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Dr Gary Bronner

Small mammals, systematics, synecology & conservation biology
Phone: 021 650 3650 








1982-1984: B.Sc. - (Universityof Natal, Durban);

1985:B.Sc. Honours cum laude (University of Natal, Durban)

1986:M.Sc cum laude (University of Natal, Durban)

1996: Ph.D. (University of Natal,Durban)

Previous employment & experience

1989 - 1996: Curator of Mammals, Transvaal Museum.

1996 – 2000: Senior Lecturer then Associate Professor,Potchefstroom University.

2000 – 2006: Special Professor (Research Associate), North-West University.

2000 – 2004: Lecturer, Zoology Department, UCT

2005-present: Senior Lecturer, Zoology Department, UCT.

Professional Committees

2010: Convenor, NRF Animal and Veterinary Sciences Specialist Committee

2009-2011: NRF Animal and Veterinary Sciences Specialist Committee

2003-2009: Council Member; Zoological Society of Southern Africa

2001-present: Chrysochloridae Section Co-ordinator; IUCN/SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group

2000-present: American Society of Mammalogists Checklist Committee


2003 - 2009: Scientific Editor - African Zoology (together with Prof. C.Griffiths, UCT).

2010-2011: Associate Editor, African Zoology.

Overview of research

Since beginning my research career in 1987, I have produced 70 outputs (excluding popular articles and Technical Reports). My research has focused on small mammals with two thrusts having roughly equal emphasis and yields, namely: 1) systematics and morphology; and 2) ecology, ecophysiology and conservation biology.

Systematics and morphology of small mammals

My earlier Ph.D. research, undertaken whilst I was employed as Curator of Mammals at the Ditsong Museum of Natural History (formerly Transvaal Museum), employed morphological and cytogenetic characters to delineate subspecies and species in three golden mole genera (Amblysomus, Chlorotalpa and Calcochloris) from southern Africa. This, and subsequent research has significantly enhanced knowledge of the morphology and systematics of golden moles, and provided the first consilient classification for the family Chrysochloridae based on phylogenetic analyses of diverse data suites (7 publications). I am now regarded as a world expert on this topic. I have also participated in collaborative systematics studies on rodents (6 publications), shrews (2 publications) and bats (2 publications), reflecting my wide interest in the systematics of small mammals.

Ecology, ecophysiology and conservation biology

My ecological research has addressed a diverse array of topics including: small mammal community structure and natural history (3 publications); rodent autecology (7 publications) ; reproduction and post-natal development of golden moles (2 publications); distribution patterns and conservation biology (3 publications); ecophysiology of molossid bats (3 publications); and synecology of rehabilitated small mammal communities (4 conference presentations).

Research outputs

ISI-stats (based on my publications as GN BRONNER and G BRONNER, treated differently by the ISI-database): Total citations = 320 (21 since 2003). Average citations per item = 133.1. h-index = 13.

 Peer-Reviewed Scientific Articles (2000-present)

Asher RJ, Maree S, Bronner G, Bennett NC, Bloomer P, Czechowski P, Meyer M, Hofreiter M. (2010). A phylogenetic estimate for golden moles (Mammalia, Afrotheria, Chrysochloridae). BMC Evolutionary Biology 10:69.

Bronner GN, van der Merwe M & Njobe K. (2007). Non-geographic cranial variation in two medically-important rodents from South Africa, Mastomys natalensis (A. Smith, 1834)and Mastomys coucha (A. Smith, 1836). Journal of Mammalogy 88:1179-1194.

Gilbert C, O'Brien P, Bronner GN, Yang F, Hassanin A, Ferguson-Smith MA & Robinson TJ. (2007). Chromosome painting and molecular dating indicate a low rate of chromosomal evolution in golden moles (Mammalia,Chrysochloridae). Chromosome Research 14:793-803 2010 ISI

van Aardt WJ, Bronner GN & Buffenstein R. (2007). Hemoglobin oxygen-affinity and acid-base properties of blood from the fossorial mole-rat, Cryptomys hottentotus pretoriae. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A 147: 50-56.

