Kgaogelo Amanda KA Maswanganye
My research interests lies in small mammal conservation genetics. I am currently doing a comparative study on small rock dwelling mammals (the namaqua rock mouse and hyrax) for my PhD. I am interested in teasing out what processes are driving speciation (phylogeographic level) and to see what ecological constraints are working to shape their life history. To address these two questions; I am using mtDNA genes, nuclear introns and microsatellite data to elucidate the fine-scale processes that might have contributed to their current distributions.
The Namaqua rock mouse Micaelamys namaquensis is a long-tailed, nocturnal, murid rodent, widely distributed in southern Africa. Since it has the potential to transmit disease, this work will contribute to understanding the epidemiology of rodent-borne pathogens. Furthermore, its outbreaks can cause extensive damage to crops and stored grain.
Hyrax are well-furred rotund creatures with a mere stump for a tail. They inhabit rocky terrain across sub-Saharan Africa. They are browsers, which live in small family groups, dominated by a single male who aggressively defends the territory from rivals. Where there is abundant living space, the male may dominate multiple groups of females, each with their own range. I am currently working on two sub-species from southern Africa Procavia capensis and Heterohyrax brucei.
Abstracts this author is presenting: