Department of Environmental Sciences

Dr WM Strauss

College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences
School of Environmental Sciences
Department: Environmental Sciences
Senior Lecturer
Tel: +27 11 471 2163
E-mail: strauwm@unisa.ac.za

Qualifications

  • PhD (Conservation Physiology), University of the Witwatersrand
  • MSc (Wildlife Management), University of Pretoria
  • BSc Honours (Wildlife Management), University of Pretoria
  • BSc (Biological Sciences), University of Johannesburg

Currently teaching

Diploma in Nature Conservation 

  • Contact Course III (COC3601)
  • Conservation Resource Management III (CVM3701)

Postgraduate Diploma in Nature Conservation

  • Conservation in the face of climate change (NAT4805) 


Postgraduate students currently under my supervision

  • Ms J. Zemouche: Trophic ecology of rusty-spotted genet (Genetta maculata) and slender mongoose (Galerella sanguinea) in Telperion Nature Reserve, with a focus on dietary segregation as a possible mechanism of coexistence. (MSc, co-supervised with Dr K. Madikiza, Wits University, and Prof. E. Do Linh San, University of Fort Hare).
  • Mr G. Knight: Adaptive sampling for estimating population variables of rare antelope in Kruger National Park. (MSc, co-supervised by Ms A Wilson; in collaboration with Dr S. Ferreira, SANParks).
  • Mr K. Muller: The behavioural ecology of brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea) in Shamwari Game Reserve, Eastern Cape Province. (MSc, co-supervised with Dr. K. Slater and Prof. D. Parker, University of Mpumalanga).
  • Ms C. Kruger: Feeding and spatial ecology of brown hyaena Hyaena brunnea (Thunberg, 1820) on Mogale’s Gate Biodiversity Centre, Gauteng Province. (MSc, co supervised with Dr. K. Slater).
  • Ms R. Roux: Spatio-temporal ecology of the rusty-spotted genet, Genetta maculata, on Telperion Nature Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa (MSc, co-supervised with Prof. E. do Linh San, Fort Hare).

Postgraduate students recently completed (2015)

  • Ms M. F. Blanco Pérez: Is sharing caring? Springhare burrow use by carnivores, birds and rodents (MRes, Imperial College, London) co-supervised with Prof. M.J. Somers (University of Pretoria).

Fields of academic interests

Research interests:

I have fairly wide-ranging research interests in the field of animal ecology partly due to the nature of the work that I have taken part in as a wildlife biologist during the 12 years (1995–2006) prior to joining Unisa. Of particular interest are:

  • Ungulate ecology, adaptations, management and conservation challenges
  • Animal reintroductions
  • Population monitoring techniques

Field of Specialisation

  • Conservation Physiology
  • Animal ecology
  • Wildlife Management

Journal articles

Peer-reviewed publications (selected list):

  • Strauss WM, Hetem RS, Mitchell DM, Maloney SK, O’Brien HD, Meyer LCR & Fuller A (2017). Body water conservation through selective brain cooling by the carotid rete: a physiological feature for surviving climate change? Invited paper: Conservation Physiology 5(1) cow078 https://doi.org/10.1093/conphys/cow078      
  • Strauss WM, Hetem RS, Mitchell D, Maloney SK, Meyer LCR & Fuller A (2016). Three African antelope species with varying water dependencies exhibit similar selective brain cooling. Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systems, and Environmental Physiology doi:10.1007/s00360-016-0968-2
  • Welch RJ, Tambling CJ, Bissett C, Gaylard A, Müller K, Slater K, Strauss WM & Parker DM (2016). Brown hyaena habitat selection varies among sites in a semi-arid region of southern Africa. Journal of Mammalogy 97: 473-482
  • Strauss WM, Hetem, RS, Mitchell D, Maloney SK, Meyer LCR & Fuller A (2015). Selective brain cooling reduces water turnover in dehydrated sheep. PLoS One 10(2): e0115514. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115514.
  • Hetem, R.S., Strauss, W.M., Fick, L.G., Maloney, S.K., Meyer, L.C.R., Shobrak, M., Fuller, A. & Mitchell, D. (2012). Activity re-assignment and microclimate selection of free-living Arabian oryx: responses that could minimize the effects of climate change on homeostasis? Zoology 115:411-416.
  • Hetem, R.S., Strauss, W.M., Fick, L.G., Maloney, S.K., Meyer, L.C.R., Shobrak, M., Fuller, A. & Mitchell, D. (2012). Does size matter? Comparison of body temperature and activity of free-living Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) and the smaller Arabian sand gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa marica) in the Saudi desert. Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systems and Environmental Physiology 182:437-449
  • Hetem, R.S., Strauss, W.M., Heusinkveld, B.G., de Bie, S., Prins, H.H.T. & van Wieren, S.E. (2011). Energy advantages of orientation to solar radiation in three African ruminants. Journal of Thermal Biology 36:452-460.

