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Dr Marienne de Villiers

Former SARCA Project Co-ordinator
Email: mad.ventures@yahoo.co.uk

Marienne completed her B.Sc. degree at the University of Natal, Durban and her Honours degree in Marine Biology at the University of Cape Town. She obtained a Higher Education Diploma at the University of Natal and worked for a year as a maths teacher. She then resumed her studies at University of Pretoria, focusing on the feeding ecology of Cape Porcupines for her M.Sc., and stress and social dynamics of African wild dogs for her Ph.D. Post-Ph.D., her work experience included monitoring a captive pack of wild dogs prior to release at Madikwe Game Reserve, working on the Kruger National Park Wild Dog Project, acting as species co-ordinator for African wild dogs under the African Preservation Programme of PAAZAB, and collecting navigation, seismic and side-scan data off the coast of Namibia.

After participating in a trip to the Prince Edward Islands in 2001, Marienne's interest in seabirds and island conservation was sparked and she joined the ADU as a post-doctoral researcher. She has since made a number of trips to the island group in the course of research into the effects of human disturbance on the behaviour and physiology of breeding seabirds (mainly albatrosses). She also participated in an expedition to Gough Island, monitoring the Tristan Albatross population and helping to eradicate an alien plant species. Together with the CIB, she helped update the Prince Edward Islands' Management Plan.

Marienne now works in partnership with James Harrison of JAH Environmental Consultancy, and is involved with bird and bat monitoring at prospective wind and solar farms.More recently, she was co-ordinator of the Southern African Reptile Conservation Assessment (SARCA) at ADU.

