Core team member: Prof Tamara Robinson-Smythe


The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (K-M GBF) target 6 requires the identification of pathways of invasion to prevent the establishment and spread of invasive alien species, with the ultimate aim of mitigating and minimising the impacts of alien species on biodiversity and ecosystem services. South Africa’s protected areas can contribute significantly to the country’s efforts to meet this global target by conserving native biodiversity and the ecosystem services they provide. Like any natural system, protected areas are threatened by invasive species. Limited knowledge is held on invasion pathways and spread within South African protected areas.

This knowledge gap will be addressed in this project using Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) as a case study. The successful applicant will explore which invasive species occur in the park and by which pathways they were likely introduced. The successful applicant will also lead stakeholder engagement workshops. Here, park staff, residents and recreational users will be engaged on the topic of invasions and will be asked to share their insights into how alien species may be entering TMNP. Using the information gathered from the literature and local knowledge, the applicant will employ futures thinking to identify future pathways that could affect the park in the future.




The running costs for the project are fully funded, however the successful applicant need to apply to the NRF for bursaries. The applicant will be supported in applying for NRF, SANBI, Stellenbosch University and departmental bursaries.


  • BSc Hons degree in ecology or equivalent 4 year degree in relevant field
  • Understanding of the biological invasions, especially pathways
  • Excellent data management and analytical skills
  • Proficiency in Excel and R
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Willingness to lead group discussions and speak in front of large stakeholder groups
  • Willingness to travel and a valid driver’s licence


Turbelin AJ, Diagne C, Hudgins EJ, Moodley D, Kourantidou M, Novoa A, Haubrock PJ, Bernery C, Gozlan RE, Francis RA, Courchamp F (2022) Introduction pathways of economically costly invasive alien species. Biological Invasions 24(7): 2061–2079, doi: 10.1007/s10530-022-02796-5

Faulkner, K.T., Robertson, M.P., Rouget, M. and Wilson, J.R., 2016. Understanding and managing the introduction pathways of alien taxa: South Africa as a case study. Biological Invasions, 18(1), pp.73-87.


Visit the Centre for Invasion Biology’s website ( to find out more about the Centre and contact Prof Tamara Robinson (

When applying please include your CV and a motivation for why you are suited to this position.

Please be prepared to provide the details of a past supervisor as one of your references.

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