BSc, PGCE (U. Swaziland), BSc Honours (Rhodes), PhD (U. Pretoria)

John Day Zoology Building
Room 3.33
Phone: +27 +21 650 1628






Born and raised in Swaziland (now Eswatini) Celiwe obtained a BSc in Biological Sciences and Chemistry, as well as a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Swaziland. This was followed by a BSc Honours degree at Rhodes University. Both her undergraduate and honours projects involved some work on bats.  She went on to do her MSc at the University of Pretoria (UP), working on the foraging behaviour of white-bellied sunbirds. She also obtained her PhD from UP, her thesis aimed to draw attention to the welfare of southern African birds held in captivity for research purposes by assessing glucocorticoid stress responses to variable housing techniques and the subsequent physiological effects of variation in environmental temperatures while in the research setting. 

Her research interests include finding less-invasive methods for collecting physiological data to improve the welfare of research animals (current focus on birds), vertebrate responses to a changing environment (through both urbanization and climate change) and their respective applications to conservation.


Peer-reviewed articles

Freeman MT, Coulson B, Short JC, Ngcamphalala CA, Makola MO, McKechnie AE. 2024. Evolution of avian heat tolerance: The role of atmospheric humidity. Ecology, e4279.

van der Wal JEM, Afan AI, Anyawire M, Begg CM, Begg KS, Dabo GA, Gedi II, Harris JA, Isack HA, Ibrahim JI, Jamie GA, Kamboe W-BW, Kilawi AO, Kingston A, Laltaika EA, Lloyd-Jones DJ, M’manga GM, Muhammad NZ, Ngcamphalala CA, Nhlabatsi SO, Oleleteyo TT, Sanda M, Tsamkxao L Wood BM, Spottiswoode CN, Cram DL. 2023. Do honey badgers and greater honeyguide birds cooperate to access bees’ nests? Ecological evidence and honey-hunter accounts. Journal of Zoology, doi:10.1111/jzo.13093.

Ngcamphalala CA, Nicolson SW, Ganswindt A, McKechnie AE. 2023 Physiological validation of the use of faecal glucocorticoid metabolites as a measure of stress in a passerine and a columbid from southern Africa, Emu – Austral Ornithology, 123: 79-84.


Ngcamphalala CA, Bouwer M, Nicolson SW, Ganswindt A, McKechnie AE. 2021.  Experimental manipulation of air temperature in captivity appears unsuitable for evaluating fecal glucocorticoid metabolite responses of wild-caught birds to heat exposure. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 94:330-337.

Bouwer M, Ngcamphalala CA, Ganswindt A, McKechnie AE. 2021. Validation of a non-invasive technique for quantifying a stress-associated biomarker in a southern African hornbill. Journal of Ornithology,162:615-619.

Moagi LL, Bourne AR, Cunningham SJ, Jansen R, Ngcamphalala CA, Ganswindt A, Ridley AR, McKechnie AE. 2021.Hot days are associated with short-term adrenocortical responses in a southern African arid-zone passerine bird. Journal of Experimental Biology, 224: jeb242535.


Jepsen EM, Ganswindt A, Ngcamphalala CA, Bourne AR, Ridley AR, McKechnie AE. 2109. Non-invasive monitoring of physiological stress in an Afrotropical arid-zone passerine bird, the southern pied babbler. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 276:60-68.


Ngcamphalala CA, Bailey IE, Nicolson SW. 2018. Nectar intake and foraging efficiency: the responses of sunbirds to flower morphology. Journal of Ornithology, 159:1031-1041.



Current students
Sikhulile Khumalo, MSc (dissertation), Principal supervisor
Abiodun Ademola, MSc (dissertation), co-supervisor
Daniella Mhangwana, Honours, co-supervisor

Graduated students
Sabrina Roberts, Honours, UCT 2022, Principal Supervisor
Kagiso Nhlapo, Honours, UCT 2021, Co-supervisor
Michelle Bouwer, Honours, UP 2019, Co-supervisor
Emma Jepsen, Honours, UP 2018, Co-supervisor