Molecular Ecology and Evolution Programme (MEEP)

South Africa ranks among the world’s most biodiverse regions, yet only a fraction of species are known to science. We are interested in contributing to uncovering of this hidden diversity but more importantly, in understanding the processes underlying the dynamics of biodiversity using genetics (at ecosystem, species and population levels).



Prof Paulette Bloomer (PI)
Dr Michael Cunningham (co-PI)
Dr Thierry Hoareau (Research Fellow, co-PI)
Mr Arrie Klopper (Lab manager and research associate)


Dr Sarita Maree (Postdoc, Zoology & Entomology)
Jacey Abalaka (PhD, UP/Lund)
Ilkser Kiper (PhD)
Humbu Mafumo (part time PhD)
Moloko Matlala (part time PhD)
Amanda Maswanganye (PhD, Zoology & Entomology))
Tessa Potgieter (MSc)


Mammal ecological genetics

• Nigel Bennett, Chris Chimimba, Bob Millar, Marthan Bester & Nico de Bruyn (Dept of Zoology & Entomology & Mammal Research Institute, UP); Cindy Harper & Susan Miller (Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, Faculty of Veterinary Science, UP)
• Gary Bronner (UCT), Bettine J van Vuuren (UJ), Paul Grobler (UFS), Antoinette Kotze & Desire Dalton (UFS & NZG), Jonathan Bloomer & Danie van Eeden (Centurion Academy)
• Local conservation authorities and stakeholders
• Mike Bruford (Cardiff University, UK), Amanda Makkay & Seth Cunningham (Fordham University, USA)

Marine phylogenetics and phylogeography

• Paul Cowley and Gavin Gouws (SAIAB)
• Sean Fennessy and Bruce Mann (ORI)
• Serge Planes and Emilie Boissin (CRIOBE–CNRS, France)
• John E Graves (Virginia Institute of Marine Science, USA)
• Dominique Ponton (IRD, Reunion Island) and Philippe Borsa (IRD, Indonesia)
• Conrad Matthee, Sophie von der Heyden and Rouvay Roodt (Stellenbosch University)

Phylogeography of freshwater systems

• Roger Bills, Albert Chakona and Gavin Gouws (SAIAB)
• Gordon O’Brien (Northwest University)
• Yellowfish Working Group

Avian speciation and phylogeography

• DST/NRF Center of Excellence in Birds as Keys to Biodiversity Conservation at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, UCT
• Bengt Hansson, Martin Stervander, Talatu Tende & Maja Tarka (Lund University, Sweden) Sandi Willows-Munro (UKZN)
• Wessel Swanepoel & Mark Boorman (Namibia)

Applied phylogeography

• Andy Leisewitz (Companion Animal Clinical Studies: Small Animal Medicine, Veterinary Science, UP), Estelle Venter, Darryn Knobel, Nicola Collins (Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Veterinary Science, UP)

On-going projects:

Please consult our individual pages for more information on current projects.

Last edited by Kishen Mahesh

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