Published papers

  • Bates, M.F., Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M., Burger, M., Marais, J., Alexander, G.J. & de Villiers, M.S. (eds). 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, South Africa.
  • de Villiers, M.S., Burger, M., Harrison, J.A., Maritz, B., Navarro, R.A. & Erasmus, B. 2014. Introduction. In: M.F. Bates, W.R. Branch, A.M. Bauer, M., Burger, J. Marais, G.J. Alexander & M.S. de Villiers (eds), Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
  • Wheeler, M., de Villiers, M.S. & Altwegg, R. 2013. Effect of human disturbance on the behavioural responses and offspring survival of grey-headed albatrosses Thalassarche chrysostoma at Subantarctic Marion Island. African Journal of Marine Science 35(4): 533-543.
  • Dilley, B.J., Davies, D., Connan, M., Cooper, J., de Villiers, M.S., Swart, L., Vandenabeele, S., Ropert-Coudert, Y. & Ryan, P.G. 2013. Giant petrels as predators of albatross chicks. Polar Biology (online). Doi.org/10.1007/s00300-013-1300-1. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00300-013-1300-1#.
  • Barnard, P. & de Villiers, M.S. (eds). 2012. Biodiversity early warning systems: South African citizen scientists monitoring change. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. 14 pp. 978-0-620-51937-6. http://adu.org.za/pdf/Biodiversity_booklet_2012.pdf.
  • de Villiers, M.S., Chown, S.L. & Cooper, J. 2011. Prince Edward Islands Conservation Handlbook: Keeping your footprint at the islands small. SUN PRESS, Stellenbosch. 80 pp.
  • de Villiers, M.S., Mecenero, S., Heinze, E., Kieser, J., Leshoro, T.M., Merbold, L., Nordt, A., Parsons, N.J., Peter, H.-U. & Sherley, R.B. 2010. Introduced European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus and house cats Felis catus at Robben Island: Population trends and management recommendations. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 40(2): 139-148.
  • de Villiers, M.S., Bates, M.F., Burger, M., Harrison, J. & Navarro, R. 2010. The Southern African Reptile Conservation Assessment, 2005-2009. African Herp News 50: 10-13.
  • de Villiers, M.S. (ed.) 2009. Birds and environmental change: building an early warning system in South Africa. SANBI, Pretoria. PDF (1.64 Mb)
  • Cooper, J., Crawford, R.J.M., de Villiers, M.S., Dyer, B.M., Hofmeyr, G.J.G. & Jonker, A. 2009. Disease outbreaks among penguins at sub-Antarctic Marion Island: a conservation concern. Marine Ornithology 37: 193-196.
  • Wheeler, M., de Villiers, M.S. & Majiedt, P.A. 2008. The effect of frequency and nature of pedestrian approaches on the behaviour of Wandering Albatrosses at sub-Antarctic Marion Island . Polar Biology 33 (2): 197-205. PDF (235 Kb)
  • de Villiers, M.S. 2008. Review of recent research into the effects of human disturbance on wildlife in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic region. Appendix I to Working Paper on human disturbance to wildlife in the broader Antarctic region: a review of findings. Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, ATCM 14, Working Paper 12.
  • de Villiers, M.S. & Cooper, J. 2008. Conservation and Management. In: S.L. Chown & P.W. Froneman (eds). The Prince Edward Archipelago: land-sea interactions in a changing ecosystem. Sun Media, Stellenbosch.
  • de Villiers, M.S., Cooper, J., Carmichael, N., Glass, J.P., Liddle, G.M., McIvor, E., Micol, T. & Roberts, R. 2006. Conservation management at Southern Ocean Islands: towards the development of best-practice guidelines. Polarforschung 75 (2-3): 113-131.
  • de Villiers, M.S., Bause, M., Giese, M. & Fourie, A. 2006. Hardly hard-hearted: Heart rate responses of incubating Northern Giant Petrels (Macronectes halli) to human disturbance on sub-Antarctic Marion Island. Polar Biol. 29: 717. PDF (201 Kb)
  • de Bruyn, P.J.N., Hofmeyr, G.J.G. & de Villiers, M.S. 2006. First record of a vagrant Commerson's dolphin Cephalorhynchus commersonii at the southern African continental shelf. African Zoology 41 (1): 131-133. PDF (294 Kb)
  • de Villiers, M.S., Cooper, J. & Ryan, P.G. 2005. Individual variability of behavioural responses by Wandering Albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) to human disturbance. Polar Biology 28 (4): 255-260. PDF (251 Kb)
  • de Villiers, M.S. & de Bruyn, P.J.N. 2004. Stone-swallowing by three species of penguins at sub-Antarctic Marion Island. Marine Ornithology 32(2): 183-184. PDF (42 Kb)
  • Cooper, J., de Villiers, M.S. & McGeoch, M.A. 2003. Quarantine measures to halt alien invasions of Southern Ocean Islands: the South African experience (Prince Edward Islands special Nature Reserve). Aliens 17: 37-39.
  • Crawford, R.J.M., Cooper, J., Dyer, B.M., Greyling, M.D., Klages, N.T.W., Ryan, P.G., Petersen, S.L., Underhill, L.G., Upfold, L., Wilkinson, W., de Villiers, M.S., du Plessis, S., Du Toit, M., Leshoro, T.M., Makhado, A.B., Mason, M.S., Merkle, D., Tshingana, D., Ward, V.L. & Whittington, P.A. 2003. Populations of surface-nesting seabirds at Marion Island, 1994/5-2002/3. Afr. J. Mar. Sci. 25: 427-440.
  • de Villiers, M.S., Richardson, P.R.K. & van Jaarsveld, A.S. 2003. Patterns of coalition formation and spatial association in a social carnivore, the African wild dog Lycaon pictus. J. Zool., Lond. 260: 377-389. PDF (166 Kb)
  • Frantzen, M.A.J., Ferguson, J.W.H. & de Villiers, M.S. 2001. The conservation role of African wild dogs. Biol. Cons. 100: 253-260.
  • King, J.M., Tharme, R.E. & de Villiers, M.S. 2000. Environmental Flow Assessments for Rivers: Manual for the Building Block Methodology. WRC Technology Transfer Report No. TT 131/00, Freshwater Research Unit, University of Cape Town. Pp 340.
  • de Villiers, M.S., Van Jaarsveld, A.S., Meltzer, D.G.A. & Richardson, P.R.K. 1997. Social dynamics and the cortisol response to immobilisation stress of the African wild dog, Lycaon pictus. Horm. Behav. 31: 3-14. PDF (172 Kb)
  • de Villiers, M.S., Meltzer, D.G.A., Van Heerden, J., Mills, M.G.L., Richardson, P.R.K. & Van Jaarsveld, A.S. 1995. Handling-induced stress and mortalities in wild dogs. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 262: 215-220. PDF (224 Kb)
  • de Villiers, M.S., Van Aarde, R.J. & Dott, H.M. 1994. Habitat utilization by the Cape porcupine Hystrix africaeaustralis in a savanna ecosystem. J. Zool., Lond. 232: 534-549.
  • de Villiers, M.S. & Van Aarde, R.J. 1994. Aspects of habitat disturbance by Cape porcupines in a savanna ecosystem. S. Afr. J. Zool. 29: 217-220.
  • de Villiers, M.S. 1993. A comparison of subterranean herbivory by fossorial and terrestrial mammals. Trans. Roy. Soc. S. Afr. 48: 257-264.
  • Davies, B.R., Stuart, V. & de Villiers, M.S. 1989. The filtration activity of a serpulid polychaete population (Ficopomatus enigmaticus) and its' effects on water quality in a coastal marina. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 29: 613-620

