Global Change Biology 

Environmental stress resistance is a key component underlying the success of insects among variable habitats. Our research mainly focuses on the physiological and evolutionary mechanisms that enable insects to cope with stress at both short and long time-scales. We usually focus on insects of agricultural (pests and parasitoids), human and animal health, and conservation importance, enabling us to draw inferences on how warming climates may influence their survival, activity and ultimately, geographic distribution. For agricultural crop production, our physiological studies also have direct relevance on management of post-harvest storage pests using modified atmospheres. Our other interests are centered on insect herbivory and its application in the field of classical biological control of invasive alien plants. We therefore ask both theoretical and applied questions surrounding these themes for a better understanding of these fascinating creatures.

Global Change Biology         Global Change Biology      Global Change Biology

Study group members

Dr Frank Chidawanyika (Lab head)

Dr Reyard Mutamiswa (Postdoctoral fellow)

Postgraduate students and research titles

  • Abongile Mbande, PhD

“Evolutionary, physiological and phenological responses of Tuta absoluta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) to climate variability.

  • Gerald Chikowore, PhD

“Biological control pre-release studies on the ecological impacts and biotic interactions of Robinia pseudocacia L. (Black Locust) with indigenous fauna and flora in South Africa.”

  • Ludzula Mukwevho, PhD

“Effects of fire and mammal herbivory management on insect functional diversity in the Kruger National Park."

  • Stephen T Musasa, PhD

“Exploring Cyanobacteria bioactive properties and potential use as biopesticides for Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) and Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) to reduce losses in fruit and vegetable value-chains in Zimbabwe.”

Global Change Biology      Global Change Biology  


Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531


Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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