Nazley Liddle

BSc Hons (Cape Town)

Growing up in Cape Town allowed Nazley to appreciate the close interactions between humans and nature. As she got older, she became increasingly concerned by how animals navigate our growing anthropogenic world. She felt the need to address these concerns and decided to embark on a career in behavioural ecology, with a focus on anthropogenic change and conservation. Her BScHons degree at the University of Cape Town explored the impacts of human presence and activity on wildlife by assessing baboon behavioural responses to spatial overlap with urban spaces.

Like the charismatic baboons, birds hold a special place in her heart. For her MSc degree, she will investigate blue waxbill (Uraeginthus angolensis) physiological and behavioural responses to high temperature and humidity in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The study aims to understand how climate change might affect the thermal tolerance limits, breeding success and survival of small passerines in mesic environments. This study offers a novel opportunity to assess humidity effects on avian thermoregulation within warm and humid regions of South Africa.  Furthermore, it could also identify whether blue waxbills have reduced capacity to tolerate global heating, therefore urging greater research effort and conservation interventions to help maintain population persistence in the future. 

Thesis (registered at the University of Pretoria):
Impacts of high temperature and humidity on the physiology and breeding success of Blue Waxbills. (Supervisor: Dr Susie Cunningham)

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