Dr Susan Cunningham
Susie is a senior lecturer at the FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town. She has been involved in the Hot Birds Research Project, an international collaboration investigating the impact of climate change on desert birds globally, since 2010. She leads the team's research on birds' behavioural responses to heat and consequences of these. Susie is a New Zealander and completed her undergraduate degrees in Ecology & Biodiversity and Classical Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in 2005, and her PhD on tactile sensory systems in birds at Massey University in 2010. She moved to South Africa and spent her first field season in the Kalahari over the summer of 2010/11 - a far cry from her PhD research on kiwi in the cold rainforests of New Zealand! The focus of Susie’s and her students’ field work is on the relationship between thermal biology and behavioural ecology, in particular the fitness consequences of behavioural thermoregulation.