UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG

Wildlife Conservation Physiology lab

Wildlife Conservation Physiology (WCP) is an area of research within the Brain Function Research Group. Our research focuses on the ecophysiology and thermoregulation of African, Australian and Arabian mammals, as well as the physiological responses of wild mammals to global climate change and game capture procedures.

Current research:

  • Body temperature and thermoregulation of African, Australian and Arabian mammals
  • Thermoregulation of small, arid-dwelling mammals
  • Effects of habitat transformation on the physiology of animals
  • The mechanisms involved in the control of selective brain cooling during heat stress and dehydration
  • Effects of human interference on selective brain cooling in ungulates
  • Thermal stress of capture
  • Cooling of hyperthermic animals during capture
  • Prevention of respiratory depression in opioid-immobilized animals

Staff: 

Prof Andrea Fuller

Dr Anna Haw

Dr Robyn Hetem

Dr Hilary Lease

Dr Richard McFarland

Dr Ian Murray

Dr Benjamin Rey

 

Honorary staff 
Prof Duncan Mitchell 
Dr Leith Meyer, University of Pretoria
Dr Shane Maloney, University of Western Australia
Prof Louise Barrett, University of Leithbridge, Canada 

 

 

Postgraduate opportunities: 


Click here for  BFRG Postgraduate Opportunities

Latest publications from WEP:

 

STRAUSS WM, HETEM RS, MITCHELL D, MALONEY SK, MEYER LCR, FULLER A. Selective brain cooling reduces water turnover in dehydrated sheep. PLoS ONE, 10(2): e0115514

SAWICKA J, FULLER A, FICK LG, HETEM RS, MEYER LCR. Efficacy of different cooling methods for capture-induced hyperthermia in antelope. African Journal of Wildlife Research, 45: 100 – 110, 2015

REY B, HALSEY L, HETEM R, FULLER A, D MITCHELL, ROUANET J-L. Estimating resting metabolic rate by biologging core and subcutaneous temperature in a mammal. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology (A), 183: 72-77, 2015

MURRAY IW, FULLER A, LEASE HM, MITCHEL D, WOLF BO, HETEM RS. Low field metabolic rates for geckos of the genus Rhoptropus may not be surprising. Journal of Arid Environments, 113: 35-42, 2015

MEYER LCR, HETEM RS, MITCHELL D, FULLER A. Hypoxia following etorphine administration in goats (Capra hircus) results more from pulmonary hypertension than from hypoventilation. BMC Veterinary Research, 11: 1-9, 2015

MCFARLAND R, FULLER A, HETEM RS, MITCHELL D, MALONEY SK, HENZI SP, BARRETT L. Social integration confers thermal benefits in a gregarious primate. Journal of Animal Ecology, 2015

MITCHELL D. Excalfactoria and a bird and word book to keep you warm. South African Journal of Science, 110: a0077, 2014

TEULIER L, ROUANET J-L, REY B, ROUSSEL D. Ontogeny of non-shivering thermogenesis in Muscovy ducklings (Cairina moschata). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology part A, 175: 82-89, 2014

SMITH FA, MURRAY IW, HARDING LE, LEASE HM, MARTIN J. Life in an extreme environment: a historical perspective on the influence of

temperature on the ecology and evolution of woodrats. Journal of Mammalogy, 95:1128-1143, 2014 

SHRESTHA AK, VAN WIEREN SE, VAN LANGEVELDE F, FULLER A, HETEM RS, MEYER LCR, DE BIE S, PRINS HHT. Larger antelopes are sensitive to heat stress throughout all seasons but smaller antelopes only during summer in an African semi-arid environment. International Journal of Biometeorology, 58: 41- 49, 2014

REY B, ROMESTAING C, BODENNEC J, DUMET A, FONGY A, DUCHAMP C, ROUSSEL D. Thyroid status affects membranes susceptibility to free radicals and oxidative balance in skeletal muscle of Muscovy ducklings (Cairina moschata). Journal of Experimental Zoology A, 321: 415-21, 2014

REY B, COSTELLO M-A, FULLER A, HAW A, HETEM RS, MITCHELL D, MEYER LCR. Chemical immobilization and anesthesia of free-living aardvarks (Orycteropus afer) with ketamine-medetomidine-midazolam and isoflurane. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 50: 864-72, 2014

