Mr Mathew Harris

MSc student


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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,

  • 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