Bridget O’Connor

MSc candidate

I joined the CL•I•M•E lab in 2024 after completing my honours and undergraduate degrees at the University of Pretoria in the field of zoology. I am relatively new to the field of entomology and have a background in genetics as my honour’s degree was focused on determining the diet of African wild dogs through metabarcoding analysis of faecal samples. This year, my research is aimed at investigating the thermal sensitivity of Harmonia axyridis across different life stages, namely larvae and adults. More specifically, I am assessing the extent to which there are differences in their phenotypic plasticity, how quickly they acclimate to different temperatures and how they recover from stressful heat events, using the thermal performance trait of walking speed.

I am excited to be a part of this fantastic research lab, and to be expanding my knowledge on ectotherms and climate change impacts. When I am not typing away on the computer or in the lab, I enjoy being outside running, hiking or camping or staying indoors baking, cooking and relaxing with a good show!