Talks on lizards' heating systems

2013-06-18 00:00

THE Royal Society of South Africa lecture series continues at 5.45 pm on Thursday, June 20, with a talk by Dr Sue McConnachie entitled “Balancing the books: Energy budgeting in ectothermic vertebrates”, in the John Bews Lecture Theatre, Life Sciences Campus, Carbis Road, Pietermaritzburg.

McConnachie will discuss the processes of energy budgeting and their importance in understanding different aspects of the ecology and physiology of reptiles and amphibians.

An energy budget is generally partitioned into energy gain, energy used in maintenance metabolism, activity, growth and reproduction, and energy not assimilated, which is excreted as waste and heat. Where energetic requirements are affected by temperature, the balance between expenditure and gain is particularly important.

McConnachie has a passion for all things herpetological and has worked on reptiles and amphibians for over 10 years.

She studied at the University of the Witwatersrand and graduated with a PhD in 2006. Her PhD research involved measuring and constructing an energy budget for the Drakensberg crag lizard.

McConnachie joined the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg as a post-doctoral fellow, where she researched energetics in semi-aquatic reptiles. In 2007, she was appointed as a senior tutor, where she primarily teaches biology to first year students in the university’s science access programme.

With the help of post-graduate students, she has maintained her research and current projects include investigations into various aspects of the energetics of terrapins and toads.

Light refreshments will be supplied. Inquiries: Professor Mike Perrin at 033 260 5118 or 033 260 5435.

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