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Prof. Andrew McKechnie

PhD, Natal



South African Research Chair in Conservation Physiology

Professor in Zoology

Office: 2-48, Ground Floor, Zoology Building

Phone: +27 (0)12 420-3233

Email: [email protected]

Researcher ID: E-4398-2010


Evolutionary and ecological physiology

My research programme investigates the evolutionary physiology of birds and mammals, and seeks to understand the ways in which physical environments drive the evolution of physiological processes. Current focus areas include the: i) sources and significance of avian metabolic diversity, ii) heat tolerance and evaporative cooling capacity in arid-zone birds, iii) ecology and evolution of heterothermic responses such as torpor, and iv) use of stable isotopes to trace nutrient and water fluxes between animals and their environments. Much of this work is taking place in the context of developing physiologically-informed, mechanistic models of the responses by arid-zone birds to climate change.

Along with Dr. Susan Cunningham (UCT), I am a principal investigator of the Hot Birds Project, a multidisciplinary research group involving ornithologists at UP, the University of Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and the University of New Mexico.


Postdoctoral researchers


Dr. Samantha Naidoo. Joint NZG-UP postdoc

Dr. Margaux Rat. Joint UCT-UP postdoc


Dr. Justin Boyles

Postgraduate students


Mr. Matthew Noakes. PhD in Zoology

Mr. Ryan O'Connor. PhD in Zoology

Ms. Michelle Thompson. PhD in Zoology

Mr. Darren Pietersen. PhD in Zoology

Mr. Ryno Kemp. BScHons in Zoology

Ms. Sekgwari Malematja. BScHons in Zoology


Dr. Ben Smit. PhD in Zoology (2014)

Mr. Corneile Minnaar. MSc in Zoology (2015)

Mr. Matthew Noakes. MSc in Zoology (2015)

Ms. Maxine Whitfield. MSc in Zoology (2015)

Ms. Ingrid Minnaar. MSc in Zoology (2014)

Ms. Michelle Thompson. MSc in Zoology (2014)

Mr. Addisu Mitiku. MSc in Zoology (2014)

Mr. Darren Pietersen. MSc in Zoology (2013)

Ms. Dawn Cory Toussaint. MSc in Zoology (2012)

Mr. Kinesh Chetty. MSc (2007) 

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Last edited by Christopher WeldonEdit