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Prof Paulette Bloomer

Head of Department

paulette.bloomer [at] 


BSc, BSc(Hons)(Potchefstroom)

Teaching subjects 

GTS 354 Genome evolution (2014-2016)
GTK700 Honours coordinator (2010, 2016-)

Research focus

My research group (MEEP) was established in 1999 and we are interested to know how genetic diversity contributes to speciation, population functioning and adaptation. Typical questions we ask are: What processes have driven speciation? Why do species occur where they are found today? What is a population? What is the extent of gene flow within and among populations? What are the micro-evolutionary processes linked to adaptation? We use data from different disciplines to identify processes that may underlie the patterns of genetic diversity we observe. Our phylogeographic research contributes to several biodiversity issues in South Africa and regionally, amongst others, the conservation of threatened species, the sustainable utilisation of living resources, and an improved understanding of ecosystem functioning.

Molecular Ecology and Evolution Programme (MEEP)


  • Reid K, Crochelet E, Bloomer P, Hoareau TB. 2016. Investigating the origin of vagrant dusky groupers, Epinephelus marginatus, in coastal waters of Réunion Island. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 103: 98-103.
  • Mirimin L, Kerwath S, Macey B, Lamberth SJ, Cowley PD, Bester-Van der Merwe A, Bloomer P, Roodt-Wilding R. 2016. Genetic analyses of overfished silver kob Argyrosomus inodorus (Sciaenidae) stocks along the southern African coast. Fisheries Research 176: 100-106.
  • Mynhardt, S, Maree S, Pelser I, Bennett NC, Bronner GN, Wilson JW, Bloomer P. 2015 Phylogeography of a morphologically cryptic golden mole assemblage from south-eastern Africa. PLOS ONE 10(12): e0144995.
  • Miller SM, Harper CK, Bloomer P, Hofmeyr J, Funston PJ. 2015. Fenced and Fragmented: Conservation value of managed metapopulations. PLoS One 10(12): e0144605.
  • Hoareau TB, Dos Santos SMR, Oosthuizen CJ, Klopper AW, Bloomer P. 2015. Evaluating the resolution power of new microsatellites for species identification and stock delimitation in the Cape hakes Merluccius paradoxus and Merluccius capensis (Teleostei: Merlucciidae). Journal of Fish Biology 86(5): 1650-1657.
  • Swartz ER, Chakona A, Skelton PH, Bloomer P. 2014. The genetic legacy of lower sea levels: does the confluence of rivers during the last glacial maximum explain the contemporary distribution of a primary freshwater fish (Pseudobarbus burchelli, Cyprinidae) across isolated river systems? Hydrobiologia 726(1): 109-121.
  • Alström P, et al. 2013. Multilocus phylogeny of the avian family Alaudidae (larks) reveals complex morphological evolution, non-monophyletic genera and hidden species diversity. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69(3): 1043-56.
  • Chakona A, Swartz ER, Gouws G, Bloomer P. 2013. A freshwater fish defies ancient mountain ranges and drainage divides: extrinsic and intrinsic influences on the evolutionary history of a recently identified galaxiid. Journal of Biogeography 40(7): 1399-1412.
  • Jansen van Rensburg A, Bloomer P, Ryan PG, Hansson B. 2012. Ancestral polymorphism at the major histocompatibility complex (MHCIIbeta) in the Nesospiza bunting species complex and its sister species (Rowettia goughensis). BMC Evolutionary Biology 12:143.
  • Bray TC, Bloomer P, O’Riain MJ, Bennett NC. 2012. How attractive is the girl next door? An assessment of the spatial mate acquisition and paternity in the solitary Cape Dune Mole-rat Bathyergus suillus. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39866.
  • Reid K, Hoareau TB, Bloomer P. 2012. High throughput microsatellite development in two sparid species and verification of their transferability in the family Sparidae. Molecular Ecology Resources 12(4): 740-752.

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