C·I·B Teams
 

C·I·B Associates

 

Mhairi Alexander

Mhairi Alexander is a Lecturer in Animal Behaviour at the University of the West of Scotland, UK. Her research interests have been focused on methodologies that aim to predict invasive species impact across a range of taxa with an emphasis on aquatic systems. She is also interested in how predatory behaviours of native predators change towards invasive prey. Mhairi continues to have strong links with researchers at the C·I·B and also the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity.

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Tim Blackburn

Tim Blackburn is Chair of Invasion Biology at Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research in Department of Genetics, Evolution & Environment, University College London. He obtained a D.Phil. In Zoology from the University of Oxford in 1990, and was then a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College London. His work addresses large-scale patterns and processes in ecology, and currently is largely focused on questions relating to biological invasions. He has co-authored 3 books and more than 200 scientific articles, is on the editorial board of Neobiota, and is a member of the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group.

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Ryan Blanchard

Ryan Blanchard is an ecologist and senior researcher in the Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services research group within the CSIR’s Natural Resources and the Environment unit. He completed his PhD which focused on understanding the potential biodiversity impacts of biofuel production under the supervision of Professor David Richardson at the Centre for Invasion Biology. His current work focuses on understanding the impacts of drivers such as land use change and invasive alien plants on the structure and function of ecosystems and the services they provide. He is also interested in spatial modelling and how this information can be used to support the management and control of invasive alien plants.

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Jane Carruthers

Jane Carruthers has taught in the Department of History at the University of South Africa since 1980 and is currently a Research Professor. Jane’s research interests are wide and generally straddle C.P. Snow’s famous ‘two cultures’ — science and the humanities. She is engaged in research around the history of biology and national parks, colonial art, and heritage and cartography in southern Africa and Australia.

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Franz Essl

Franz Essl is plant ecologist working as senior researcher at the Austrian Environment Agency and the University of Vienna, Austria. His work addresses the causes of patterns of species and habitats diversity and the resulting consequences for nature conservation and human society. Currently, his work focuses on the impact of socio-economic activity on levels and trends of invasions, and on the interaction of invasions with other aspects of global change. He has co-authored four books and more than 45 scientific articles, he is member of the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group, and is on the editorial boards of Diversity and Distributions and Neobiota.

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Mirijam Gaertner

Dr Gaertner is head of the Masters Programme “Environmental Sciences” at the Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Science (https://www.hfwu.de/en/). She has obtained her PhD at the Alberts-Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Germany and was subsequently a post-doctoral researcher and later a core team member of the C·I·B, working closely with the City of Cape Town on restoration and rehabilitation of invaded areas, with a particular focus on Fynbos ecosystems.

Her research focuses on invasions Biology, restoration ecology and urban ecology. Her main interest is on patterns and processes of invasions in natural ecosystems specifically on impacts of invasive species on the native ecosystem (such as impacts on plant community composition and soil nutrient cycling). Another interest of hers is the restoration of native ecosystems. More recently she has started working in urban ecosystems. Here she has focused on developing management and prioritization schemes for controlling invasive species.

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Sjirk Geerts

Sjirk Geerts is a senior lecturer at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He has a broad interest in ecology, plant demography, pollination and invasive plant species. His PhD focused on how pollination structures plant and bird communities and how these mutualisms disassemble under a range of anthropogenic pressures. His current research interest covers a wide range of topics in plant invasions and pollination ecology, with a focus on reproduction and pollination of emerging invasive alien plants.

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Jan Giliomee

Prof Jan Giliomee is a research associate at the C·I·B. He retired as professor of Entomology at the University of Stellenbosch in 2001 and in 2003 joined the Department of Botany and Zoology at the US as research associate. He has published widely on the ecology and management of insects of economic importance to agriculture and has a special interest in scale insects. Recently he has focussed on the establishment of newly introduced alien insects and, as a board member of the Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve, on biodiversity conservation and research in this Reserve.

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Patricia Holmes

Pat Holmes is a plant ecologist employed as biophysical specialist at the City of Cape Town Municipality. Her work includes biodiversity and spatial planning, environmental assessment and project management. She also advises on biodiversity management across the city, particularly on City-run nature reserves. Her primary research interests are invasive alien plant ecology and management and restoration ecology.

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Brian Huntley

Brian Huntley is a Research Associate of the C·I·B. and a visiting researcher at the Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO) at the University of Porto. Huntley retired as CEO of the South African National Biodiversity Institute in 2009. His focal activity has been the development of strong institutional capacity in biodiversity conservation and research, which he continues through serving as an advisor and consultant to international agencies such as UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, GEF etc. His special interest lies in developing and implementing a protected areas expansion strategy for Angola, where he has been actively involved for nearly five decades and has recently led three biodiversity assessment expeditions and edited a major synthesis volume on the biodiversity of Angola.

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Michelle Jackson

Michelle Jackson is a Research Associate at Imperial College London. She completed a PhD on invasive crayfish at Queen Mary University of London in 2012, and was then a C·I·B postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pretoria for 3 years. She is interested in the ecological impacts of invasions in freshwaters and, in particular, how invasions interact with other environmental stressors such as land use change and global warming. Her current project is focused on genes-to-ecosystem responses of freshwaters to climate change in the Arctic.

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Charlene Janion-Scheepers

Charlene's research interests include Collembola systematics and ecology, and the use of DNA barcoding as a tool to aid in the identification of species. She is also interested in developing the use of Collembola and other soil fauna as indicators of soil health.

