Doctoral Students

Gareth Tate

Gareth Tate
BSc (Hons) (UCT)

John Day Building: 1.02
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 3292
Cell: +27 (0)82 447 3619
Fax: +27 (0)21 650 3295


Gareth was born in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, and grew up in the small town of White River. With the Kruger National Park and Mozambique at his doorstep, he grew up with a passion for the outdoors, fishing, wildlife and particularly the African bush. After leaving school he spent a year travelling through England, Scotland and Europe and then pursued his passion by completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Cape Town in 2010, specializing in Zoology and Microbiology. He completed his Honours in Zoology at UCT in 2011, looking at the physiological adaptations in European Rabbits that allow them to survive on resource limited islands off the south west coast of South Africa.

Gareth joined the FitzPatrick Institute in 2012 to begin a masters on plumage polymorphism in black sparrowhawks in the Cape Peninsula. He upgraded to PhD at the beginning of 2014. Gareth is also currently completing his FGASA course to qualify as a field guide.

Visit the Black Sparrowhawk project's Facebook page here.


Exploring the maintenance of plumage polymorphism in the Black Sparrowhawk Accipiter melanoleucus. (Supervisors: Arjun Amar & Jacqui Bishop).

Peer-reviewed publications

Sumasgutner, P., Tate, G.J., Koeslag, A., & Amar, A. (2016). Family morph matters: Factors determining survival and recruitment in a long-lived polymorphic raptor. Journal of Animal Ecology. doi. 10.1111/1365-2656.12518.

Lei, B., Amar, A., Koeslag, A., Gous, T.A. & Tate, G.J. (2013). Differential haemoparasite intensity between black sparrowhawk (Accipiter melanoleucus) morphs suggests an adaptive function for polymorphism. PLoS ONE 8:e81607.