Lourens Swanepoel

Lourens Swanepoel
 

Biography

My research focuses on issues related to carnivore conservation and management, including but not limited to; conservation biology, population monitoring, ecology, conservation policy and ecosystem function and services. While my focus thus far have been on large carnivores, specifically leopards (Panthera pardus) I have recently shifted my attention to medium to small carnivores. This is largely due to the fact that small mammalian predators should be abundant due to meso-carnivore release, these small mammalian predators are understudied, and finally their predation on small mammals (rodents) as well as seeds can be valuable ecosystem services. The majority of my research is therefore conducted in human-dominated and transformed lands (e.g. agro-ecological matrixes, industrial sites, game farms) which provide unique opportunities to study ecological theory. I also have become interested in small mammal population ecology (in agro-ecosystems) as well as disease ecology, and how predation can affect these.

I am currently a NRF Innovation Post-Doctoral Fellow at University of Venda, hosted by Prof Peter Taylor. My NRF research topic is “Combining effective rodenticide application with an understanding of predator prey dynamics: Implications for ecologically based rodent management in summer rainfall maize production areas. I have authored 14 peer-reviewed journal articles and currently I am co-supervising 4 MSc students.

Studies

  1. Combining effective rodenticide application with an understanding of predator prey dynamics: Implications for ecologically based rodent management in summer rainfall maize production areas

    The long term objective of this study is to provide small holder and commercial farmers with cost effective and sustainable technologies for ecological rodent pest management in crop fields. This is because rodents can inflict considerable economic damage in agricultural activities because of their abundance, diversity and their ability to quickly multiply. Losses are largely […]
  2. SPACES Limpopo Living Landscapes

    SPACES North Limpopo Living Landscapes – Understanding the dynamics of ecological and cultural landscapes, in the face of global change, in the northern Limpopo region of South Africa. Within the agricultural landscapes of Limpopo Province, the Limpopo Living Landscapes project aims to understand and predict the combined effects of land use and climate change processes […]
  3. StopRats: Sustainable Technology to Overcome Pest Rodents in Africa Through Science.

    The Chair is one of the Southern African partners in this project initiated and led by Dr Steven Belmain from the University of Greenwich Natural Resources Institute and working in Namibia, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania.  The overall objectives of the project are to strengthen science, technology and innovation about rodent biology […]