Lewis ER, Narins PM, Jarvis JUM, Bronner G & Mason MJ. (2006). Preliminary evidence for the use of microseismic cues for navigation by the Namib golden mole. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 119:1260-1268.

Willi UB, Bronner GN & Narins PM. (2006). Middle ear dynamics in response to seismic stimuli in the Cape golden mole (Chrysochloris asiatica). Journal of Experimental Biology, 209: 302-313.

Willi UB, Bronner GN & Narins P M. (2005). Ossicular differentiation of airborne and seismic stimuli in the Cape golden mole (Chrysochloris asiatica). Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology. 192(3): 267-277.

Bronner GN, Hoffman M, Taylor PJ, Chimimba CT, Best PB, MatheeCA & Robinson TJ. (2003). A revised systematic checklist of the extant mammals of the southern African subregion. Durban Museum Novitates 28: 56-106.

Johnson R, Ferguson JWH, Van Jaarsveld AS, Bronner GN & Chimimba CT. (2002). Delayed responses of small mammals subject to afforestation-induced grassland fragmentation. Journal of Mammalogy 83:290-300.

Newberry CH & Bronner GN. (2002). Confirmation of the occurrence of Mus neavei in South Africa. Koedoe 45(2): 127-128. 2010 

Van Aardt W, Bronner GN & De Necker M-L. (2002). Oxygen dissociation curves of whole blood from the Egyptian free-tailed bat, Tadarida aegyptiaca E. Geoffroy, using a thin-layer optical cell. African Zoology 37: 109-113.

Volleth M, Bronner GN, Göpfert M, Heller KG,  Von Helversen O & Yong HS. (2001). Karyotype comparison and phylogenetic relationships of pipistrelloid bats (Vespertilionidae; Chiroptera; Mammalia). Chromosome Research 9:25-46. 

Bronner GN. (2000). New species and subspecies of golden mole (Chrysochloridae: Amblysomus) from Mpumalanga, South Africa. Mammalia 64: 41-54.

Book chapters (2000-present)

Bronner GN. (in press). Order Afrosoricida; Family Chrysochloridae; and 31 genus/species profiles. In: The Mammals of Africa, Vol. II., edited by DE Happold. University of California Press.

Bronner GN. (2011). Mammals. In: Alien and Invasive Animals - A South African Perspective , edited by M Picker & CL Griffiths. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.

Bronner GN. (2007).  Mammals. In : Biological Systematic. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS),edited by A Minelli & G Contrafatto. UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford ,UK (]

Bronner GN &  Jenkins P. (2005). Order Afrosoricida. In: Mammal species of the World: a taxonomic and geographic reference (3rd Edition), edited by DE Wilson & DMReeder D.M (eds.). John Hopkins Press. pp. 71-81.

Bronner GN & Bennett NC. (2005). Afrosoricida. In: Mammals of the southern African subregion, 3rd edition, edited by JD Skinner and CT Chimimba. Cambridge University Press, Cape Town.

van Hamburg H, Bronner GN, Morgenthal T, Vermaak A, de la Rey A, Meyer WJ, van Heerden D & Kotze J.( 2003). The succession and diversity of biological assemblages on rehabilitated ash disposal sites associated with power stations in South Africa: working towards a dynamic model. In Ecosystems and Sustainable Development IV, edited by Tiezzi E, Brebbia C & Uso J. WIT Press, Southampton. Pp.991-1003.

Bronner GN & Perrin MR. (2000). Family Chrysochloridae. In: The Encyclopaedia of Mammals, edited by D. MacDonald. Oxford New Encyclopaedia Series, Oxford, UK.

Conference outputs (2005-present)

Bronner G.N. (2011). Afrotheria: what we know and where disagreement persists. Xi International African Small Mammal Symposium, Manzini, Swaziland.

