Prof. Dave Richardson is Director of the C·I·B and a Professor in the Department of Botany and Zoology at Stellenbosch University. His research focuses mainly on plant invasions, especially trees and shrubs. He is interested in the biogeography, ecology and management of invasions. David stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Diversity and Distributions in 2015 after 19 years in the editorial hot seat.
Prof. Charles Griffiths is Director of the Marine Biology Research Centre and a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town. His research interests lie mainly in the field of marine biodiversity and marine invasive species.
Prof. Brian van Wilgen is an applied ecologist based at the Centre for Invasion Biology at Stellenbosch University. He has broad interests in conservation and ecosystem management, with a focus on fire ecology, and the ecology of invasive alien plants. He is an Associate Editor of the South African Journal of Science, and Regional Editor (for Africa) on the journal Conservation Biology.
Prof. Marcus Byrne is an entomologist in the School of Animal Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He works on biological control insects, particularly those used in the control of alien invasive plants, and the behaviour and physiology of dung beetles.
Prof. Christian Chimimba is a lecturer in the Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria. His research interests include African small mammal evolutionary and biosystematics research focusing on rodents of medical, veterinary, economic, agricultural, and of biodiversity/conservation concern.
Prof. Susana Clusella-Trullas is a physiological ecologist at the C·I·B. Her research combines theory, laboratory and field work to examine physiological responses of organisms to changing environmental conditions, with a strong focus on thermal biology. Her interests include climate change impacts on indigenous and invasive species and the interactive effects of climate and invasion. Additional research addresses patterns of physiological traits at large spatial scales and bottom-up modeling approaches.
Sarah is the Deputy Director of the C·I·B, and manages operational aspects of the Centre. She is involved in research on invasive frogs, particularly domestic exotics, in South Africa. She is particularly interested in how ecological systems change when invaded, how invasions can be prevented and controlled and the policy implications of these programmes.
Prof. Colleen Downs has been at the University of KwaZulu-Natal since 1994. Her research interests are broad and multidisciplinary. They include the conservation, general biology and ecophysiology (particularly nutrition, digestive physiology and thermal biology) of terrestrial vertebrates in unpredictable environments. She has been appointed as the South African Research Chair in Ecosystem Health and Biodiversity in KZN and the Eastern Cape.
Prof. Karen Esler is Deputy Chairperson of the Department of Conservation Ecology, Stellenbosch University. The overall goal of her research is to understand how drivers of change (climate change, over-exploitation, habitat fragmentation and alien invasion) influence population and community structure and processes in fynbos and Karoo vegetation. The applied aspect of this work has been to advise on aspects of restoration and conservation.
Dr. Llewellyn Foxcroft is a scientist in the South African National Parks Conservation Services division, based in Skukuza, Kruger National Park. His main research interests are in alien plant invasions, investigating the processes and patterns of invasion, and the links to management interventions. He also has wide ranging interests in conservation biology, as well as strategic adaptive management frameworks. He is editor of the journal Koedoe: African Protected Area Conservation and Science.
Prof. Cang Hui is a South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Mathematical and Theoretical Physical Biosciences, based at Stellenbosch University in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and co-affiliated with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) at Muizenberg in Cape Town. His research interests are proposing models and theories for explaining emerging patterns of biodiversity, networks and traits in ecology and evolution.
Sabrina Kumschick is a researcher at the C·I·B, funded by the Invasive Species Programme of the South African National Biodiversity Institute. She mainly focuses on the assessment of risk of alien species and their impacts on the environment and economy where they are introduced. She has also developed a method to compare highly diverse impacts between different alien taxa which can aid prioritisation for management and policy development.
Dr. John Measey is a Senior Researcher at the C·I·B based in the Department of Botany and Zoology at Stellenbosch University. His research centres on ecological investigations incorporating a wide range of techniques to address hypotheses in evolution, conservation and population biology. John is Editor-in-Chief of the African Journal of Herpetology.
Dr Thabiso Mokotjomela (Ecologist in Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency) is interested in the systems' ecology with a specific focus on vertebrates having trophic relationships with exotic species in both the transformed and pristine habitats in order to understand the dispersal pathways and develop accurate intervention strategies for suppressing invasion rates. Leading question: How does the presence of exotic species influence persistence of population of native species (e.g. reproductive processes) and habitat functionality? Also, quantitative evaluation of the intensity of interactions between the exotic species and the components of natural habitat may guide the development the impact thresholds and determine possible ecological regime shifts driven by species invasion. Results may guide prioritisation of resources during decision-making for the eradication processes, and habitat restoration operations in each habitat. Alternate email address
Dr Sebataolo Rahlao is a Director of Biological Invasions at the South African National Biodiversity Institute. His research interests are on institutional and systems issues that facilitate or hinder science-based decision making on understanding and managing biological invasions.
Prof. Mark Robertson is a lecturer in the Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria. His research interests include species distributions, plant invasions, invasion impacts on biodiversity, and biodiversity studies across environmental gradients.
Dr. Tammy Robinson-Smythe is a marine biologist and lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch. As a community ecologist her research interests centre on marine biodiversity with a particular focus on the impacts of marine invasive species on the South African coast.
Dr Sheunesu Ruwanza is a senior lecturer in the Department of Ecology and Resource
Management at the University of Venda, whose research combines field and laboratory work
on cost effective ecological restoration options following removal of invasive alien
plants such as Acacias and Eucalyptus. His overall research goal is to understand
ecological restoration models that facilitate effective ecosystem recovery and control
of invasive alien plants. He also researches issues on plant-soil interactions and
plant-plant interactions in the field of ecological restoration and global change
ecology; and the utilisation of both invasive alien and native plants by poor
communities. Dr Ruwanza works closely with local stakeholders such as the Working for
Water (WfW) Programme (to develop a cost effective clearing and ecological restoration
options), and with Lapalala Wilderness (to examine soil and native species recovery in
old agricultural fields based on successional and alternative-state restoration models).
Prof. Michael Somers is the Eugène Marais Chair of Wildlife Management at the Mammal Research Institute, University of Pretoria. His research interests are broad but include invasion biology, reintroduction biology, conservation behaviour and carnivore behaviour and ecology.
Prof. Peter Taylor is a South African Research (SARChI) Chair on Biodiversity Value & Change in Vhembe Biosphere Reserve at the School of Mathematical & Natural Sciences, University of Venda. Much of his research is in the arena of invasion biology, specifically concerned zoonotic diseases, patterns of colonisation and integrated pest management of introduced, invasive rat and mouse species.
Prof. John Terblanche is a Full Professor in the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology at Stellenbosch University and has established an international track record in the field of insect physiology. His other research interests are evolutionary and comparative physiology, agricultural pests and disease vector responses to climate change.
Prof. Olaf Weyl is a Principal Scientist at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity. His research interests include fish biology and ecology, particularly with reference to the impact of alien fishes and the influence of anthropogenic factors such as fishing on aquatic ecosystems.
Prof. John Wilson is the science lead for the South African National Biodiversity Institute's Directorate Of Biological Invasions. He is based at the Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University. He is interested in the ecology and evolution of biological invasions, how humans have influenced these processes, and how we can improve the science-base for management and legislative decisions.
Dr. Tsungai Zengeya is a researcher in the Directorate of Biological Invasions, South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). His research interests are in aquatic ecology with a primary interest in understanding the impacts of, and managing and preventing biological invasions. Alternate email address