Research facilities and support

The Department of Zoology and Entomology has specialised equipment and facilities to permit a wide range of field and laboratory-based research. Arrangements can be made for postgraduate students, postdocs and visitors to the Department to make use of these facilities. Enquire with the relevant contacts for further information.

Small Animal Physiological Research Facility 

The Small Animal Physiological Research Facility consists of 10 temperature- and humidity-controlled rooms, plus several additional rooms for storage, food preparation and research activities. The temperature, humidity and lighting in the rooms are fully programmable and controlled via custom-written software. Five of the rooms are capable of maintaining any temperature between zero and 50˚C.

Contacts: Prof. Nigel BennettProf Andrew McKechnie

Small Animal Physiological Research Facility, University of Pretoria

Insect rearing and research facilities

The Department has various climate-controlled rooms and incubators dedicated to insect rearing and research. These include the recently renovated Bateman Building Insect Rearing and Research Facility. The Bateman Building has eight rearing rooms with temperature, relative humidity and lighting control, two glass houses for growth of host plants and experiments under natural lighting,  a laboratory, and cleaning and sterilisation facilities.

Contact: Prof. Chris Weldon

Bateman Building Insect Rearing and Research Facility, University of Pretoria

Molecular Biology Laboratory

The Molecular Biology supports molecular phylogenetic and epidemiological research in the Department. There are dedicated pre- and post-PCR facilities that support DNA/RNA extraction, conventional and real-time PCR, gel electrophoresis, PCR purification and Sanger sequencing. Two access-controlled facilities within the pre-PCR lab include a BSL2+ laboratory and an Ancient DNA laboratory, under negative and positive pressure, respectively.

Contacts: Prof. Armanda Bastos (Head of Lab), Mrs Stokana Mahapa (Lab Manager)

Histology laboratory/Microscopy and imaging


Contacts: Prof. Nigel Bennett, Mrs Marna Ferreira (Control Technical Assistant), Mrs Stokana Mahapa (First Technical Assistant)

Behaviour tracking and analysis equipment

We have video-recording equipment to observe animal behaviour in a range of arena types, as well as licenses for Noldus The Observer and Ethovision XT (base and multi-arena module).

Contacts: Prof. Nigel Bennett, Dr. Marietjie OosthuizenProf. Chris Weldon

Chemical Ecology Laboratory

We have equipment for headspace and volatile entrainment techniques, Y-maze and four-choice olfactometers, and access to GC-MS and GC-EAD.

Contacts: Prof. Christian Pirk, Prof. Abdullahi Yusuf

Physiology equipment

The Department houses equipment for the study of animal energetics, insect flight, nutrition, water and thermal relations, and endocrine and neuroendocrine function.

Contacts: Prof. Nigel Bennett, Prof Andrew McKechnie, Prof. Chris Weldon

Field vehicles

Contact: Mr Thlogi Selaledi (Control Technical Assistant)

- Author C. Weldon

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