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Martine Jordaan

Martine Jordaan is an aquatic ecologist within the Scientific Services section of CapeNature. She has a background in environmental toxicology and conservation science. Freshwater fish are her current field of interest and she plays an active role in formulating conservation plans, policies and guiding documents aimed at various aspects of freshwater fish conservation within the context of integrated catchment management and freshwater ecosystem conservation. She also has a keen interest in understanding the impacts of invasive freshwater fish on the native aquatic biota of the region and how to mitigate the impacts of these invasions. She is an Honorary Research Associate of the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity where she works collaboratively on a number of freshwater fish related projects.

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Christoph Kueffer

Christoph Kueffer is a senior scientist at the Department of Environmental Systems Science of ETH Zurich, Switzerland. His research interests include plant functional ecology, novel ecosystems, and trans-disciplinary research on the emerging ecological novelty of the Anthropocene in collaboration with practitioners, social scientists and the humanities and with a focus on mountains and oceanic islands. Currently, he is particularly interested in developing multi-site comparative studies and model system research approaches in invasion science; among others as the coordinator of the Mountain Invasion Research Network (www.miren.ethz.ch). Christoph is an editor-in-chief of Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics and member of the editorial board of Diversity and Distributions.

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David Le Maitre

Dr David Le Maitre is an applied plant ecologist and hydrologist who is a member of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services research group, Natural Resources and the Environment, CSIR. He has a special interest in the impacts of invasive plant species on ecosystem structure and processes and how this affects the generation of ecosystem services, particular hydrological services. His current research focuses on the impacts of land cover change, including invasions, on water fluxes and water quality and ways of using this information to prioritise management interventions and increase the efficacy and sustainability of investments in invasive plant control. He is also interested in the interactions between global change and fire-regimes and their potential impact on invasions.

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Jaco Le Roux

Dr Jaco Le Roux is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia. His research is related to phylogeography and population genetics of invasive plants. His interests are broad but mainly revolve around evolutionary dynamics of small populations, evolutionary biology and ecology of plant invaders in general.

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Candice Lyons

Candice Lyons is a Researcher at the Plant Health and Protection institute within the Agricultural Research Council (ARC-PPRI), where she manages the section on biological control of weeds by insects. Her interests include, but are not limited to, ecophysiology of insects, ecology, invasive species interactions and impacts. She is interested in how applied research can inform management; impacts of biocontrol agents and issues associated with establishment success; integrated management of weeds; and impacts of local environmental conditions and species interactions on biocontrol programmes in South Africa. Candice is the Editor of the newsletter of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa (Rostrum). She works with researchers from UCT, Stellenbosch University, La Trobe in Melbourne, the Western Cape Government, and from other institutes within the ARC.

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Dave Pepler

Dave Pepler promotes the biodiversity and invasion biology work of the Centre for Invasion Biology through media liaison, such as radio interviews and television programmes. Dave’s primary affiliation is with the Centre for Invasion Biology. Connect with Dave on Facebook.

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Petr Pyšek

Petr Pyšek is Head of the Department of Invasion Ecology at the Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (where he has worked since 1996, and served as Deputy Director between 2004–2011). His research interests cover a wide range of topics in biological invasions, with focus on macroecological large-scale patterns and processes, determinants of species invasiveness and habitat invasibility, biogeographical approaches to invasions, impact of invasive species, and case studies of major invaders.

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Anthony Ricciardi

Anthony (Tony) Ricciardi is a Professor in the Redpath Museum at McGill University, and a McGill Trottier Fellow in Science and Public Policy. Tony’s research aims to predict the impacts of invasions, especially those involving invertebrates and fishes in freshwater ecosystems. He is currently developing general hypotheses to explain spatio-temporal variation in impact. He is on the editorial boards of the journal Biological Invasions and the journal Diversity and Distributions, and also serves on the scientific committee of the Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network — a research group that assesses the risks and mechanisms of invasion in Canada's lakes, rivers and coastal waters.

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Ross Shackleton

Ross Shackleton is a lecturer at the Institute of Geography and Sustainability (Faculty of Geosciences and Environment), at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He conducted a PhD and postdoc at the C·I·B, between 2013 and 2017 with most of his work looking into the social and ecological effects of invasive plants and their manamgent in Africa. Much of his work now uses interdisciplinary and social-ecological approaches for better understanding invasion dynamics and impacts of invasive plants and trees for people and nature. Ross is particularly interested in the role that the social sciences and humanities can play in improving invasion science and commonly draws on the livelihoods, ecosystem services and human wellbeing frameworks. Ross is on the editorial board for Biological Invasions.

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Nicola van Wilgen

Nicola van Wilgen has a broad interest in biology, ecology, conservation and sustainability. Her current research focus is quantifying global change in national parks with a specific focus on alien species, climate change, the extent and potential implications of resource harvesting in parks and rates of land conversion within and surrounding protected areas.

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Darragh Woodford

Darragh Woodford is a Lecturer in Aquatic Ecology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. His primary research focus is understanding the local and landscape drivers that mediate the successful establishment and spread of introduced freshwater fishes. He also seeks to understand how these alien species interact with native freshwater biota, and how changes in aquatic habitat integrity can affect these biotic interactions. He is an Honorary Research Associate of the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity and conducts collaborative research on freshwater ecosystems across South Africa.

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