Dr Sally Hofmeyr

Sally Hofmeyr



Sally was inspired to study the natural world after going on a wilderness trail in the Umfolozi Game Reserve as a high school student. During her undergraduate studies in wildlife science (at the University of Natal), she discovered the wonder of bird ringing and birding. She completed her masters in African Mammals (University of Pretoria), including a research project on giraffes in the Kruger National Park. She took a few years out of university, doing (among other things) outdoor education for British school children, aerial photography in South Africa and Mozambique, and an internship with the IUCN.

Eventually she returned to academia and did her PhD and a postdoc in ornithology at the Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town. For these projects she used citizen science data to look at how large terrestrial birds (cranes, bustards, korhaans, secretarybirds) are responding to environmental change. During that time she also qualified for her bird ringing licence and established a regular ringing site in Cape Town, and became involved in penguin monitoring on Robben Island and post-fire bird monitoring on the Cape Peninsula. She did a second postdoc, also with the ADU, on communication about science with the public. 

Sally currently works mainly as a freelance academic editor, but in 2018 joined the Fitzpatrick Institute as a field technician on the Red-winged Starling project on campus, catching and colour-ringing the birds to find out how far they range and investigate the dynamics of this special campus population.

Peer-reviewed publications:

Mills, A.J., Spear, D., Ndhlovu, T., Knight, M.H., Peinke, D.M., Hofmeyr, S.D., Cowling, R.M. 2014. Biomass of large herbivores in South African subtropical thicket. African Journal of Ecology. doi: 10.1111/aje.12162.

Hofmeyr, S.D., Symes, C.T., Underhill, L.G. 2014. Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius population trends and ecology: insights from South African citizen science data.  PLoS ONE 9(5): e96772. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096772.

Fleming, P.A., Hofmeyr, S.D., Nicolson, S.W. & du Toit, J.T. 2006. Are giraffes pollinators or flower predators of Acacia nigrescens in Kruger National Park, South Africa? Journal of Tropical Ecology 22:247-253.

Fleming, P.A., Hofmeyr, S.D., & Nicolson, S.W. 2007. Role of insects in the pollination of Acacia nigrescens (Fabaceae). South African Journal of Botany 73:49-55.

Contributor to:

De Villiers, M.S. (ed.). 2009. Birds and Environmental Change: building an early warning system in South Africa. SANBI, Pretoria.