Professor Peter Ryan, Associate Professor Arjun Amar, Dr Susie Cunningham, Professor Claire Spottiswoode, Dr Robert Thomson, FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town

This course highlights the research of the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, covering threats faced by the charismatic raptor group as well as seabirds which face threats both at sea and on their breeding colonies . These threats have changed over the last century – sometimes to the detriment but occasionally to the benefit of the birds . The course examines behavioural changes birds make in response to high temperatures, and which might make them vulnerable or resilient to climate change . Research will be presented to show how African birds provide a window into coevolution and the beautiful adaptations coevolution generates . Finally, there is a lecture dedicated to bird nests, including the extreme nests of the sociable weaver, and the critical function birds’ nests serve, not only to the individuals that build them . (Order of lectures to be announced.)



  1. African raptor ecology and conservation – Arjun Amar
  2. How will South Africa's birds cope with climate change? – Susie Cunningham
  3. Are seabirds really as threatened as we think? – Peter Ryan
  4. Collaborators and con-artists: coevolution as an engine of biodiversity – Claire Spottiswoode
  5. Bird nests as a resource to other animals – Robert Thomson



Date: 20–24 January
Time: 9.15 am
COURSE FEES: Full R590 Staff & Students R295
Venue: Classroom 2A Kramer Law Building UCT