Dr Miengah Abrahams



Research interest: Continental ichnology, Stratigraphy, Sedimentology

My research interest is embedded in the niche field of continental ichnology, the study of trace fossils, the lesser-known sister science to the more established field palaeontology. Within ichnology, my research interests are focused on vertebrate tracks, specifically those attributed to theropod dinosaurs across the Triassic – Jurassic, and invertebrate nest structures, attributed to termite and ant activity during the Quaternary. My expertise lies in the quantitative analysis of trace morphology, utilising geometric morphometrics and statistical methods to define and compare shape. 

Selected Publications

More on Research Gate and Google Scolar

  1. Abrahams, M., Bordy, E.M. 2023. The oldest bird-like footprints from the Late Triassic of southern Africa. Plos One. 18: e0293021. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0293021

  2. Abrahams, M., Rampersadh, A., Mpangala, L. 2023. Riches of the Roma valley: theropod and ornithischian tracks from the Early Jurassic southern Africa. Historical Biology, DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2023.2221306

  3. Abrahams, M., Bordy, E.M., Knoll, F., Farlow, J.O. 2022. Theropod tridactyl tracks across the Triassic–Jurassic boundary in Southern Africa: implications for pedal morphology evolution. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 10, p.925313. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2022.925313

Courses Lectured

GEO1008F Introduction to Geology for Civil Engineers

  • Origin of the Earth, minerals and crystals, the rock cycle, structure of the Earth

GEO2004S Physical Geology

  • Introduction to sedimentology and ichnology

GEO2005X Field Geology and Geological Mapping

  • Laingsburg field school

GEO3001S Stratigraphy and Economic Geology

  • Phanerozoic stratigraphy of South Africa

GEO400W Geology Honours

  • Applied Palaeontology

Graduated Students

1. Loyce Mpangala, MSc (2023) with a distinction (co-supervised with Prof Emese)  2. Rabia Jacobs BSc Hons. 2022 (co-supervised with Prof Chris Harris)
3. Nkazimulo Zuma BSc. Hons. 2022 (co-supervised with Prof Emese) 4. Gcinamahlubi Hadebe BSc. Hons. 2021 (co-supervised with Dr Robert Muir)



2020 – PhD in Geology University of Cape Town (upgraded from an MSc)

            Title: Evaluation of tridactyl theropod tracks in southern Africa: quantitative morphometric analysis across the Triassic–Jurassic boundary

2015 – BSc(Hons) in Geology University of Cape Town

2014 – BSc in Geology and Ocean & Atmospheric Science University of Cape Town


2019 – present Lecturer University of Cape Town

Professional Associations

2022 – present Vice president of Palaentological Society of southern Africa