Prof Timm Hoffman
A botanical journey through time
A photograph is the closest thing to a time machine we have,” says Professor Timm Hoffman, director of the Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) in the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Department of Biological Sciences. “It takes only a second, and in that...
Sardine run
South Africa’s massive ‘sardine run’ leads fish into an ecological trap
One of the world’s most spectacular marine migrations is the KwaZulu-Natal sardine run. The so-called “greatest shoal on Earth” takes place during the southern hemisphere’s winter.
UCT joins forces with NASA for biodiversity survey
Regarded as one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, South Africa’s Greater Cape Floristic Region is set to be the subject of a first-of-its-kind biodiversity survey conducted by NASA.
Cape Town’s baboon programme: Successful coexistence between wildlife and urban communities
Baboons spending more time in their natural habitats and suffering fewer human-caused injuries and deaths is cause for celebration, writes Professor Justin O’Riain.
The untold story of grasses
Watch the story of the underdogs that took on their forest adversaries with powerful allies – fire and the great herds of animals. Grasses created an open sunlit world, rich in plants and animals, including those that nurture and feed us and...


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.