 

Paper presentations

International conference presentations (selected):

  • Strauss, W. Maartin, Hetem, Robyn S., Mitchell, Duncan, Maloney, Shane K., O’Brien, Haley D., Meyer, Leith C.R. & Fuller, Andrea. Oral presentation at the 12th International Mammalogical Conference, 9-14 July 2017, Perth, Australia.
  • Kruger, C., Strauss, W.M. & Slater, K. Diet of brown hyaena in the presence of a vulture restaurant. Oral presentation at the 12th International Mammalogical Conference, 9-14 July 2017, Perth, Australia.
  • Haylock, Kiara A., Parrini, Francesca, Strauss, W. Maartin, Beytell, Piet, Moeller, Carl-Heinz, & Hetem, Robyn S. Sable antelope display flexibility in body temperature regulation and behavioural patterns during the dry season. Oral presentation at the 12th International Mammalogical Conference, 9-14 July 2017, Perth, Australia.
  • Seely MK, Mitchell D, Strauss WM, Maggs-Kölling G & Vogt R.  FogLife: Investigating fog as the foundation of the Namib Desert ecosystem. Keynote address at the 7th International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection and Dew, 24-29 July 2016, Wroclaw, Poland.
  • Strauss WM, Hetem RS, Mitchell D, Maloney SK, Meyer, LCR & Fuller A. The function of the carotid rete – the unique wonderful net of the Cetartiodactyla. Invited 30 minute talk in a symposium entitled: New insights into the functional relationship between anatomy and physiology of extinct and extant vertebrates at the 11th International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology (ICVM11), 29 June – 3 July 2016, Washington DC, USA.
  • Strauss WM, Hetem RS, Mitchell D., Maloney SK & Fuller A. Comparison of the body temperature of three large, arid-adapted antelope. Australian and New Zealand Oral presentation at the Society for Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry (ANZSCPB) conference, Fowler’s Gap, University of New South Wales, 4-6 December 2015, Australia.
  • Seely MK & Strauss WM. Tracking the impacts of climate change along the West coast of southern Africa. Oral presentation at the 3rd South Africa-Namibia joint researcher’s workshop, 21-22 September 2015, Windhoek, Namibia. 
  • Strauss WM, Hetem RS, Mitchell D, Maloney SK, Meyer, LCR & Fuller A. Physiological flexibility of artiodactyls could buffer the effects of climate change. Oral presentation at the 30th Annual Conference of the Australian & New Zealand Society for Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry (ANZSCPB), 26-29 November 2013, University of Melbourne, Australia 

Local conference presentations (selected)

  • Strauss, WM, Hetem, RS, Mitchell, DM, Maloney, SK, O’Brien, HD, Meyer, LCR & Fuller, A. Body water conservation through selective brain cooling by the carotid rete: a physiological feature for surviving climate change? Southern African Wildlife Management Association Symposium, 10-14 September 2017, Goudini Spa, Western Cape Province. 
  • Mitchell D, Hetem RS, Maloney SK, Strauss WM, Meyer LCR & Fuller A. Climate change and long-lived mammals in Africa: what the mammals are telling us. Invited talk at the Mammal Research Institute 50th Anniversary Celebration, 12-16 September 2016, Mopani Camp, Kruger National Park. 
  • Knight, G.A., Strauss, W.M., Ferreira, S.M. Adaptive sampling to estimate rare antelope population variables in Kruger National Park.  Savanna Science Network meeting, 8-12 March 2015, Skukuza, Kruger National Park.
  • Strauss, W.M., Hetem R.S., Mitchell D., Maloney S.K., Meyer, L.C.R. and Fuller, A. Physiological flexibility of artiodactyls could buffer the effects of climate change. Savanna Science Network meeting, 9-13 March 2014, Skukuza, Kruger National Park.   
  • Strauss W.M., Hetem R.S., Maloney, S.K., Mitchell D., Meyer, L. and Fuller A. Conserving body water: the challenge faced by arid-zone ungulates. Paper presented at the 3rd Annual Diamond Route Research Conference, 30 – 31 October 2012, De Beers Campus, Johannesburg, South Africa.  
  • Strauss, W.M., Hetem R.S., Maloney S.K., Mitchell D. and Fuller, A. Counter-current cooling in artiodactyls: The benefits of maintaining a cool head. Paper presented at the Southern African Wildlife Management Association Symposium, 16-19 September 2012, Klein Kariba.

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

External examiner for the University of Pretoria: BSc. Honours (Wildlife Management)

Other

General:

I have acted as a reviewer for: 

  • Journal of Zoology, London
  • Koedoe - African Protected Area Conservation and Science
  • Oryx – The International Journal of Conservation
  • PeerJ
  • PlosOne
  • Royal Society Open Science
  • South African Journal of Wildlife Research
  • Zoology in the Middle East 

Memberships (current):

  • British Ecological Society (BES)
  • Southern African Wildlife Management Association (SAWMA)
  • Royal Society of South Africa (RSSA)
  • Zoological Society of Southern Africa (ZSSA) 

Memberships (past):

  • Society for Conservation Biology (SCB)
  • 2008 IUCN/SSC Red List assessment panel for the sand cat Felis margarita (www.iucnredlist.org)
  • IUCN/SSC Reintroduction Specialist Group (2007-2010)