Prof. Andrew McKechnie

PhD, Natal

FRSSAf, PrSciNat


South African Research Chair in Conservation Physiology (National Zoological Garden)

Professor in Zoology


Office: 3-14.2, First Floor, Zoology Building

Phone: +27 (0)12 420-5343

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 Zenon Czenze. Joint NZG-UP postdoc

Dr Samantha Naidoo. Joint NZG-UP postdoc

Dr Matthew Noakes. Joint NZG-UP postdoc


Dr Justin Boyles

Dr Margaux Rat

Postgraduate students


PhD in Zoology

Ms Shannon Conradie

Mr Ryno Kemp

Ms Celiwe Ngcamphalala

Ms Michelle Thompson

MSc in Zoology

Ms Sekgwari Malematja

BSc (Honours) in Zoology

Ms Anne Ankermann

Ms Emma Jepsen

Ms Monique van Dyk



Dr Matthew Noakes. PhD in Zoology (2019), MSc in Zoology (2015)

Dr Darren Pietersen. PhD in Entomology (2018), MSc in Zoology (2013)

Dr Ryan O'Connor. PhD in Zoology (2017)

Dr Ben Smit. PhD in Zoology (2014)

Mr Barry van Jaarsveld (co-supervisor Prof. Nigel Bennett), MSc in Zoology (2019)

Mr Ryno Kemp. MSc in Zoology, BScHons in Zoology (2014)

Mr Corneile Minnaar. 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)

Ms Dawn Cory Toussaint. MSc in Zoology (2012)

Mr Kinesh Chetty. MSc (2007)

Ms Sekgwari Malematja. BScHons in Zoology (2017)


Published by Christopher Weldon

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