MURRAY IW, FULLER A, LEASE HM, MITCHELL D, WOLF BO, HETEM RS. The actively foraging desert lizard Pedioplanis husabensis (Husab Sand Lizard) behaviorally optimizes its energetic economy. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 92: 905–913, 2014

MURRAY IW, LEASE HM. Agama anchietae (Anchieta’s Agama). Diet. Herpetological Review, 45: 489, 2014

MURRAY IW. An Index of Spring Diet in the Common Flat Lizard, Platysaurus intermedius wilhelmi. African Journal of Herpetology, 63: 98-108, 2014

MCFARLAND R, BARRETT L, BONER R, FREEMAN NJ, HENZI SP. Behavioral flexibility of vervet monkeys in response to climatic and social variability. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 154: 357-364, 2014

MALONEY SK, FULLER A, MITCHELL D, GORDON C, OVERTON M. Translating animal model research: does it matter that our rodents are cold? Physiology, 29: 413-420, 2014

LUBBE A, HETEM RS, MCFARLAND R, BARRETT L, HENZI SP, MITCHELL D, MEYER LCR, MALONEY SK, FULLER A. Thermoregulatory plasticity in free-ranging vervet monkeys, Chlorocebus pygerythrus. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 184: 799–809, 2014

LEASE HM, MURRAY IW, FULLER A, HETEM RS. Black wildebeest seek shade less and use solar orientation behaviour more than do blue wildebeest. Journal of Thermal Biology, 45: 150–156, 2014

LEASE HM, GOELST K, SEELY MK, MITCHELL D. Evidence of temperature-independent metabolic rates in diurnal Namib Desert tenebrionid beetles. Physiological Entomology, 39: 254-262, 2014

HETEM RS, FULLER A, MALONEY SK, MITCHELL D.  Responses of large mammals to climate change. Temperature, 1: 115-127, 2014

HAW A, HOFMEYR M, FULLER A, BUSS P, MILLER M, FLEMING G, MEYER L. Butorphanol with oxygen insufflation corrects etorphine-induced hypoxaemia in chemically immobilized white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum). BMC Veterinary Research, 10: 253, 2014

FULLER A, HETEM RS, MALONEY SK, MITCHELL D. Adaptation to heat and water shortage in large, arid-zone mammals. Physiology, 29: 159-167, 2014

TEULIER L, TORNOS J, ROUANET J-L, REY B, ROUSSEL D. Metabolic response to lipid infusion in fasting winter-acclimatized king penguin chicks (Aptenodytes patagonicus). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 165: 1-6, 2013

REY B, ROUSSEL D, ROUANET J-L, DUCHAMP C. Differential effects of thyroid status on regional H2O2 production in slow- and fast-twitch muscle of ducklings. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 183: 135–143, 2013

PASTERNAK G, BROWN LR, KIENZLE S, FULLER A, BARRETT L, HENZI SP. Population ecology of vervet monkeys in a high latitude, semi-arid riparian woodland. Koedoe 55: 1078, 2013

MURRAY IW. Natural History Notes. Terrapene ornate luteola (Desert Box Turtle). Nesting/hatchling overwintering/ hatchling diet. Herpetological Review 44: 134-135, 2013

MURRAY IW, LEASE HM. Natural History Notes. Phrynosoma hernandesi (Greater Short-horned Lizard) Predation. Herpetological Review 44: 327, 2013

MURRAY IW, WOLF BO. Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) dietary specialization decreases across a precipitation gradient. PLoS One 8: e66505, 2013

MURRAY IW, WOLF BO. Diet and growth influence carbon incorporation rates and discrimination factors (Δ13C) in Desert Box Turtles,Terrapene ornata luteola. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 8:149-162, 2013

McFARLAND R, MACLARNON A, HEISTERMANN M, SEMPLE S. Physiological stress hormone levels and mating behaviour are negatively correlated in male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Animal Biology 63: 331-341, 2013

McFARLAND, R, MAJOLO, B. Coping in the cold: Predictors of survival in wild Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). Biology Letters 9: 20130428, 2013

McFARLAND R, HETEM RS, FULLER A, MITCHELL D, HENZI SP, BARRETT L. Assessing the reliability of biologger techniques to measure activity in a free-ranging primate. Animal Behaviour 85: 861-866, 2013  

