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.
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...
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 plant that disguises itself as dung:
Shrub fools beetles into burying its seeds by making them look and smell like animal droppings
Sustaining Earth’s Biodiversity
A new issue of Past Global Changes Magazine “Sustaining Earth’s Biodiversity” highlights how the study of long-term ecosystem change can provide critical insights into the resilience of ecosystems, the restoration of disturbance regimes and the...


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.