Masters Students (Dissertation)

Monique du Plessis


   Monique du Plessis 
   BSc Cons Ecol (Stellenbosch)



Monique has spent her whole life in Cape Town, growing up amongst the biodiverse fynbos. During most holidays, she spent her time in nature reserves and national parks. This is where her passion for conservation originated. She completed her BSc Conservation Ecology & Entomology at Stellenbosch University in 2018, and absolutely loved every minute of it. During this course, her interest broadened to all fields of ecology, from the cuddly large mammals to the tiny creepy crawlies. During her 4th year thesis, she explored the evolution and host range of ectoparasitic lice on small rodents. She is particularly fascinated by how different components of ecosystems interact and how human activity affects its balance. Her MSc dissertation focuses on the effect of sugar water feeders on the sunbird and Erica populations in the Cape Floristic Region. She is anxious to explore the responses of the nectarivorous bird communities to these relatively novel urban sources as they can potentially disrupt pollination processes, ultimately affecting plant populations. Monique is supervised by Dr Anina Coetzee and Prof. Claire Spottiswoode from the FitzPatrick Institute and Dr Colleen Seymour from SANBI.

Thesis: The effect of supplementary nectar feeders on bird-plant mutualisms in the Cape Fynbos, South Africa