden Zoology Did rapid adaptation drive the recent divergence between estuarine and marine clinus species? Insights from next-generation sequencing.
Safiyya Sedick Dr C Simon Marine Biology Syllidae (Annelida Polychaeta): Diversity of alien and indigenous species along the rocky shores of the Western Cape South Africa.
Lisa Skein Dr TB Robinson Marine Bilogy The subtidal invasion of the mussel Semimytilus algosus and its implications for predator-prey interactions along the South African coastline.
Kirstin Stephens Prof. JJ Le Roux   Determining the incidence and extent of hybridization between non-native Mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) and native yellow-billed ducks (Anas undulata) in South Africa.
Cheruscha Swart Dr TB Robinson Zoology A global assessment of invasive nearshore marine predators and the threat they pose along the South African coastline
Genevieve Theron Prof. BC Anderson Biological Interactions Evidence of pollinator-driven selection on floral traits in Ferraria (Iridaceae).
Alta Zietsman Prof. GF Midgley Climate change Using the photochemical reflectance index as an indicator of plant stress in response to changing environmental conditions i Marion Island plant communities

PhD Students


Promotor Division/Subject Subject title
Karla Alujevic Prof. S Clusella-Trullas, Dr M Logan Ecophysiology Does behaviour mediate evolutionary trajectories to climate adaption?
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
Susan Canavan Prof. D Richardson, Prof. JR Wilson Plant Invasion Biology Bamboo introductions an assessment of the potential impacts and developing guidelines.
Claire Davis Prof. GF Midgley Global Change Biology Integrating remotely sensed vegetation indices and dynamic global vegetation model to quantify vegetation change and ecological resilience to climate change across sub-Saharan Africa.
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
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)
Nanike Esterhuizen Prof. TC Wossler Behavioural Ecology The botanical origin physicochemical properties and antibacterial activity of selected West Coast honeys.
Lida-Mari Groenewald Prof. AJ Valentine Botany Gene regulation of P nutrition in nodule root and arbuscular mycorrhiza in the module legume Medicago truncatula during P deficiency
Yordan Hristov Prof. TC Wossler Behavioural Ecology Investigations on some epizootological and clinical aspects of nosemosis in Apis mellifera capensis
Michelle Jooste Prof. L Dreyer, Prof. GF Midgley, Dr K Oberlander Global Change Biology Diversity and nature of endophytic associations of southern African Oxalis
Jyothi Kara Dr CA Simon Marine Biology Taxonomic and molecular assessment of apparently alien and cosmopolitan Nereididae Blainville 1818 polychaetes from South Africa
Jan-Hendrik Keet Prof. J Le Roux Invasion Biology - Botany Understanding the biodiversity impacts of invasive legumes: Investigating changes in below ground mutualistic networks soil conditions and soil function in response to invasions.
Jurene Kemp Prof. AG Ellis Botany Pollinator filtering in a Namaqualand daisy
Jess Leaver Prof. N Makunga Medicinal Plant biology An assessment of the impact of harvesting in forests by rural communities in the Eastern Cape Province and the contribution that this makes towards the bio-economy.
Sandra Macfayden Prof. C Hui Botany Linking long-term landscape heterogeneity patterns to changes of ecosystem processes in the Kruger National Park
Clova Mabin Dr TB Robinson Marine Biology Carcinus maenas in South Africa: Status impacts and management
Sandra Macfadyen Prof C Hui   Linking long-term landscape heterogeneity patterns to changes of ecosystem processes in the Kruger National Park South Africa
Martins Vusumzi Dr RV Rambau Evolutionary Genomics Estimating gene flow in forest dependent taxa: population genetics of Myosorex in natural forest fragments of the Eastern Cape'
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
Corneile Minnaar Prof. Bruce Anderson Animal-Plant Interactions Pollinators and Pollen Fate
Ingrid Minnaar Dr S Clusella-Trullas Zoology Is insect invasiveness associated with functional traits and their plasticity?
Luyanda Ndlela

Dr Oberholster, Prof Johannes Hendrik Van Wyk

Ecophysiology Biological control pf toxic cyanobacteria and the resulting ecotoxicity
Zama Ndovela     The plant energy costs incurred by nitrogen metabolism in different bacterial species in phosphate stressed Virgilia divaricata legumes
Mlungele Nsikani

Dr Mirijam Gaertner, Prof Brian Van Wilgen

Plant Invasion Biology Soil enrichment following invasion by Acacia species as a barrier to autogenic ecosystem recovery in the fynbos ecosystem
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
David Phair Prof. TC Wossler Behavioural Ecology Social organisation and pathogen transmission in African ants: at what point do social immunity benefits diminish?
Nikki Phair Prof. S Von der Heyden Evolutionary Genomics Vulnerability Resilience and Adaptation: The Future for the Seagrass Zostera capensis
Luke Potgieter Dr M Gaertner, Prof. B Van Wilgen Plant Invasion Biology Assessing the impacts of invasive alien plants on urban ecosystem services
Terry Reynolds Dr Simon van Noort, Prof CA Matthee Evolutionary genomics Systematics and evolution of the Afrotropical Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera)
Marius Rossouw Prof. G Midgley Botany Functional responses of Blechnum penna-marina to environmental gradients in tundra environments
Rochelle Thuynsma Prof. AJ Valentine Molecular Plant Physiology The role of lupin clusters roots in nitrogen metabolism during P deficiency
Darryn Whisgary Prof. AJ Valentine Molecular Plant Physiology The phosphate tolerance of bacterial species in relation to biological nitrogen fixation in Virgilia divaricata
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

Stellenbosch, University and logo

Stellenbosch, University and logo