Clarke van Steenderen

Entomology PhD candidate

Office: S9, Second Floor, Life Science Building
Email: or 

BSc (hons), Rhodes University (2017)
MSc, Rhodes University (2019)

PhD research: Genotyping the hybrids of South African Neochetina bruchi and N. eichhorniae populations using microsatellite markers

Supervisors: Dr Iain Paterson and Prof Julie Coetzee

I am a first year PhD student at the CBC, and have been at Rhodes University since the first year of my undergraduate studies. I have always loved nature, and was always fascinated with the animal world from a young age. From silkworms to a snake, there was always a fellow living creature in the house (sometimes to my mother’s dismay!).

My MSc focused on the genetic barcoding of the cochineal bugs, which are used as biological control agents for invasive cacti. I am particularly interested in using genetic techniques to answer evolutionary questions in the context of biological control. I also thoroughly enjoy programming in R, and created my first R package this year to assist with the processing of genetic data.

My PhD will focus on the genotyping of biological control agent hybrids, particularly for the two Neochetina weevils used as agents for the control of water hyacinth. I also aim to compare the performance of hybrids to their pure-bred parent species.

Last Modified: Tue, 04 Aug 2020 12:44:49 SAST