All of my field work is carried out during the summer months, when hope abounds with the bounty of new life in the Kalahari. My main focus is on fledglings, so I get to see them all grow, develop and learn the skills they will need to survive in the harsh environment they inhabit. Although through the summer a few of the fledglings die and some nest are predated, the overall feeling at the end of the field season is that the population has grown. That is why it is really sad when we get news that during the winter, which is very harsh, lots of the birds have died (especially the dominant females). I just found out that the dominant female of one of my favourite groups, BMBO of Ngai Tahu, has died, and this adds to the death of CGMX from Xhosa. But all is not lost, I will soon be heading up to the Kalahari to help train the new babbler assistant and this will be the start of summer and of hope. So bring on the rain, the flush of insects and the nestlings
I am a behavioural ecologist, my main interests revolve around familial conflicts and their resolutions. However, my scientific interests are fairly broad.