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Centre of Excellence

Dr Chevonne Reynolds

Chevonne Reynolds
BSc Hons, MSc (Wits), PhD (UCT)

Email: chevonne.reynolds@gmail.com

Chevonne is currently a lecturer in the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, where she also completed her MSc degree in resource conservation biology. However, before returning to her alma mater in 2018, Chevonne spent many productive and valuable years at the FitzPatrick Institute where she completed her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Graeme Cumming and undertook a short post-doc with Prof. Claire Spottiswoode. Chevonne also co-ordinates and teaches on the landscape ecology module of the Fitztitute’s Conservation Biology MSc course.

Research Interests: Chevonne’s research interests are very broad, but in general she tries to use birds as tools for understanding landscape effects on biological communities. Although primarily described as an ornithologist and avid birder, she has a widespread interest in natural history and where possible promotes multi-taxon approaches. Over the last few years Chevonne has been involved in research that seeks to quantify how the composition and/or configuration of landscape elements affects bird communities at different spatial scales. This research has tended to focus on trade-offs between agricultural production and biodiversity conservation using both citizen science data from SABAP and field based studies. Chevonne has recently extended this research to urban systems and is keen to continue to explore the mechanisms that affect the biodiversity of cities the ecosystem services it provides.

Graduated students

Olli Hyvärinen (2017–2018). CB MSc student, University of Cape Town. Thesis: Vegetation Change in the Asante Sana Game Reserve after the introduction of mega-herbivores. Co-supervised with Prof. Timm Hoffman (UCT). With Distinction – June graduation

Selected peer-reviewed publications

Ke, A., Sibiya, M., Reynolds, C., McCleery, R.A., Monadjem, A., & Fletcher, R.J. Landscape heterogeneity explains taxonomic, not functional or phylogenetic, bird diversity across agricultural landscapes. Biodiversity and Conservation. In Press.

LaScaleia, M., Reynolds, C., Magagula, C.N., Roets, F., & McCleery, R.A. (2018). Dung beetle richness decreases with increasing landscape structural heterogeneity in an African savanna-agricultural mosaic. Insect Conservation and Diversity. https://doi.org/10.1111/icad.12290

Reynolds, C., Fletcher, R.J. Jr., Carneiro, C.M., Jennings, N., Ke, A., LaScaleia, M.C., Lukhele, M.B., Mamba, M.L., Sibiya, M.D., Austin, J.D., Magagula, C.N., Mahlaba, T., Monadjem, A., Wisely, S.M. and McCleery, R.A. 2017. Inconsistent effects of landscape heterogeneity and land-use on animal diversity in an agricultural mosaic: a multi-scale and multi-taxon investigation. Landscape Ecology. 33: 241-255 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10980-017-0595-7

Reynolds, C. and Ryan, P.G. 2018. Micro-plastic ingestion by waterbirds from contaminated wetlands in South Africa. Marine Pollution Bulletin 126: 330-333. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.11.021

Cumming, G.S., Henry, D.A.W. and Reynolds, C. 2017. A framework for testing assumptions about foraging scales, body mass, and niche separation using telemetry data. Ecology and Evolution 7: 5276-5284. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3078 

Reynolds, C., Cumming, G.S., Vilà, M. and Green, A.J. 2017. Birds as key vectors for the dispersal of some alien species: further thoughts. Diversity and Distributions 23: 577-580. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12549 

Reynolds, C. and Cumming, G.S. 2016. Seed traits and bird species influence the dispersal parameters of wetland plants. Freshwater Biology 61: 1157-1170. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fwb.12776

Reynolds, C. and Cumming, G.S. 2016. Seed dispersal of waterbirds in southern Africa: comparing the roles of ectozoochory and endozoochory. Freshwater Biology 61: 349-361. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fwb.12709

Reynolds, C. & Cumming, G.S. 2016. Defining functional groups using dietary data: Quantitative comparison suggests functional classification for seed-dispersing waterfowl. Basic and Applied Ecology, 17:333-343.

Cumming, G.S., Abolnik, C., Caron, A., Gaidet, N., Grewar, J., Hellard, E., Henry, D. A. and Reynolds, C.  2015. A review of regional variation in avian influenza dynamics: insights from a social-ecological systems perspective. Landscape Ecology 30: 963-985.

Reynolds, C. and Cumming, G.S. 2015. The role of waterbirds in the dispersal of freshwater cladocera and bryozoa in southern Africa. African Zoology 50: 307-311.

Reynolds, C., Miranda, N.A.F. and Cumming, G.S. 2015. The role of waterbirds in the dispersal of aquatic alien and invasive species. Diversity and Distributions 21: 744-754

Reynolds, C. and Symes, C.S. 2013. Vegetation structural heterogeneity enhances bird diversity in grassland. African Zoology 48: 228-239.