Prof. Nigel Bennett

PhD, Cape Town

BSc (Hons), Bristol UK



Austin Roberts Chair of African Mammalogy

DST/NRF Research Chair in Mammalian Behavioural Ecology and Physiology

Office: 2-47, Ground Floor, Zoology Building

Phone: +27 (0)12 420-2538

Email: [email protected]

Researcher ID: E-4238-2010


Behavioural Ecology and Physiology of Mammals

The focus of my research is primarily animal physiology and behaviour, and I use the African mole-rat as the model animal. With my co-workers I have investigated the ecological and physiological factors that affect the control of reproduction and the evolution of sociality. My investigation into cooperative breeding in mammals is conducted from a variety of perspectives. The strength of this multi-faceted approach is that it has led to an integrated understanding of reproductive suppression in mole-rats at a level of understanding that has not been achieved for any other taxon. My research has set the benchmark for our understanding of the phylogenetic and ecological constraints that regulate reproductive success and social evolution in mammalian species.

I have a strong interest in chronobiology and biological rhythms in animals and have explored this in subterranean mammals, above ground animals as well as those mammals living in very arid environments. This last interest has led to an active research programme investigating ecophysiology in mammals from the Arabian Peninsula and I hold a visiting professorship at the King Saud University where I am a member of the Mammals Research Chair. However, the field of reproductive physiology is my main interest and I welcome enquiries from potential Masters and Doctoral candidates interested in joining my lab to pursue research in this area.


Postdoctoral researchers


Dr. Dina Mustafa Fagir. University of Pretoria Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Jestina Katandukila. NRF Research Chair-linked Fellow

Dr. Sarita Maree. NRF Research Chair-linked Fellow

Dr. Sonja Streicher. University of Pretoria Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Ingrid van der Merwe. University of Pretoria Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Cornelia Voigt. University of Pretoria Research Fellow

Dr. John Wilson. University of Pretoria Postdoctoral Fellow


Dr. Timothy Bray

Dr. Alan Harrison

Dr. Heike Lutermann

Dr. Katarina Medger

Dr. Marietjie Oosthuizen

Dr. Gillian Robb

Dr. Christina Schmidt

Dr. Hannah Thomas

Postgraduate students


Miss Elizabeth Archer. PhD in Zoology

Mr. Daniel Hart. PhD in Zoology

Ms. Sasha Hoffmann. PhD in Zoology

Ms. Carol Hoole. PhD in Zoology

Miss Rute Mendonça. PhD in Zoology

Mr. Sachariah Penda Muteka. PhD in Zoology

Ms. Amanda Maswanganye. PhD in Zoology

Ms. Samantha Mynhardt. PhD in Zoology

Miss Simone Akkerman. MSc in Zoology

Miss Lanha Burger. MSc in Zoology

Miss Stephanie Leonida. MSc in Zoology

Mr. Mungo Ngalameno. MSc in Zoology


PhD in Zoology

Dr. Juan Scheun (2016)

Dr. Sonja Streicher (2015)

Dr. Ingrid van der Merwe (2015)

Dr. Low de Vries (2014)

Dr. Jestina Katandukila (2014)

Dr. Hannah Thomas (2013)

Dr. James van Sandwyk (2013)

Dr. Katarina Medger (2010)

MSc in Zoology

Ms. Sasha Hoffmann (2014)

Ms. Elizabeth Archer (2013)

Mr. Ruan de Bruin (2013)

Ms. Hermien Viljoen (2010)

Ms. Ingrid van der Merwe (2010)

Ms. Sonja Streicher (2010)

Published by Christopher Weldon

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