Avian Demography Unit
Department of Statistical Sciences
University of Cape Town
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Silvia Mecenero Dr Silvia Mecenero
SABCA Project coordinator

Dive Savaii, scuba diving center in Samoa, South PacificAfrisign: Signs, Signage, Cape Town, South Africa
Silvia is currently the project coordinator for the Southern African Butterfly Conservation Assessment (SABCA). SABCA was launched in May 2007. It is a three-way partnership between the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), the Lepidopterists' Society of Africa (LepSoc) and the Avian Demography Unit (ADU, University of Cape Town). This is a four-year project that aims to increase understanding of the diversity and distribution of butterflies in the atlas region (South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland), and thereby to provide for effective conservation assessment and planning. The main products of this project are a conservation assessment report, an updated Red List that will be submitted to the IUCN and distribution maps for butterflies in the atlas region. For more information please visit the project website: http://butterflies.adu.org.za
 
Main interests: Ecology and Conservation Biology, including trends in space and time.

Qualifications and experience

Her BSc (1993), Honours (Zoology - 1994) and MSc (Zoology - 1998) degrees were all obtained at the University of Pretoria. Her Honours project was entitled "Aspects of the population biology of house mice Mus musculus L. in the subantarctic Marion Island ecosystem". Her Masters project investigated the "Steroidogenic potential of the ovary, placenta and blood of the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis)". Her PhD was entitled "The diet of the Cape fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) in Namibia: variability and fishery interactions in the Northern Benguela system" and was obtained at the University of Cape Town (Avian Demography Unit, Dept. Statistical Sciences). She recently completed a postdoc with the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) and her project involved creating and evaluating an inventory of long-term environmental and socio-economic datasets for South Africa.
 
Experiences include: assisting with millipede and small rodent trapping (Richards Bay Minerals Rehabilitation Programme, Department of Zoology, University of Pretoria, April 1993); temporary research assistantships involving endocrinological laboratory investigations (Department of Zoology, University of Pretoria, between 1995 and 1998); voluntary fieldwork involving the study of meerkat behaviour (Large Animal Research Group, Cambridge University, UK, February - April 1998); a research assistantship involving population viability analyses of large mammals in reserves (Conservation Ecology Research Unit, University of Pretoria, 1999); a research assistantship investigating benefit-sharing and bioprospecting of South Africa's biodiversity (IUCN-South Africa, April - May 2000); and a research assistantship investigating bee pollination problems of sunflowers through the effects of chemical and environmental factors (Department of Zoology & Entomology, University of Pretoria, July - September 2000). Other (less formal) experiences include the following voluntary fieldwork: small rodent trapping contributing to a population dynamics study (Department of Biology, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Januray 2000), routine censusing of Southern elephant seals at Peninsula Valdez, Argentina (Centro Nacional Patagónico, Argentina, February 2000), and assisting at the Inti Wassi Yara Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Bolivia, March 2000); assisting the Marine Mammal section of the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources with Cape fur seal field data collection (2001-2002), whilst collecting data for her PhD; assisted with the leadership of some teams for the Earthwatch Programme on Robben Island, involving the monitoring of the endangered African penguin (2003, 2004, 2006); led three mammal projects (rabbits, small mammals and cats) on Robben Island for 12 visiting students from Jena, Germany (October 2003); helped organise two student workshops for the SAEON Graduate student Network (2006).

Publications

Kirkman S, Wallace ED, Van Aarde RJ, Potgieter HC (2001) Steroidogenic correlates of pregnancy in the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis). Life Sciences, Elsevier 68(18): 2061-2072.
 
Kirkman SP, Bester MN, Pistorius PA, Hofmeyr GJG, Owen R, Mecenero S (2001) Participation in the winter haulout by southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina. Antarctic Science 13: 380-384.
 
De Bruyn PJN, Bester MN, Mecenero S, Kirkman SP, Roux J-P, Klages NTW (2003) Temporal variation of cephalopods in the diet of Cape fur seals in Namibia. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 33: 85-96.
 
De Bruyn PJN, Bester MN, Kirkman SP, Mecenero S, Roux J-P, Klages NTW (2005) Cephalopod diet of the Cape fur seal, Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus, along the Namibian coast: variation due to location. African Zoology 40: 261-270.
 
Mecenero S, Kirkman SP, Roux J-P (2005) Seabirds in the diet of Cape fur seals Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus at three mainland breeding colonies in Namibia. African Journal of Marine Science 27: 509-512.
 
Mecenero S, Roux J-P, Underhill LG, Bester MN (2006) The diet of Cape fur seals Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus at three mainland breeding colonies in Namibia. 1. Spatial variation. African Journal of Marine Science 28: 57-71.
 
Mecenero S, Roux J-P, Underhill LG, Kirkman SP (2006) The diet of Cape fur seals Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus at three mainland breeding colonies in Namibia. 2. Temporal variation. African Journal of Marine Science 28: 73-88.
 
Mecenero S, Kirkman SP, Roux J-P (2006) A refined fish consumption model for lactating Cape fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus), based on scat analyses. ICES Journal of Marine Science 63: 1551-1566.
 
Mecenero S, Underhill LG, Krakstad J-O, Kirkman SP, Roux, J-P (2007) Overlap in utilization of juvenile Cape horse mackerel by Cape fur seals and the purse-seine fishery in Namibia. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 37: 17-29.
 
