Where technology and ecology meet: using big data in fynbos studies
The Cape Floral Kingdom is both the world’s smallest botanical kingdom in area, and the biggest in terms of total number of species – but it is also one of the world’s most threatened floral kingdom’s because of urban development, agriculture, and...
Shark Spotters
Shark Spotters successfully balancing water user safety with shark conservation
The City of Cape Town boasts one of the world’s most progressive programmes for reducing the chances of a negative interaction between white sharks and recreational water users – Shark Spotters.
Collapse of an iconic conifer
In this study we use a large and long-term (1931–2013) repeat photography dataset together with environmental data and fire records to account for the decline of the critically endangered Widdringtonia cedarbergensis. Our results suggest this...
Urban caracals sometimes feast on raptors
As secretive as they are resilient, caracals are rarely seen by the residents of the Mother City, but research data from GPS collared cats that are being studied by the Urban Caracal Project paints a picture of adaptation and survival.
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...


The Department of Biological Sciences has more than 30 academic and 26 support staff, and trains more than 100 postgraduate, 30 Honours and 500 undergraduate students in fields of terrestrial and marine ecology, evolutionary biology and ecophysiology.