Master Students

Amoure Robinson

– M.Sc. Nature Conservation

She is investigating the influence of water dependence on African mammalian herbivores and linking it to the expectation presented by literature as well  as to fossil/ extinct species. The aim is to understand the influence of water availability on extant and extinct mammals, which will feed into a larger paleo/ archaeological project investigating the evolution of human behaviour. The study is based on the paleo- Agulhus Plain (landmass of 80 000 km2, last exposed approximately 123 000 years ago) and will provide important information to the current body of work on the paleo-Agulhus Plain. It will also make an important contribution in understanding ungulates use of water resources.


Daniel Ball

– M.Sc. Nature Conservation

His research project investigates the selection of central forage stations, and the spatial drivers for African elephant within Madikwe Game Reserve. He is investigating whether food availability and elephant densities influence water point selection, and whether they act as movement drivers. His work is important for the governance of the elephant population within Madikwe, as it will allow managers to manage their elephants effectively. Elephants are capable of transforming landscapes, and it is therefore important to research the ecology of the species, to ensure the conservation of Madikwe’s ecosystem.  


Jade Harris

– M.Sc. Nature Conservation

Her research topic is based on the effect of pulse-driven resource availability on small mammal communities in the Kalahari, South Africa. Pulse event frequency is changing globally due to climate change which leads to drylands like the Kalahari having different rainfall patterns with increased periods of droughts. Her focal species includes all small mammals from the Desert Pygmy mouse (Mus induntus) up to but not exceeding a Steenbok (Raphicerus campestris). Her project takes place in Tswalu Reserve, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and within the Khomani San Community Land.


Samuel Davidson-Phillips

– M.Sc. Nature Conservation

His research is investigating the density and feeding ecology of black-backed jackals on the Welgevonden Game Reserve. He has been involved with the management of the Reserve for over eight years and continues to do so. From approximately 2017 onwards there appeared to be an increase in jackal sightings. Linked to this were several reports and observations of jackal predating on small to medium ungulate species. This led to the perception that jackal could be responsible for the poor survival rate of some of these species. His research may give further insight into the predator-prey relationships of jackal and if there is indeed a concern on Welgevonden Game Reserve. Given the complexities of jackal management the hope is this research will provide Reserve management with some information that may inform resource-based management decisions.


Markus Woesner

– M.Sc. Nature Conservation

His research investigates the spatial-temporal usage of the thermal landscape by large mammals in the Tswalu Reserve, Northern Cape, South Africa. He focuses on extreme temperatures and how different large mammal species according to their specific traits seek thermal refugia in the landscape. Besides the thermal landscape, he also includes the landscape of fear to see how the presence of lions in part of the study area influences the thermal choice a species makes. His research contributes to a better understanding of how future extreme temperature events will affect different large mammal species in the face of climate change.