Grant Smith

Honours Student

I completed my undergraduate degree in Biodiversity and Ecology at Stellenbosch University in 2021, before completing my PGCE in 2023. Following some thought, I decided to follow my passions and return to complete my honours which has led to me joining the wonderful CL•I•M•E lab at Stellenbosch University. My project aims to investigate the relationship between elytral melanisation and melanisation in other body regions of the invasive Harlequin lady beetle Harmonia axyridis. My project will also test whether body mass, sex, seasonality, and ectoparasite load influence relationship between melanisation in different body regions. My project will hopefully help better shed light on lady beetle physiology as well as the ecological functions of melanisation within lady beetles.

In my free time I enjoy bird watching, camping, wildlife photography and hiking and I have been fortunate to explore a variety of beautiful places all throughout South Africa (although I still wish to experience travelling overseas). My love of wildlife and nature has also led me to do volunteer work for DARG, Exotic Animal World, SANBI and BotSoc. I also enjoy spending time with my amazing family and lovely doggos, whether willingly or by force.