Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Department of Conservation Ecology & Entomology

​​​What is Conservation Ecology and Entomology?

One of the greatest challenges facing humankind is the conservation of biodiversity, especially in nature reserves, farmland, cities, mining and forestry areas. The increasing population growth in developing countries is another challenge. It leads to overuse of plant resources and the exploitation of wild animals, as well as changes to, and loss of, habitat. Conservation Ecology and Entomology strives to ensure a healthy biological network – which includes all existing species – to guarantee the prosperity of the entire ecosystem.​

The Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology

The Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology is a forward-thinking, dynamic department with a distinct agricultural and forestry orientation which is reflected in its vision, mission and strategic objectives, namely to be a world centre of excellence for teaching, research and technology.  It brings together a considerable body of teaching and research in the rapidly growing and important field of the conservation of utilised landscapes and their surrounds. In principle, the aim is to sustain agricultural and forestry production without compromising the natural viability of the agricultural land mosaic. Under this umbrella of conservation in the agricultural and forestry contexts, the expertise ranges from integrated pest management, conservation of natural communities, management of living resources, conservation policy formulation to technology transfer.

Programme information

Undergraduate Programmes​

  • Conservation Ecology (ConsEcol)
  • Entomology (BSc(Ento))​

Postgra​duate Programmes

MSc Programme

  • MSc in Conservation Ecology
  • MSc in Entomology

PhD Programme

  • PhD in Conservation Ecology
  • PhD in Entomology



Research in the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology encompasses a broad array of pure and applied conservation and entomological research topics.  The research thrusts focus on conservation planning and management, restoration- and landscape ecology, invertebrate-and vertebrate conservation, conservation of symbioses, area-wide pest management on tree crops and applied physiological ecology.

The Department is a leader in research on the restoration of natural vegetation in the arid areas of South Africa, including mines in Namaqualand, pasturage in the Little and Great Karoo, as well as conservation areas in the Western Cape. Research on conservation policy development involves the determination of the conservation attributes of natural resource management policies in southern Africa with the aim of optimising their biodiversity and socio-economic outputs.

The entomological research component of the Department has three main focus areas: insect ecology and conservation, systematics and integrated pest management (IPM). Invertebrate conservation biology focuses on agricultural and freshwater systems, as well as tropical and sub-Antarctic islands and animal parasite ecology. Systematics research focuses on the Hepialoidea, Zygaenoidea and Tortricicoidea (Lepidoptera), especially the systematics of economically important pest taxa. IPM deals with research on insect and mite pests and research on entomopathogenic nematodes.

​Contact Details ​


Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology 

Faculty of AgriSciences
Private Bag X1, 7602 Matieland, South Africa

Tel.: 021 808 4775 (Entomology)  / 021 808 3304 (Conservation Ecology) 
Fax: 021 808 4821 / 021 808 4807
E-mail:​ /

Staff ​​

Academic staff, Professors Extraordinary and research Associates:


Staff memberTelephone numberE-mail addressField of expertise
Mr MF Addison 021 808 2546/ Pest Management
Dr P Addison 021 808 diversity;
Integrated Pest Management
Prof KJ Esler 021 808

Plant ecology;

Dr S Jacobs 021 808
Dr S Johnson 021 808 Pest Management
Dr A Leslie 021 808
Dr A Malan 021 808
Ms R Malgas 021 808 Natural resource management
Dr S Matthee 021 808;
Parasite ecology;
Small mammal ecology
Dr KL Pringle 021 808 pest management
Dr J Pryke 021 808 conservation
Dr F Roets 021 808
Prof MJ Samways 021 808 conservation biology
Prof J Terblanche 021 808 entomology
Dr R Veldtman 021 808 Ecology
Prof D Conlong and integrated pest management;
Professor Extraordinary
Prof B Reyers belinda.reyers@su.seBiodiversity and ecosystem services;
Professor Extraordinary
​Dr R Gaigher​021 808 4021​​Conservation ecology
​Dr D Biggs​​Conservation in social-ecological systems;
Extraordinary senior lecturer


Technical and Supportive Staff:


Staff memberTelephone numberE-mail address 
Fundi Bikitsha 021 808 
Marlene Isaacks 021 808 
Riaan Keown 021 808 
Colleen Louw 021 808 
Celeste Mockey 021 808 
Monean Jacobs 021 808 ​