Unpublished reports

  • Fourie, A., de Villiers, M.S. & Harrison, J.A. 2013. Spitskop Wind Energy Facility and associated infrastructure: Bat impact assessment. Specialist report for Savannah Environmental (Pty) Ltd, on behalf of RES Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd.
  • de Villiers, M.S. & Harrison, J.A. 2013. Spitskop Wind Energy Facility and associated infrastructure: Avifaunal impact assessment. Specialist report for Savannah Environmental (Pty) Ltd, on behalf of RES Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd.
  • de Villiers, M.S. 2012/2013. Pre-construction bird monitoring at a proposed Photovoltaic facility at Paardevley, De Aar. Two interim reports and final report. Report for Gestamp Renewables, Cape Town.
  • de Villiers, M.S. 2012. Pre-construction monitoring of bird populations in De Aar WEF and control areas: first to fourth quarter reports. Reports for Mulilo Renewable Energy South Africa.
  • Fourie, A. & de Villiers, M.S. 2012. Pre-construction monitoring of bat populations at a proposed WEF at De Aar: first to fourth quarter reports. Reports for Mulilo Renewable Energy South Africa.
  • Fourie, A. & de Villiers, M.S. 2012. Pre-construction monitoring of bat populations at a proposed Namaqualand WEF: first to fourth quarter reports. Reports for Mulilo Renewable Energy South Africa.
  • Fourie, A. & de Villiers, M.S. 2012. Pre-construction monitoring of bat populations at a proposed WEF near Springbok: first to third quarter reports. Reports for Mulilo Renewable Energy South Africa.
  • Harrison, J.A., de Villiers, M.S. & Burger, M. 2012. Protea Ridge Property, Kommetjie: Vertebrate Fauna Assessment. Report for Doug Jeffery & Associates, Klapmuts, on behalf of The Kommetjie Estates Ltd.
  • Chown, S.L., Davies, S., Joubert, L. & de Villiers, M.S. 2010. Prince Edward Islands Management Plan. Draft, version 0.2. DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
  • de Villiers, M.S. 2008. Review of recent research into the effects of human disturbance on wildlife in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic region. Appendix I to Working Paper on human disturbance to wildlife in the broader Antarctic region: a review of findings. Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, ATCM 14, Working Paper 12.
  • de Villiers, M.S. 2007. Potential impacts of the proposed Northgate development (Roodepan area, Kimberley) on the flamingos and other waterbirds of Kamfers Dam. Specialist Report, Scoping Study, Group1, pp 36.
  • de Villiers, M.S. & Cooper, J. 2007. Eradicating the invasive alien, Sagina procumbens (the Procumbent Pearlwort). Training CD for the Tristan Agricultural & Natural Resources Department.
  • de Villiers, M.S. 2004. Conservation report: Marion Island construction voyage, 12-26 November 2004. Unpublished report pp 11.
  • de Villiers, M.S. 2004. Conservation report: Marion Island construction voyage, 5-27 August 2004. Unpublished report pp 13.
  • de Villiers, M.S. 2004. Conservation Report: Marion Island take-over, April-May 2004. Unpublished Report, pp 14.
  • de Villiers, M.S., Calf, K.M., Dyer, B.M., Harebottle, D.M., Mecenero, S., Oschadleus, H.D. & Ward, V.L. 2003. The Institute of Ecology (Friederich-Schiller University, Jena) and Avian Demography Unit (University of Cape Town) Collaborative Research Project, 20 September - 9 October 2003. Report for the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board and the Robben Island Museum. ADU Research Report Nr 53, pp 11.
  • Cooper, J. & de Villiers, M.S. 2003. Conservation Report: Marion Island take-over, March-April 2003. Unpublished Report, pp 22.
  • du Toit M., Boere G.C., Cooper J., de Villiers, M.S., Kemper J., Lenten B., Petersen S.L., Simmons R.E., Underhill, L.G., Whittington P.A. & Byers O.P. (Eds). 2003. Conservation Assessment and Management Plan for Southern African Seabirds. Cape Town: Avian Demography Unit, University of Cape Town & Apple Valley: Conservation Breeding Specialist Group.
  • de Villiers, M.S. & Frantzen, M.A.J. 1996. South African APP Regional Studbook for the African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus).
  • de Villiers, M.S. 1995. Guidelines for holding African wild dogs in captivity. Unpublished manuscript. Pp. 2.
  • Frantzen, M.A.J. & de Villiers, M.S. 1994. African Preservation Programme Studbook for the African Wild Dog, Lycaon pictus. Pp. 58.