Students & Associates
Honorary Research Associate
BSc Hons (Acadia, Canada), MSc (Witwatersrand), PhD
Birds & Environmental Change Partnership Programme,
South African National Biodiversity Institute
Tel: +27 (0)21 799 8722
Fax: +27 (0)21 799 8705
research interests include why some species are more vulnerable to
environmental change than others, what bird data can tell us about ecosystem
health and human well-being, how species will move across fragmented
landscapes in response to climate change, and what options we have to help
them persist through the next few difficult centuries.
research team combines conservation biology and global change biology with
behavioural, evolutionary, population and stress ecology to understand the
vulnerability of birds to global change in fragmented landscapes. She
initially worked on sexual selection in flashy African brood parasites, and
on behavioural energetics of birds of prey in North America and southern
Africa. But being acutely aware that Rome is burning, and that sexual
selection research adds little to urgent conservation measures, she switched
to global change and conservation biology. She has spent the last 19 years
in conservation biology strategic planning, direction, policy and research.
principal scientist on climate change adaptation of the South African
National Biodiversity Institute and a Fitz research associate, Phoebe
combines her twin passions of biodiversity and climate change by looking at
the vulnerability and adaptation of African birds, especially fynbos
endemics, to environmental change in transformed landscapes. Together with
Baviaanskloof, she also works collaboratively with Brian Huntley and Yvonne
Collingham (Durham University), Rhys Green (Cambridge University/ RSPB),
Dale Wright (BirdLife South Africa), Mark Brown (Nature’s Valley Trust),
Jeremy Midgley and Jacqueline Bishop (UCT), Anton Pauw and students Anina
Heystek and Bongani Mnisi (Stellenbosch University), Ross Turner (University
of KwaZulu-Natal), Sjirk Geerts (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
and Martine Maron (Queensland University) to understand different parts of
Phoebe founded and ran the Namibian national biodiversity and climate change
programmes, contributed to the development of Namibia’s environmental
observation systems and the global governance of the Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment, and worked as scientific coordinator for the Global Invasive
Species Programme. Her interests in environmental change in Africa include
the roles of young scientists, professional networks, and long-term
environmental observatories. She has produced several books, numerous
booklets and book chapters, and a government policy in addition to
scientific outputs, and has successfully raised funds to establish a
national park in Namibia.
currently honorary president of BirdLife South Africa (2013-2015) and serves
on the editorial boards of Animal Conservation and African Journal
of Ecology. She and two co-editors are working on a Society for
Conservation Biology book, profiling inspiring young women in African
conservation biology. She has been honoured with a Fullbright
Fellowship and a Society for Conservation Biology Distinguished Service
Climate Change Vulnerability &
Current postdoctoral researchers and students
Alan T.K. Lee: Spatial
and temporal patterns of abundance and dispersal by fynbos avifauna
(Supervisors: Phoebe Barnard and
(U. Stellenbosch): Spatial ecology of bird pollination in the Cape Floristic
Region (Supervisors: Anton Pauw and Phoebe Barnard)
Beth Mackay (UCT
EGS): Urbanization and disease in Cape Sugarbirds
postdoctoral researchers and students
Global changes and bird community responses to vegetation structure in
southern Africa (2007-2010, Supervisors: Phoebe Barnard, Guy Midgley)
Current and future vulnerability of South African ecosystems to perennial
grass invasion under global change scenarios (2006-09, Supervisors: Karen
Esler, Sue Milton, Phoebe Barnard)
Mokotjomela: Bird dispersal of invasive alien plants in changing climates:
emerging invaders in South Africa (2008-10, Supervisors: Karen Esler,
Charles Musil, Phoebe Barnard)
Impacts of environmental change on large terrestrial bird species in South
Africa: insights from citizen science data (2008-12, Supervisors: Les
Underhill, Phoebe Barnard)
Chalmandrier: Fire impact on bird communities of the Cape fynbos (2008-09,
Supervisors: Clelia Sirami, Phoebe Barnard)
Spatial ecology of bird pollination in the Cape Floristic Region (upgraded)
Competition for pollination structures in Erica communities (2011,
Supervisors: Anton Pauw, Phoebe Barnard)
Avians versus arthropods: what really pollinates Protea
lepidocarpodendron? (2011, Supervisors: Anton Pauw, Phoebe Barnard)
Protea compacta architecture and Cape Sugarbird (Promerops cafer)
behaviour: a loose connection or tight bond? (2011, Supervisors: Jeremy
Midgley, Phoebe Barnard)
Heysteck, A., Geerts, S., Barnard, P. & Pauw, A. (in press). Pink ﬂower
preference in sunbirds does not translate into plant ﬁtness differences in a
polymorphic Erica species. Evolutionary Ecology IP.
