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Becoming Dr Gio

18 January 2017

There's a multi-step process to becoming a Dr in South Africa. Gio submitted his thesis in mid-November 2016 and it was read by three examiners. Their reports were sent to the dean, but before the paperwork was complete Gio had to defend his thesis before a panel of luminaries. Of course, they were all very impressed. His thesis "Exploring the invasion of the guttural toad Sclerophrys gutturalis in Cape Town through a multidisciplinary approach" was co-supervised by Sarah Davies.

There wasn't much time to celebrate as we all flew off the next day to KZN. However, Gio managed to find time to stop by at the local supermarket to buy ingredients for a traditional dish.

Giovanni Vimercati wrote in September 2013 saying that: "I am strongly interested to study how an invasive species can colonize new territories, interact with ecosystem and adapt to a novel ecological context, especially focusing my attention on reproductive, life history and phenological traits . Moreover, I would like to investigate possible local adaptations and phenotypic plasticity and  integrate among them its physiological, behavioural and dispersal constraints through a mechanistic approach. In this way, utilizing environmental and geographical data of South Africa, this analysis may allow to describe the fundamental niche of the species and its potential of invasion." He arrived in Stellenbosch in February 2014 to do exactly this with guttural toads. Only 3 years later, Gio has already submitted his PhD thesis. It's been great having you in the MeaseyLab. We've enjoyed all your enthusiasm, ideas and tutilage in pasta cooking!

DEAD workshop

16 January 2017

DEAD workshop - Monkey Valley

Thanks greatly to Ian Durbach who hosted the Workshop on Estimating Animal Abundance and Density using Acoustic Data at Monkey Valley with Res Altwegg, Greg Distiller, Tess Gridley, David Borchers, Stuart Burrell, John Measey, Marike Louw, Ian Durbach & Theoni Photopoulou. 

DEAD workshop

The aim of the workshop was to explore open questions on the use of acoustic data to estimate animal density and abundance. The venue was inspiring, and we hope that there'll be plenty of products that have there bases in this meeting.

  aSCR  Lab  meetings

Welcome Nick!

12 January 2017

Welcome to Wei Cheng Tan (aka Nick)

Nick is from Malaysia, but joins us from the University of Poitiers in a joint project with Anthony Herrel at the Natural History Museum, Paris (yes, it's a rather complex arrangement).


Nick's project: "Is the radiation of agamid lizards in South-Africa non-adaptive?"

  Lab  News

British Ecological Society Q&A

04 January 2017

So just how do you monitor cryptic frogs?

Here's a Q&A session with the British Ecological Society about our recent article in J Appl Ecol

Sometimes it's hard to answer questions fully, so please do take the time to read the paper here, or read the aSCR pages here.

  aSCR  Frogs  News

Got married

16 December 2016

After many years, I finally got married...

to Thalassa Matthews in the most fabulous ceremony in Betty's Bay.  

Thalassa & John's wedding

Thanks to everyone who made it such a special day.

  Lab  News
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