Conservation Biology Masters Students (2019/2020)

Jack Harper




Jack grew up on farms in the East Midlands of the UK, witnessing the conflicts between modern agriculture and the environment. He studied a BSc in Ecology and Environment at the University of Liverpool. During his time there, he took a tropical ecology field trip to Uganda, leading to an attraction for studying African ecology, particularly savanna ecosystems and human-wildlife conflict. In the same year, he completed a research internship at Elephants Alive in Limpopo, where he gained valuable experience in the Bushveld, collecting data for an elephant hotspot study. More recently he completed his honours project on temporal variation of termite mound use in the Miombo woodland, Tanzania. The satisfaction he felt in completing this project led to his pursuit of further postgraduate studies. He was able to gain additional experience in the Bushveld working as a volunteer research assistant for a PhD student studying the roles of ants in this ecosystem. After the completion of the work he was given the opportunity to sample invertebrates in Sani Pass with the University of Pretoria which further built on his invertebrate sampling knowledge and introduced him to another of South Africa’s/Lesotho’s extraordinary ecosystems. His future goals are to gain greater experience and understanding of human-wildlife conflict in the ecosystems of the Western Cape and South Africa as a whole, in the hope of making a valuable contribution to the field of Conservation Biology. Jack hopes that the completion of the Conservation Biology Masters course will introduce him to a further set of skills on how to balance both social and conservation issues in a sustainable manner. Jack is a keen runner and wildlife photographer, and hopes the Cape will improve his surfing skills!


Assessing the climate change vulnerability of reptile and amphibian species found within Table Mountain National Park.  Supervisors: Susie Cunningham, Wendy Foden and Nicola van Wilgen.