Oageng Modise

Masters Student

Urban ecology and Collembola diversity in two urban areas

(with Drs C Janion-Scheepers and B van Rensburg)

Urban areas are experiencing overpopulation and anthropogenic pressures. Urbanization describes a process of land-use changes due to increasing concentration of people in a given area. In addition, urbanization has been identified as a major driver of habitat loss and species extinction. As a result, urban-related ecological research, or urban ecology, has increased over the last two decades as efforts to conserve and manage biodiversity have increased. Little research has been done on soil biota specifically, and their importance in urban green spaces and maintaining healthy urban ecosystems.

Modise is documenting Collembola diversity in two urban areas namely Johannesburg and Brisbane, Australia. Following DNA-based species identification, one could try to link soil diversity to functionality in urban green spaces in providing ecosystem services. Modise is also working with Heather Webster in using environmental DNA (eDNA) to document species diversity in urban waterbodies.