College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

Public Lecture: The Persistence of African Wildlife In Urban KZN

WHAT DO SCIENTISTS DO? A Look Inside the Ivory Tower.

Join us for an entertaining and informative look at the interesting research being undertaken by CAES academics.

A look at the why and how of vertebrate species adaptation to urban environments with Professor Colleen Downs.

COLLEEN DOWNS is a Professor in the School of Life Sciences and University Fellow at UZKN, and holds the NRF SARChI Research Chair in Ecosystem Health and Biodiversity in KZN and the Eastern Cape. She is a terrestrial vertebrate biologist with broad and interdisciplinary research interests. These include the conservation, ecology, physiology and behaviour of terrestrial vertebrates (herps, birds and mammals) in unpredictable environments and with changing land use. Other professional interests include science education, and the development of research capacity at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Professor Downs has been recognised nationally and globally for her work.

Her more than 381 international peer-reviewed publications reach a wide audience, helping her meet her goal of furthering and communicating science. She has also been featured on popular platforms such as BBC Earth. Downs is consistently named the top-published female academic at UKZN, and has supervised more than 120 postgraduate students. She is a Fellow of the International Ornithologists’ Union and a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and was the 2017 winner of the highly acclaimed National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)-South32 Award for Research Capacity Development. She was also awarded the Zoological Society of Southern Africa Gold Medal in July 2017 for her outstanding achievements in Zoology in southern Africa over a number of years. Downs was the BirdLife South Africa’s Honorary President for 2016-2020. Her hobbies include walking, gardening, bird watchingand bird banding.

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13 10 21


17:30 - 18:30

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