Nematodes are among the most abundant and diversified groups in the animal kingdom and belong to the Phylum Nematoda. It is said that four in five animals on earth are nematodes. Research in this group is focused on the ecology and taxonomy of free-living and plant-parasitic nematodes occurring in Nature Reserves in South Africa. Various habitat types are sampled for nematodes within these reserves.


Data gathered for these surveys will form part of a bigger project, which will include:

  • Mapping the biodiversity of nematodes (free-living and plant-parasitic) occurring in South African Nature Reserves;
  • Investigating the ecological importance of the nematodes found in the South African Nature Reserves; and
  • Contributing to the South African National Survey of Plant Parasitic Nematodes and National Collections of Nematodes which is maintained by the Nematology unit, Biosystematics of the Agricultural Research Council - Plant Health and Protection


“If all the matter in the universe except the nematodes were swept away, our world would still be dimly recognisable, and if, as disembodied spirits, we could investigate it, we should find its mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, lakes, and oceans represented by a film of nematodes. The location of towns would be decipherable, since for every massing of human beings there would be a corresponding massing of certain nematodes.”—Nathan Cobb.



Nematology fieldwork


Members of research group


Anke de Smidt (MSc)(completed)

Nematodes from the Willem Pretorius and Soetdoring Nature Reserves, Free State Province, South Africa


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


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

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