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Staff Profile

Doctor Robyn Hetem

Position SENIOR LECTURER
QualificationsBSc, PhD
Phone 0117172163
Email Robyn.Hetem@wits.ac.za
Organisational Unit School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences

physiological plasticity, climate change, conservation physiology

Robyn is interested in the physiological and behavioural mechanisms employed by free-ranging mammals in order to cope with the extreme temperatures and habitat transformation likely to occur with global climate change. By challenging textbook theories on animal physiology and improving our understanding of physiological responses of free-living mammals to hot and dry environments, Robyn hopes that her research will ultimately help to improve the accuracy of climate change models so that we may better conserve South Africa's charismatic large mammals through future climate change.

Publications

  1. Murray I.W., Fuller A., Lease H.M., Mitchell D., Wolf B.O. and Hetem R.S. (2015) Low field metabolic rates for geckos of the genus Rhoptropus may not be surprising. Journal of Arid Environments 113: 35-42
  2. Murray I.W., Fuller A., Lease H.M., Mitchell D., Wolf B.O. and Hetem R.S. (2014) The actively foraging desert lizard Pedioplanis husabensis behaviorally optimizes its energetic economy. Canadian Journal of Zoology 92: 905–913
  3. Lease H.M., Murray I.W., Fuller A. and Hetem R.S. (2014) Black wildebeest seek shade less and use solar orientation behaviour more than do blue wildebeest. Journal of Thermal Biology 45: 150-156
  4. Rey B., Costello M.-A., Fuller A., Haw A., Hetem R.S., Mitchell D. and Meyer L.C.R. (2014) Chemical immobilization and anesthesia of free-living aardvark (Orycteropus afer) with ketamine-medetomidine-midazolam and isoflurane. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 50: 864-872
  5. Hetem R.S., Fuller A., Maloney S.K. and Mitchell D. (2014) Responses of large mammals to climate change. Temperature 1: 115-127
  6. Lubbe A., Hetem R.S., Mcfarland R., Barrett L., Henzi S.P., Mitchell D., Meyer L.C.R., Maloney S.K. and Fuller A. (2014) Thermoregulatory plasticity in free-ranging vervet monkeys, Chlorocebus pygerythrus. Journal of Comparative Physiology B Biochemical, Systems, and Environmental Physiology 184: 799-809
  7. Fuller A., Hetem R.S., Maloney S.K. and Mitchell D. (2014) Adaptation to heat and water shortage in large, arid-zone mammals. Physiology 29: 159-167
  8. Shrestha A.K., Van Wieren S.E., van Langevelde F., Fuller A., Hetem R.S., Meyer L.C.R., de Bie S. and Prins H.H.T. (2014) 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
  9. Hetem R.S., Mitchell D., de Witt B.A., Fick L.G., Meyer L.C.R., Maloney S.K. and Fuller A. (2013) Cheetah do not abandon hunts because they overheat. Biology Letters 9: 20130472
  10. McFarland R., Hetem R.S., Fuller A., Mitchell D., Henzi S.P. and Barrett L. (2013) Assessing the reliability of biologger techniques to measure activity in a free-ranging primate. Animal Behaviour 85: 861-866
  11. Hetem R.S., Strauss W.M., Fick L.G., Maloney S.K., Meyer L.C.R, Shobrak M., Fuller A. and Mitchell D. (2012) Selective brain cooling in Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx): a physiological mechanism for coping with aridity? Journal of Experimental Biology 215: 3917-3924
  12. Hetem R.S., Strauss W.M., Fick L.G., Maloney S.K., Meyer L.C.R., Shobrak M., Fuller A. and Mitchell D. Activity re-assignment and microclimate selection of free-living Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx): responses that could minimise effects of climate change? Zoology 115: 411-416
  13. Hetem R.S., Strauss W.M., Fick L.G., Maloney S.K., Meyer L.C.R., Shobrak M., Fuller A. and Mitchell D. (2012) 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 B Biochemical, Systems, and Environmental Physiology 182: 437-449
