Professor Claire Spottiswoode

Professor Claire Spottiswoode

Professor Claire Spottiswoode

University of Capetown, South Africa

Presentation: The natural history of a human-animal mutualism


Claire Spottiswoode is a South African field biologist, educated at the universities of Cape Town and Cambridge, and now working jointly at both institutions. She has been hooked on natural history since childhood, and is especially fascinated by species interactions. Her two main areas of research are coevolution between between brood-parasitic birds and their hosts, in Zambia, and mutualism between honeyguides and the human honey-hunters with whom they cooperate to gain access to bees’ nests, in Mozambique and elsewhere in eastern Africa. Both projects involve close cooperation with rural communities, and rely on their local field knowledge and skill.

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