Mr Mathew Harris

PhD student


Full CV
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Primary Supervisor
Michelle Greve

Co Supervisor
Martin Kemler
Bernard Slippers

I completed my BSc Environmental Sciences undergraduate degree in 2016 at the University of Pretoria. Thereafter, I set out to a BSc (Honours) degree, in ecology, within the department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Pretoria. My Honours research project explored the responses of bird communities to a slightly degraded land-use, i.e. communal rangelands in the Orpen region of the Kruger National Park and compared these bird assemblages to those within nature reserves.

I joined FABI in 2018 to start my MSc. For my MSc I looked to characterise patterns in fungal community ecology from local to global scales. In particular I reviewed the current state of knowledge for fungal biogeography and explored an important ecological phenomenon (successional patterns) for foliar fungal endophyte communities. 

Upon completion of my MSc in 2020 I have decided to continue with a PhD at FABI where my project will explore the ecology of grass-associated fungal endophytes and the role they play in driving various ecosystem processes.   

  • Harris, M.A., M.D., Voysey, S-L., Jamison, M., Greve., 2019. Changes in bird assemblages because of vegetation homogenisation in communal livestock systems. KOEDOE. 61(1), a1543,


  • Jamison-Daniels, S-L., W.D., Kissling, M., Botha, M.A., Harris, C.E., Gordon, M., Greve., 2020. The role of deterministic succession during forest development within a southern African savanna. Biotropica. 53(2):466-476,  


  • Cowan, D.A., P.H., Lebre, C.E.R., Amon, R.W., Becker, H.I., Boga, A. Boulange, T.L., Chiyaka, T., Coetzee, P.C., de Jager, O., Dikinya, F., Eckardt, M., Greve, M.A., Harris, D.W., Hopkins, H.B., Houngnandan, P., Houngnandan, K., Jordaan, E., Kaimoyo, A.K., Kambura, G., Kamgan-Nkuekam, T.P., Makhalanyane, G., Maggs-Kolling, E., Marais, H., Mondlane, E., Nghalipo, B.W., Olivier, M., Ortiz, L.R., Pertierra, J-B., Ramond, M., Seely, I., Sithole-Niang, A., Valverde, G., Varliero, S., Vikram, D.H., Wall, A., Zeze, 2022. Biogeographical survey of soil microbiomes across sub-Saharan Africa: structure, drivers, and predicted climate-driven changes. Microbiome. 10(131),

  • Savanna Science Network Meeting (2018), "Avian responses to communal livestock systems" - Speed presentation
  • BIMF-FBIP Forum (2019), "Fungal biogeography and the use of publicly available data for answering biogeographic questions" - Student presentation
  • Department of Plant and Soil Sciences symposium (2019), "Do fungal communities mirror the successional trends of woody communities" - Presentation
  • South African Association of Botanists (SAAB) conference (2020), "Do foliar fungal communities mirror the successional trends of woody communities" - Poster and speed presentation
  • Mycological Society of America (MSA) virtual symposium (2020), "Deterministic processes influence foliar fungal endophyte communities within a forest successional gradient" - Graphical abstract
  • University of Oxford's Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution virtual conference (2021), "Successional trends, community composition and species richness patterns of foliar fungal endophytes within a forest successional gradient" - Poster 

2017 - H.G.W.J. Schweickerdt medal for the best BSc. (Hons) Plant Sciences student based on final average mark for the year

2018 - Academic honorary colours from the University of Pretoria's SRC (82% average for BSc. (Hons) Plant Sciences)

2018 - FABI Awards (best photograph of the year award)

My Galeries

My photographs

Export to RIS
Jamison-Daniels SL, Kissling WD, Botha M, Harris MA, Gordon CE, Greve M. (2021) The role of deterministic succession during forest development within a southern African savanna. bioTropica 53(2):466-476. 10.1111/btp.12890