Josh Smit

MSc Candidate

I am originally from Zimbabwe and attended Falcon College for high school. Later, I pursued my undergraduate and Honours degrees at the University of Pretoria. My Honours Project focused on how Nile Crocodiles respond behaviourally to changes in their external environment, and what temperature changes determines their micro- and macro-scale movements. I have since relocated to Cape Town to pursue my Masters’ degree at Stellenbosch University, working with Susana and the CL•I•M•E lab team.

My research will focus on the relationship between integument colour, body temperature, and behavioural thermoregulation in a cordylid species in the Western Cape, South Africa. I aim to uncover how short and long-term temperature changes influence melanin-driven colour patterns in this lizard species. By examining coastal and inland populations, my project seeks to expand previous findings and understand colour variation of these lizards across different environments. Using refined experimental methods, including marking individuals for longitudinal studies, my research also aims to provide insights into how ectotherms adapt to environmental cues. Ultimately, it contributes to understanding colour variation in field populations and its adaptive significance in response to dynamic environments.