Sinenhlahla Mntambo

Background

I am an aspiring ecologist with a specific interest on how biodiversity responds to alien invasive species. I completed BSc Environmental Sciences in 2016 and BSc Honours Ecological sciences in 2017 at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg Campus. I am currently a second year MSc student working on a project titled Response of ant and spider community to alien invasive plant species, Chromolaena odorata. I am supervised by Dr C Munyai, and co-supervised by Prof R Slotow and Prof S Foord.

Current research

The effects of invasive plants on biodiversity are widely documented. There is a vast amount of research on the effects on invasive plants on native vegetation. However, there are very few studies to document the response of animals to invasive plant species, especially on arthropods. This gap in knowledge should not be existing considering that arthropods constitutes the most to global biodiversity and have differential important roles in the ecosystem. My Masters project aims to determine the response of ant and spiders to alien invasive plant species, Chromolaena odorata in Buffelsdraai Landfill Conservancy, Durban.