Mecenero S, Krakstad J-O, Roux J-P, Underhill LG (In review) Can seal diet predict future catches of commercial prey? Marine and Freshwater Research. Van Jaarsveld AS, Pauw JC, Mundree S, Mecenero S, Coetzee BWT, Alard GF (In review) South African Environmental Observation Network: vision, design and status. South African Journal of Science.
 
Mecenero S, Underhill LG, Kirkman SP, Roux J-P (In prep.) Investigating fur seal diet using scats: Recommendations for sampling and analysis. Marine Mammal Science.
 

Paper presentations

S Mecenero, ED Wallace, RJ van Aarde. Hormonal correlates of the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) during pregnancy: implications for the manipulation of reproductive output. The 8th International African Small Mammal Symposium, Paris (France), 4-9 July 1999.
 
S Mecenero, J-P Roux. Spatial and temporal variability in the diet of a top predator in the Northern Benguela. Spatial approaches of the dynamics of coastal pelagic resources and their environment in upwelling areas, MCM Aquarium, Cape Town (South Africa), 6-8 September 2001.
 
S Mecenero, J Harrison, H Staude, B Coetzer, G Henning, M Krüger. Butterfly conservation assessment and atlas project for South Africa: A proposal. 3rd International Conference on African Lepidoptera, Potchefstroom (South Africa), 19-21 November 2004.
 
S Mecenero. Faecal analysis for long-term diet studies of seals. 1st LTER Student Collaborative Research Symposium, Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon (USA), 13-17 April 2005.
 
S Mecenero, J-P Roux, LG Underhill. Faecal analysis for long-term diet studies of seals. 12th Southern African Marine Science Symposium, Durban (South Africa), 4-7 July 2005.
 
S Mecenero, LG Underhill. The South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON): Long-term environmental research. 32nd Conference of the Zoological Society of Southern Africa, Rhodes University, Grahamstown (South Africa), 13-15 July 2005.
 
S Mecenero. Responding to the Deputy Minister of Science & Technology, Mr. Derek Hanekom, on the launch of the SAEON Graduate Student Network. SAEON Summit, Leriba Lodge, Centurion (South Africa), 26-28 March 2006.
 
S Mecenero. Developing SAEON's inventory on existing long-term environmental datasets. SAEON Summit, Leriba Lodge, Centurion (South Africa), 26-28 March 2006.
 
S Mecenero. Developing SAEON's inventory on existing long-term environmental datasets. 2nd Workshop of the SAEON Graduate Student Network, Skukuza, Kruger National Park (South Africa), 31 October-2 November 2006.
 
JA Harrison, S Mecenero. South African Butterfly Conservation Assessment update. Conference of the Lepidopeterists' Society of Africa, Pietermaritzburg (South Africa), 11-12 November 2006.
 

Poster presentations

RJ van Aarde, S Ferreira, S Mecenero. With the cats away the mice may play. The 7th International African Small Mammal Symposium, Itala (South Africa), 26-30 September 1995.
 
S Mecenero, J-P Roux, SP Kirkman, LG Underhill, MN Bester, RJM Crawford. Spatial and seasonal variability in abundance and occurrence of prey of the Cape fur seal along Namibia's coast. Southern African Marine Science Symposium, Swakopmund (Namibia), 1-5 July 2002.
 
SP Kirkman, J-P Roux, AN Mukapuli, KT Kleophas, S Mecenero, P Prasch. The effect of birth mass of Cape fur seal pups on subsequent survival and growth. Southern African Marine Science Symposium, Swakopmund (Namibia), 1-5 July 2002.
 
SP Kirkman, J-P Roux, P Prasch, I Wiesel, S Mecenero. Sex-related behavioural differences among Cape fur seal pups. Southern African Marine Science Symposium, Swakopmund (Namibia), 1-5 July 2002.
 
S Mecenero, J-P Roux, LG Underhill LG. Variability of fish in the diet of Cape fur seals in Namibia. Wet 'n Wildlife: Current trends in limnology and zoology in southern Africa. A joint meeting of the South African Society of Aquatic Sciences and the Zoological society of southern Africa, University of Cape Town (South Africa), 30 June – 4 July 2003.
 
S Mecenero, J-O Krakstad, J-P Roux, LG Underhill. Cape fur seals and the horse mackerel fishery: assessing overlap and predicting catch strength using scats. 3rd International Wildlife Management Congress, Christchurch (New Zealand), 1-5 December 2003.
 
J-P Roux, S Mecenero. The diet of a top predator, the Cape fur seal, as an indicator of recruitment variability and juvenile growth rates of Cape hake in Namibia. International Symposium on Quantitative Ecosystem Indicators for Fisheries Management, Paris (France), 31 March – 3 April 2004.
 
S Mecenero, J Harrison, H Staude, B Coetzer, G Henning, M Krüger. Butterfly conservation assessment and atlas project for South Africa: A proposal. Proceedings of the 15th Entomological Congress, Rhodes University, Grahamstown (South Africa), 10-13 July 2005.
 
S Mecenero, J Harrison, H Staude, B Coetzer, G Henning, M Krüger. Butterfly conservation assessment and atlas project for South Africa: A proposal. 2005 Conference of the Lepidopeterists' Society of Africa , Onderstepoort (South Africa), 6-7 August 2005.
 
S Mecenero. Developing SAEON's inventory on existing long-term environmental datasets. The 4th Kruger National Park Science Networking Meeting, Skukuza (South Africa), 13-17 March 2006.
 

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