Birds of a feather: different colours, same territory
A new paper co-authored by a Department of Biological Sciences trio has shed new light on an old conundrum: why some species occur in different colours and how this variation may provide a selective advantage in novel environments.
UCT ecologists harness the power of Google Images for research
A group of UCT researchers has found that animals caught on camera by amateur photographers and posted on the web are a useful tool for studying evolution and other ecological questions. Their study – the first of its kind – was published in Methods...
Bolus 150 anniversary
Bolus Herbarium celebrates its 150th anniversary
Academics, field botanists and plant enthusiasts celebrated the 150th anniversary of the oldest functioning herbarium in South Africa.
The plant that disguises itself as dung:
Shrub fools beetles into burying its seeds by making them look and smell like animal droppings
- A field guide to the plants and animals of southern Africa by CHARLES GRIFFITHS, JENNY DAY & MIKE PICKER


Wednesday, 23 August 2017
MSc, PhD Bursaries and Postdoc Fellowships in sensory ecology and conservation

There are several Honours (SA citizens only), MSc (SA citizens, SA permanent residents, African nationalities only), PhD (all nationalities) and Postdoc fellowship (all nationalities) available in the fields of sensory and evolutionary ecology in the Animal Evolution & Systematics Group. For further details contact the head of the group A/Prof David Jacobs.


Publication Date:
Monday, November 2, 2015 - 11:00
Smuts Memorial Botanical Postdoctoral Fellowship

Applications are invited from suitably qualified persons for this prestigious Fellowship which commemorates General Smuts’ interest in South African Botany.

Closing date: 13 OCTOBER 2017

Publication Date:
Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 16:00
Our Footprint Video
Our footprint from space

Zander Venter, who is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences, won second place in the NRF/SAASTA Young Science Communicators Competition for his video titled, "Our footprint from space". 

He used repeat satellite imagery from Google Earth to demonstrate the impact that humans have had on different landscapes across South Africa. You can watch the video here.

Publication Date:
Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 12:00
fairy circle
A new theory for the cause of fairy circle formation

What are the causes of mysterious barren “fairy circles”? Mike Cramer, Nichole Barger and Walter Tschinkel in a recent paper suggest that they are produced by interactions between grasses enabled by coarse textured sand. Water and nutrients are highly mobile in the sands, allowing fairy circles to interact over distances > 5 m. The authors concluded that fairy circles are more closely associated with a highly connected soil environment, rather than particular biota.


Publication Date:
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 10:45