Dr Phoebe Barnard

Honorary Research Associate
Species response to environmental and climate change

Phoebe has worked on diverse sustainability and biodiversity issues, large and small -- from national biodiversity and climate change strategic planning, policy and implementation, and the global status and trends of ecosystems and their ability to support human health, livelihoods and wellbeing, to ecological vulnerability and adaptation studies on endemic species of the fynbos biome. Phoebe is the Lead Scientist of the Climate Change Bioadaptation Division and Head of the Biodiversity Futures Program at SANBI, and an associate of the ACDI and FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. Phoebe works with postdocs, PhD and MSc students as well as coworkers from the universities of Durham, Cambridge University/ RSPB, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Peninsula Technology, and Queensland to understand bird vulnerability to global change, and options for increasing adaptation in fragmented landscapes.

Link to climate change & development:

Phoebe and her research teamwork at two levels, large (planetary, continental, national) and small (ecoregional, population, community). Their large-scale work deals with environmental futures and sustainability tipping points, including transformation of the economy and impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems. Their ‘small’ work focuses on endemic species of Africa’s biodiversity hotspots - why are some more vulnerable to climate and land use change than others, and are some at risk of extinction? What can birds tell us about ecosystem health and human well-being? How do species move across fragmented landscapes in response to climate and land-use change? What options do we have to help them persist through the next few difficult centuries? Phoebe & the team uses the lenses of behavioural, evolutionary, population, molecular and stress ecology in order to understand bird vulnerability in real-life and virtual landscapes.

Link to ACDI:

Phoebe leads the ACDI-affiliated project on fynbos endemic birds under climate and land use change, and co-supervised Beth Mackay (2011-12) (MSc) and co-supervises PhD student Lavinia Perumal (2016-18).

Tel:  +27 (0)21 799 8722
Fax: +27 (0)21 799 8705 

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