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


Sunday, 30 April 2017

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
Our Footprint Video

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

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
A wax figure of Charles Darwin, whose theories about species have influenced science for centuries.

How many species of humans have existed? It all depends on the concept of species that’s being employed. In some approaches, there was – and still is – only one. In others, there are as many as 17 species of Homo.

Publication Date:
Monday, November 7, 2016 - 12:00