Dr Shannon Conradie

PhD (Pretoria)

I am a climate change biologist, focused on assessing the impacts of rising temperatures on the persistence and survival of arid-zone birds. For my PhD at the University of Pretoria (2022), I modelled optimal decisions based on physiology and environmental conditions to predict how these decisions will be affected under future conditions. These models are parameterised by thermal landscape conditions as well as biophysical predictions of heat and water exchange. Additionally, I modelled the sub-lethal impacts of missed-opportunities arising from behavioural trade-offs with thermoregulation.

For my postdoctoral research, I am joining Dr Susan Cunningham with the Hot Birds Research Project  (https://hbresearchproject.wixsite.com/hbresearchproject) to extend on my research on the impacts of behaviour in the context of rising temperatures. My main focus will be to identify and collect data needed to adequately model and predict mass maintenance and breeding outcomes in an arid-zone bird.

Peer-reviewed publications

Oswald, K.N. and Conradie, S.R. Variable choice affects estimations of vulnerability to climate change. Ibis.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ibi.13281  

Conradie, S.R., Kearney, M.R., Wolf, B.O., Cunningham, S.J., Freeman, M.T., Kemp, R. and McKechnie, A.E. 2023. An evaluation of a biophysical model for predicting avian thermoregulation in the heat. Journal of Experimental Biology 226(15). https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.245066

Conradie, S.R., Woodborne, S.M., Wolf, B.O., Pessato, A., Mariette, M.M., McKechnie, A.E. 2022. Global heating poses a serious threat to Australia’s birds: reply to Pacheco-Fuentes et al. Conservation Physiology 10(1): coac011

Kemp, R., Freeman, M.T., van Jaarsveld, B., Czenze, Z.J., Conradie, S.R., McKechnie, A.E. 2020. Sublethal fitness costs of chronic exposure to hot weather vary between sexes in a threatened desert lark. Emu 3: 216 – 229.

Conradie, S.R., Woodborne, S.M., Wolf, B.O., Pessato, A., Mariette, M.M., McKechnie, A.E. 2020).Avian mortality risk during heat waves will increase greatly in arid Australia during the 21st century. Conservation Physiology 8: coaa048

Conradie, S.R., Woodborne, S.M., Cunningham, S.J., McKechnie, A.E. 2019. Chronic, sublethal effects of high temperatures will cause severe declines in southern African arid-zone birds during the 21st century. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 116: 14065 – 14070.

Conradie, S.R., Hall, G., Somers, M.J. and McIntyre, T. 2019. Limited animal-facilitated nutrient transfer across an aquatic-terrestrial interface in a southern African savanna. African Journal of Wildlife Research 49(1): 52 – 61.