Huntley, B., Midgley, G.F., Barnard, P. & Valdes, P.J. (in press).
Suborbital climatic variability and centres of biological diversity in the
Cape region of southern Africa. Journal of Biogeography IP.
Rahlao, S.J., Milton, S.J., Esler, K.J. & Barnard, P. 2014. Performance of
invasive alien fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) along a climatic
gradient through three South African biomes. South African Journal of
Chalmandrier, L., Midgley, G.F., Barnard, P. & Sirami, C. 2013.
Effects of time since fire on birds in a plant diversity hotspot. Acta
Chambers, L.E., Altwegg, R., Barbraud, C., Barnard, P., Beaumont, L.,
Crawford, R., Durant, J., Hughes, L. Keatley, M., Low, M., Morellato, P.,
Poloczanska, E., Ruoppelo, V., Vanstreels, R., Woehler, E. & Wolfaardt, A.
2013. Phenological changes in the southern hemisphere. PLoS ONE
8(10): e75514. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075514.
Heystek, A., Geerts, S., Barnard, P. & Pauw, A. 2013. Abstract SAAB
Annual Meeting: Flower colour preference of sunbird pollinators. South
African Journal of Botany 86:160.
Huntley, B., Allen, J.R.M., Barnard, P., Collingham, Y.C. & Holliday,
P.R. 2013. Species distribution models indicate contrasting late-Quaternary
histories for Southern and Northern Hemisphere bird species. Global
Ecology and Biogeography 22:277-288.
Broms, K., Erni, B., Barnard, P., Midgley, G.F. & Underhill, L.G..
2012. Novel methods reveal shifts in migration phenology of barn swallows in
South Africa. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279:1485-1490.
Barnard, P., Koh, L.P., Chapman, C.A., Altwegg, R., Garner, T.W.J.,
Gompper, M.E., Gordon, I.J., Katzner, T.E. & Pettorelli, N. 2012. Funding
nature conservation: who pays? Animal Conservation 15:215-216.
Altwegg, R., Barnard, P., Collingham, Y.C. & Hole, D.G. 2012.
Modelling relationships between species spatial abundance patterns and
climate. Global Ecology and Biogeography IP.
Huntley, B. & Barnard, P. 2012. Potential impacts of climatic change
on southern African birds of fynbos and grassland biodiversity hotspots.
Diversity and Distributions IP.
Midgley, J.J., Barnard, P., Simmons, R.E. & Johnson, S.D. 2012.
Experimental evidence for bird pollination and corolla damage by ants in the
short-tubed flowers of Erica halicacaba (Ericaceae). South African
Journal of Botany 79:25-31.
& Midgley, G. 2010. No going back for species and ecosystems. Book Review:
Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming by Anthony D. Barnosky.
Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25:9-10.
Barnard, P., Altwegg, R., Chambers, L., Coetzee, B.W. T., Gibson, L.,
Hockey, P.A.R., Hole, D.G., Midgley, G.F., Underhill, L.G. & Willis, S.G.
2010. Beyond bioclimatic envelopes: dynamic species’ range and abundance
modelling in the context of climatic change. Ecography 33: 1-6.
Esler, K.J., Milton, S.J. & Barnard, P. 2010. Nutrient Addition and
Moisture Promote the Invasiveness of Crimson Fountaingrass (Pennisetum
setaceum). Weed Science 58:154-159.
Milton, S.J., Esler, K.J. & Barnard, P. 2010. The distribution of
invasive Pennisetum setaceum along roadsides in western South Africa:
the role of corridor interchanges. Weed Research 50:537-543.
Copyright: Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology 2013
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