MARTIN J, REY B, PONS J-B, NATOLI E, PONTIER D. Movements and space use of feral cats in Kerguelen archipelago: a pilot study with GPS data. Polar Biology 36:1531–1536, 2013

MALONEY SK, MEYER LCR, BLACHE D, FULLER A. Energy intake and the circadian rhythm of core body temperature in sheep. Physiological Reports 1: e00118, 2013

MAJOLO B, McFARLAND R, YOUNG C, QARRO M. The effect of climatic factors on the activity budgets of Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). International Journal of Primatology 34: 500-514, 2013

HETEM RS, MITCHELL D, DE WITT BA, FICK LG, MEYER LCR, MALONEY SK, FULLER A. Cheetah do not abandon hunts because they overheat. Biology Letters 9: 20130472, 2013

McFARLAND R, HETEM RS, FULLER A, MITCHELL D, HENZI SP, BARRETT L. Cross-validation of observational and biologger techniques to quantify activity in a free-ranging primate Animal Behaviour, in press 

TEULIER L, TORNOS J, ROUANET J-L, REY B, ROUSSEL D. Metabolic response to lipid infusion in fasting winter-acclimatized king penguin chicks (Aptenodytes patagonicus) Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A, in press

GRAY DA, MARAIS M, MALONEY SK. A review of the physiology of fever in birds Journal of Comparative Physiology B, in press

McFARLAND, R & MAJOLO, B. The importance of considering the behavioural form of reconciliation in studies of conflict resolution International Journal of Primatology, 34: 15-29 

McFARLAND R, ROEBUCK H, YAN Y, LI W, MAJOLO B, GUO K. Social interactions through the eyes of macaques and humans PLoSONE, 8(2): e56437, 2013

PASTERNAK G, BROWN LR, KIENZLE S, FULLER A, BARRETT L, HENZI SP. Population ecology of vervet monkeys in a high latitude, semi-arid riparian woodland Koedoe 55(1): 1078, 2013

REY B, ROUSSEL D, ROUANET J-L, DUCHAMP C. Differential effects of thyroid status on regional H202 production in slow- and fast-twitch muscle of ducklings Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 183: 135–143, 2013

HETEM RS, STRAUSS WM, FICK LG, MALONEY SK, MEYER LCR, SHOBRAK M, FULLER A, MITCHELL D. Does size matter? Comparison of body temperature and activity of free-living Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) and the smaller Arabian sand gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa marica) in the Saudi desert Journal of Comparative Physiology B182: 437-449, 2012 

HETEM RS, STRAUSS WM, FICK LG, MALONEY SK, MEYER LCR, SHOBRAK M, FULLER A, MITCHELL D. Activity re-assignment and microclimate selection of free-living Oryx leucoryx: responses that could minimise effects of climate change? Zoology, 115: 411-416, 2012 

HETEM RS, STRAUSS WM, FICK LG, MALONEY SK, MEYER LCR, SHOBRAK M, FULLER A, MITCHELL D. Selective brain cooling in Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx): a physiological mechanism for coping with aridity? The Journal of Experimental Biology 215: 3917-3924, 2012

LEASE HM, KLOK CJ, KAISER A, HARRISON JF. Body size is not critical for critical PO2 in scarabaeid and tenebrionid beetles Journal of Experimental Biology, 215: 2524-2533

MCFARLAND R, MAJOLO B. The occurrence and benefits of postconflict bystander affiliation in wild Barbary macaques, Macaca sylvanus Animal Behaviour 84: 583–591

MURRAY IW, SMITH FA. Estimating the influence of the thermal environment on activity patterns of the desert woodrat (Neotoma lepida) using temperature chronologies Canadian Journal of Zoology 90:1171-1180, 2012 

SHRESTHA AK, VAN WIEREN SE, VAN LANGEVELDE F, FULLER A, HETEM RS, MEYER LCR, DE BIE S, PRINS HHT. Body temperature variation of three South African antelope in two climatically contrasting environments Journal of Thermal Biology 37: 171-178, 2012

 

For more information on Wildlife Environmental Physiology, Brain Function Research Group, contact Dr Anna Haw, Anna.Haw@wits.ac.za

HETEM RS, MITCHELL D, DE WITT BA, FICK LG, MEYER LCR, MALONEY SK, FULLER A

Cheetah do not abandon hunts because they overheat 

Biology Letters 9: 20130472, 2013