Doctoral students

Samantha McCarren

Samantha McCarren
BSc (Hons) (UCT)

John Day 2.32



Samantha grew up in Germany and has been interested in birds since the age of 10 when she observed common redstarts nesting in her parents’ garden. She completed her BSc in Biology at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz in Germany in 2017 and her Honours degree in Biological Sciences at UCT in 2018. During her BSc, Samantha used the semester breaks to complete several internships, including working in nature conservation in Belgium, on great tits in Spain and for the Hot Birds project at the Fitztitute. As the final project for her BSc, she explored bird song diversity in a German nature reserve and as a part of her honours degree, she explored the cost and impacts of haemoparasites on Black Sparrowhawks. Broadly, Samantha’s research interests include ecology and evolution. Currently, she is most interested in sensory ecology and the co-evolution of animals and plants. In her MSc dissertation, she intends to quantify UV-reflectance in bird-pollinated flowers in the Cape Floristic Region and explore the ability of sunbirds to detect differences in UV-reflectance and how this impacts their foraging decisions. Samantha is supervised by Prof. Jeremy Midgely from the Biological Sciences Dept at UCT, and Dr Anina Coetzee from the Fitzitute.