Conservation Biology Masters Students (2016/17)

Ryan Olinger

Ryan Olinger


Ryan has worked in the field of wildlife biology for over five years, on three continents, with mammals, birds, and reptiles. As an undergraduate, Ryan volunteered with every wildlife agency that he could. The countless volunteer hours gave him experience trapping mammals, performing point counts, handling venomous snakes, and tracking large carnivores. These skills allowed Ryan to find work with state agencies on reestablishing endangered black-footed ferrets and performing avian surveys in a diverse North American migratory flyway. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management, Ryan set out to understand the effects of wildfires and logging on mammals in the beautiful Yosemite National Park. His days off were spent birding throughout the west coast and no doubt inspired his move to New Zealand to protect native and endemic species. Spending eight months on the South Island of NZ, trapping invasive species, Ryan knew he wanted to continue his work with birds and found himself in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa focusing on the behavioural ecology of fork-tailed drongos. After nearly three years on the road, Ryan became completely captivated by the wild places of Africa and hopes to take full advantage of the Conservation Biology program at UCT. Whenever free time allows, Ryan loves trail running, hiking, and is always down for a road trip.


How does temperature affect Fork-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus adsimilis, foraging effort, nestling food provisioning and growth rates? (Supervisors: Susie Cunningham, Tom Flower)