Doctoral Students

Natasha Kruger

Natasha Kruger

Are tadpoles limiting the invasion of the African Clawed Frog?

Biological invasions are a major threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services on a global scale. One challenge is to anticipate the invasive potential of populations when introduced in a novel area and identify key parameters that may limit their spread. Climate-based models are limited as they cannot always identify the actual biophysical limits, especially for species with complex life cycles. For these species, most existing biophysical data is for adults while it may be larvae which are limiting distributions. It is therefore a challenge to collect relevant data and develop integrated ecological and evolutionary studies and distribution modelling which can elucidate the limitations of different life stages of invasive species. This PhD project focuses on the evolutionary responses at the larval stage of X. laevis in invaded areas of France and within the native range in South Africa. The approach is primarily experimental (in both France and South Africa) with supporting field-work. Data analysis and writing manuscripts for publication will be ongoing from first results.

From 2017

Stellenbosch University & University of Lyon

Co-supervised by Jean Secondi - U. Lyon