Prof Dan Parker

Dan Parker 3

Senior Research Associate

MSc Rhodes University (2004)
PhD Rhodes University (2008) 

The main focus of my research is mammalian terrestrial ecology and since my research career began, I have managed to develop a sound theoretical grounding in ecology by incorporating a diverse range of ecological skills and techniques into my research. Although my formative research focused on the plant-animal interactions of megaherbivores (i.e. giraffes and elephants) in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, I am also particularly interested in large carnivore biology.

I am an Associate Professor at the University of Mpumalanga but continue to maintain research links with the Rhodes University Department of Zoology and Entomology.

For more information on my research group click here. My email address is:


Current students

  1. Orla Mcevoy (PhD) - The dilemma of lions (Panthera leo) in small parks: consequences for management.
  2. Gareth Nuttall-Smith (MSc) - The influence of elephants on diversity within the Thicket Biome.
  3. Jess Comley (PhD) - Intraguild competition among large carnivores.
  4. Rogan Fourie (PhD) - Leopard population dynamics and impacts on a large commercial cattle ranch.
  5. Erin Brinkley (MSc) - Insectivorous bat communities of the northern Kruger National Park.
  6. Murunwa Nelufule (MSc) - Bat communities of the Limpopo River Valley.

Past students

  1. Brendan Whittington-Jones (MSc, 2012) - Dispersal by African wild dogs in the Hluhluwe-imfolozi area of KwaZulu-Natal.
  2. Armand Kok (MSc, 2012) - The diversity, richness and abundance of the small mammals that inhabit the Great Escarpment of South Africa.
  3. Mathilde Brassine (MSc, 2012) - Diet switching by black-backed jackals in two Eastern Cape conservation areas.
  4. Ross Forbes (MSc, 2012) - The diet of black-backed jackals on two contrasting land-use types in the Eastern Cape.
  5. Tanith Grant (MSc, 2012) - Leopard population density, home range size and movement patterns in a mixed landuse area of the Mangwe District of Zimbabwe.
  6. Emma Smith (MSc, 2012) - An assessment of caracal population density and human-predator conflict in the Winterberg, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
  7. Jessica Watermeyer (MSc, 2012) - Anthropogenic threats to resident and dispersing African wild dogs west and south of the Kruger National Park, South Africa.
  8. Siobhan Dyer (MSc, 2013) - The abundance, spatial ecology and genetic diversity of cheetahs in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve.
  9. Wendy Collinson (MSc, 2013) - Wildlife road traffic accidents and their impact on biodiversity.
  10. Gareth Mann (PhD, 2014) - The ecology of leopards in the Gourits region of the little Karoo, South Africa.
  11. Zoliswa Nhleko (MSc, 2014) - The demography and reproductive success of black rhinoceros in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
  12. Samantha Page (MSc, 2014) - The viability and implications of an African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) re-introduction to the Great Fish River Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
  13. Kyle Junkuhn (MSc, 2015) - Small mammal diversity and abundance and the effects of seasonality within and at the edge of fragmented Afromontane forests in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
  14. Rebecca Welch (MSc, 2015) - Brown hyaena ecology on Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
  15. Ali Brassine (MSc, 2015) - An assessment of the cheetah population and the extent of human-predator conflict in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, Botswana.
  16. Megan Murison (MSc, 2015) - The effectiveness of lethal predator control methods in the Fish-Kowie Corridor, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
  17. Likho Sikutshwa (MSc, 2015) - The diets of co-ocurring anurans in a small South African river: Assessments using stomach contents, stable isotope ratios and fatty acid profiles.
  18. Michelle Parsons (MSc, 2015) - The development of biological tools to aid in the genetic investigation of the black (Diceros bicornis) and white (Ceratotherium simum) rhinoceros mitochondrial genomes. 
  19. Jane Horgan (MSc, 2016) - Testing the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of livestock guarding dogs in Botswana.
  20. Phumuzile Nyoni (MSc, 2016) - Leopard population density and rural community attitudes towards predators in and around the Debshan Ranch, Shangani, Zimbabwe.
  21. Jon Taylor (MSc, 2016) - Using camera trap data to test the mesopredator release hypothesis in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
  22. Jessica Comley (MSc, 2016) - Population assessment and diet of brown hyaenas at the Mountain Zebra National Park, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
  23. Armand Kok (PhD, 2016) - Land-use effects on mammal communities in the Fish-Kowie Corridor, Eastern Cape, South Africa, with particular reference to carnivores.
  24. Dan van der Vyver (MSc, 2017) - The impact of a lion re-introduction on the resource requirements of cheetahs in the Mountain Zebra National Park, South Africa.
  25. Kyle Finn (MSc, 2017) - Philopatry and dispersal in Damaraland mole-rats.
  26. Carol Hoole (PhD, 2017) - Exploring the effects of cyclical environmental changes on the behaviour and physiology of four sympatric small mammals.


Some recent publications

  1. Hayward, M.W. Porter, L. Lanszki, J. Kamler, J.F. Beck, J.M. Kerley, G.I.H. Macdonald, D.W. Montgomery, R.A. Parker, D.M. Scott, D.M. O’Brien, J. Yarnell, R.W. 2017. Factors affecting the prey preferences of jackals (Canidae). Mammalian Biology 85: 70-82.
  2. Parker, D.M. 2017. The composition and complexity of the woody and succulent components of Albany thicket with and without elephants. South African Journal of Botany 112: 19-28.
  3. Page-Nicholson, S.K. Marnewick, K.A. Beverley, G. Davies-Mostert, H.T. Watermeyer, J.P. Parker, D.M. 2017. Socio-economic factors influencing attitudes of landowners towards free-roaming cheetahs. African Journal of Wildlife Research 47(2): 114-127.
  4. Hoole, C. Parker, D. McKechnie, A.E. Bennett, N.C. 2017. The endogenous activity patterns of Africa’s smallest terrestrial mammal the pygmy mouse, Mus minutoides. Canadian Journal of Zoology 95(10): 745-752. 
  5. Allen, B.L. Allen, L.R. Andren, H. Ballard, G. Boitani, L. Engeman, R.M. Fleming, P.J.S. Haswell, P.M. Kowalczyk, R. Linnell, J.D.C. Mech, L.D. Parker, D.M. 2017. Can we save large carnivores without losing large carnivore science? Food Webs 12: 64-75.
  6. Hoole, C. McKechnie, A.E. Parker, D. Bennett, N.C. 2017. The activity patterns of two sympatric shrew species from the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Journal of Zoology, London 303: 145-154. 
  7. Nhleko, Z.N. Parker, D.M. Druce, D.J. 2017. The reproductive success of black rhinoceroses (Diceros bicornis) in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Koedoe 59(1): a1386.
  8. Allen, B.L. Allen, L.R. Andren, H. Ballard, G. Boitani, L. Engeman, R.M. Fleming, P.J.S. Haswell, P.M. Kowalczyk, R. Linnell, J.D.C. Mech, L.D. Parker, D.M. 2017. Large carnivore science: non-experimental studies are useful, but experiments are better. Food Webs 13: 49-50.
  9. Craig, C.A. Brassine, E. Parker, D.M. 2017. A record of cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) diet in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, Botswana. African Journal of Ecology55(4): 697-700.
  10. Welch, R.J. Tambling, C.J. Bissett, C. Gaylard, A. Müller, K. Strauss, W.M. Slater, K. Parker, D.M. 2016. Brown hyaena habitat selection varies among sites in a semi-arid region of southern Africa. Journal of Mammalogy 97(2): 473-482.

Last Modified: Wed, 31 Jan 2018 12:09:06 SAST