Maree S, Bronner G, Bloomer P, Oosthuizen C, Asher R, Hofreiter M & Bennett N. (2009). Evolutionary relationships and conservation of golden moles (Afrosoricida; Chrysochloridae) from sub-Saharan Africa. IMC10 International Mammalogical Congress Mendoza, Argentina.  Oral presentation in: “Species limits and speciation in small mammals” symposium.

Maree S, Bronner GN, Bennett NC, Oosthuizen C, Asher RJ, Hofreiter M & Bloomer P. (2009). Evolutionary relationships and conservation of golden moles (Afrosoricida: Chrysochloridae) from sub-Saharan Africa. Oral presentation at South African Society for Systematic Biology 10th Anniversary Conference, Illovo Beach, KwaZulu-Natal.

Maree S, Pelser I, Jackson CR, Bennett NC, Bronner GN & Bloomer P. (2008). The conservation of golden moles in South Africa (Afrosoricida; Chrysochloridae). Oral presentation South African Society for Systematic Biology Conference (SASSB VII), Drakensville, South Africa.

Maree S, Jackson CR, Pelser I, Bloomer P, Bronner GN & Bennett NC. (2008). The conservation of golden moles in South Africa with emphasis on the critically endangered golden mole Neamblysomus julianae (Afrosoricida; Chrysochloridae). Oral presentation, 21st Congress of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Maree S, Jackson CR, Pelser I, Bloomer P, Bennett NC & Bronner GN. (2007). The conservation of golden moles, perspectives from two species, the widespread Amblysomus hottentotus, and the range-restricted Neamblysomus julianae. Oral presentation, 33rd Symposium of the Zoological Society of Southern Africa (ZSSA), University of North-West, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Nupen L, Bronner GN & Van Eeden D. (2007). Has rehabilitation successfully restored small mammals communities in Strandveld? Poster at 33rd Symposium of the Zoological Society of Southern Africa (ZSSA), University of North-West, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Maree S, Bloomer P, Bennett NC & Bronner GN. (2005). A Molecular Phylogeny of Golden Moles (Chrysochloridae). Abstract and oral presentation, Proceedings of the Symposium of the Society of Systematic Biologists, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA.

Willi U, Bronner GN & Narins P. (2005). The Multi-Modal Middle Ear of the Cape Golden Mole (Chrysochloris asiatica). Association for Research in Otolaryngology Abstracts  28:197

Recent Technical reports

Bronner GN & O'Riain MJ. (2005). The mammal fauna at Bastian's Kloof Estate, Western Cape Province, South Africa. Technical research report.

Bronner GN. (2005). Chrysochloridae assessments for 21 golden mole species, for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  (In my capacity as Chrysochloridae Section Co-Ordinator for the IUCN/SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group, I was responsible for the assessment of the threat status of 21 golden moles species for the GMA (Global Mammal Assessment), a joint venture of the IUCN/SSC and the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International.)

Non-reviewed outputs (2000-2010).

Maree S, Bennett NC & Bronner GN. (2005). The rough-haired golden mole Chryospalax villosus. Afrotheria Conservation 3: 2-3.

van Aardt WJ, Bronner G & Buffenstein R. (2005). Fisiologiese aanpassings van 'n tonnellewe by die gewone mol, Cryptomys hottentotus (Lesson 1826). S.A. Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie 24(3): 25.

Maree S, Bronner G, Jackson C & Bennett N. (2003). The conservation of golden moles (Afrosoricida; Chrysochloridae) with emphasis on the status of Neamblysomus julianae in South Africa. Afrotheria Conservation 2: 4-6.

Bronner GN. (2003). Afrotheria: Cinderella of mammalian systematics. Abrstract from 9th International African Small Mammal Symposium. Afrotheria Conservation 2:8-9.

Maree S, Bloomer P, Bennett NC & Bronner GN. (2003). Evolutionary relationships of Golden Moles (Chrysochloridae) from the southern African subregion. Abstract from the 9th International African Small Mammal Symposium. Afrotheria Conservation 2:8