Chris Oosthuizen

Postdoctoral Researcher


My primary research interests are the population ecology of marine top predators, particularly with respect to population demography of seals and seabirds inhabiting sub-Antarctic and Antarctic ecosystems.


I am an NRF-funded postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pretoria, within the Mammal Research Institute of the Department of Zoology and Entomology. I have worked within the Marion Island Marine Mammal Programme since 2007 when I first overwintered at Marion Island as a seal biologist. Subsequently, I completed both my MSc and PhD degrees and spent as much time as I can in the field. A second expedition to Marion Island, as well as several shorter expeditions to Antarctica and other sub-Antarctic islands (including Macquarie, Bouvet and Gough islands) helped to hone my field skills. My PhD considered how among-individual variation and trade-offs shape the life histories of female southern elephant seals. I continue with this research into individual variability in survival and reproduction of elephant seals, making use of the extensive dataset spanning three decades, and modern capture-recapture models.  

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