  14. Shrestha A.K., van Wieren S.E., van Langevelde F., Fuller A., Hetem R.S., Meyer L.C.R., de Bie S., Prins H.H.T. (2012) Body temperature variation of South African antelopes in two climatically contrasting environments. Journal of Thermal Biology 37: 171–178
  15. Hetem R.S., Strauss W.M., Heusinkveld B.G., de Bie S., Prins H.H.T. and van Wieren S.E. (2011) Energy advantages of orientation to solar radiation in three African ruminants. Journal of Thermal Biology 36: 452-460
  16. Fuller A., Hetem R.S., Meyer L.C.R and Maloney S.K. (2011). Angularis oculi vein blood flow modulates the magnitude but not the control of selective brain cooling in sheep. American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 300: 1409-1417
  17. Torrao N., Hetem R.S., Meyer L.C.R. and Fick L.G. (2011). An assessment of the use of temperature-sensitive microchips to determine core body temperature. The Veterinary Record 168: 328
  18. Hetem R.S., de Witt B.A., Fick L.G., Fuller A., Maloney S.K., Meyer L.C.R., Mitchell D. and Kerley G.I.H. (2011). Effects of desertification on the body temperature, activity and water turnover of Angora goats. Journal of Arid Environments 75: 20-28
  19. Hetem R.S., Strauss W.M., Fick L.G., Maloney S.K., Meyer L.C.R., Shobrak M., Fuller A. and Mitchell D. (2010). Variation in the daily rhythm of body temperature of free-living Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx): does water limitation drive heterothermy? Journal of Comparative Physiology B Biochemical, Systems, and Environmental Physiology 180: 1111-1119
  20. Fuller A., Dawson T., Helmuth B., Hetem R.S., Mitchell D. and Maloney S.K. (2010) Physiological mechanisms in coping with climate change. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 83: 713-720
  21. Wilson W.A., O’Riain M.J., Hetem R.S., Fuller A. and Fick L.G. (2010) Winter body temperature patterns in free-ranging Cape ground squirrel Xerus inauris: no evidence for torpor. Journal of Comparative Physiology B Biochemical, Systems, and Environmental Physiology 180: 1099-1110
  22. Meyer L.C.R., Hetem R.S., Fick L.G., Mitchell D and Fuller A. (2010). Effects of serotonin agonists and doxapram on respiratory depression and hypoxemia in etorphine-immobilized impala (Aepyceros melampus). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 46: 514-524
  23. Erlwanger K.H., de Witt B.A., Fick L.G., Hetem R.S., Meyer L.C.R., Mitchell D., Wilson W.A. and Mitchell B. (2009). Hepatic capillariasis in a Cape ground squirrel (Xerus inaurus). Journal of the South African Veterinary Association 80: 276-277
  24. Hetem R.S., de Witt B.A., Fick L.G., Fuller A., Kerley G.I.H., Maloney S.K., Meyer L.C.R. and Mitchell D. (2009). Shearing at the end of summer affects body temperature of free-living Angora goats (Capra aegagrus) more than does shearing at the end of winter. Animal 3: 1025-1036
  25. Hetem R.S., de Witt B.A., Fick L.G., Fuller A., Kerley G.I.H., Meyer L.C.R., Mitchell D. and Maloney S.K. (2009). Body temperature, thermoregulatory behaviour and pelt characteristics of three colour morphs of springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology 152: 379-388
  26. Hetem R.S., Mitchell D., Maloney S.K., Meyer L.C.R., Fick L.G., Kerley G.I.H. and Fuller A. (2008). Fever and sickness behavior during an opportunistic infection in a free-living antelope, the greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros). American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 294: 246-254
  27. Meyer L.C.R., Hetem R.S., Fick L.G., Matthee A., Mitchell D. and Fuller A. (2008). Thermal, cardiorespiratory and cortisol responses of impala (Aepyceros melampus) to chemical immobilization with four different drug combinations. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association 79: 121-129
  28. Hetem R.S., Maloney S.K., Fuller A., Meyer L.C.R. and Mitchell D. (2007). Validation of a biotelemetric technique, using ambulatory miniature black globe thermometers, to quantify thermoregulatory behaviour in ungulates. Journal of Experimental Zoology 307A: 342-356 

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