Department of Environmental Sciences

Mr WM Strauss

College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences
School of Environmental Sciences
Department: Environmental Sciences
Senior Lecturer

Currently teaching

  • Contact course III (COC3601)
  • Conservation resource management III (CVM3701)
  • Conservation in the face of climate change (NAT4805) 

External examiner for the University of Pretoria

Departmental students currently under my supervision:

  • Mr. G. Knight (MSc). Adaptive sampling for estimating population variables of rare antelope in Kruger National Park.
  • Mr. K. Muller (MSc). The behavioural ecology of brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea) in Shamwari Game Reserve, Eastern Cape Province.
  • Ms. C. Kruger (MSc). Feeding and spatial ecology of brown hyaena Hyaena brunnea (Thunberg, 1820) on Mogale’s Gate Biodiversity Centre, Gauteng Province.
  • Ms. R. Roux (MSc). Spatio-temporal ecology of the rusty-spotted genet, Genetta maculata, on Telperion Nature Reserve (Mpumalanga, South Africa)

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

Journal articles

Peer-reviewed publications (selected list):

  • Strauss, W.M., Hetem, R.S., Mitchell, D., Maloney, S.K., Meyer, L.C.R. & 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, R.J., Tambling, C.J., Bissett, C., Gaylard, A., Müller, K., Slater, K., Strauss, W.M. & Parker, D.M. (2016). Brown hyaena habitat selection varies among sites in a semi-arid region of southern Africa. Journal of Mammalogy 97: 473-482
  • Strauss, W.M., Hetem, R.S., Mitchell, D., Maloney, S.K., Meyer, L.C.R. & 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., Fuller, A., Shobrak, M. & Mitchell, D. (2012). Selective brain cooling in Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx): a physiological mechanism for coping with aridity? The Journal of Experimental Biology 215: 3917-3924.
  • 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, Systemic and Environmental Physiology 182:437-49.
  • 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 (PDF  1.25 MB)
  • Hetem, R.S., Strauss, W. M., Fick, L. G. Maloney, S. K. Meyer, L. C. R., Shobrak, M. Fuller, A. & Mitchell, D. (2010). Variation in the daily rhythm of body temperature of free-living Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx): does water limitation drive heterothermy?Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic and Environmental Physiology 180:1111-1119 (PDF 617 KB) 

Popular articles:

  • Strauss, W.M., al Kharousi, Y.H. & Spalton, J.A., 2009. Status of the mountain gazelle population in the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary of Oman. Wildlife Middle East Vol. 3 (4):5. (PDF 112KB)
  • Strauss, W.M., 2008. Where are we in terms of Arabian oryx conservation? Wildlife Middle East 2(4):3-4. (PDF 90KB)
  • Strauss, W.M., 2008. Excerpts of an interview on reintroductions. Farmer’s Weekly 11 February 2008, p.54-55.
  • Strauss, W.M. & Anajariyyah, S., 2007. The Arabian oryx Oryx leucoryx reintroduction programme in Saudi Arabia. Reintroduction News 26:51-53. (IUCN Reintroduction Specialist Group)

Paper presentations

Peer-reviewed publications (selected list):

  • Strauss, W.M., Hetem, R.S., Mitchell, D., Maloney, S.K., Meyer, L.C.R. & 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, R.J., Tambling, C.J., Bissett, C., Gaylard, A., Müller, K., Slater, K., Strauss, W.M. & Parker, D.M. (2016). Brown hyaena habitat selection varies among sites in a semi-arid region of southern Africa. Journal of Mammalogy 97: 473-482
  • Strauss, W.M., Hetem, R.S., Mitchell, D., Maloney, S.K., Meyer, L.C.R. & 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., Fuller, A., Shobrak, M. & Mitchell, D. (2012). Selective brain cooling in Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx): a physiological mechanism for coping with aridity? The Journal of Experimental Biology 215: 3917-3924.
  • 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, Systemic and Environmental Physiology 182:437-49.
  • 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 (PDF  1.25 MB)
  • Hetem, R.S., Strauss, W. M., Fick, L. G. Maloney, S. K. Meyer, L. C. R., Shobrak, M. Fuller, A. & Mitchell, D. (2010). Variation in the daily rhythm of body temperature of free-living Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx): does water limitation drive heterothermy?Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic and Environmental Physiology 180:1111-1119 (PDF 617 KB) 

Other

General:

I have acted as a reviewer for: 

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

Memberships (current):

  • 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)