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Students

Mr Itani Victor Mutavhatsindi

(MSc Biological Sciences)

Animal Evolution and Systematics Group

John Day Zoology Building, Room 3.30

Tel: +27 21 650 4384

Cell: +27 76 889 2771

Email: itanivictor@gmail.com

RESEARCH INTEREST

Mutavhatsindi Itani Victor is currently pursuing his Masters studies in the Department of Biological Science under the supervision of A/Prof David Jacobs (SARCHI Chair in Animal Evolution and Systematics). He is originally from Venda in the Limpopo province, South Africa whereby he studied in the region until he graduated his Bachelor of Science Honours in Zoology from the University of Venda. He is a hard-working, honest and loyal individual who is passionate about Science in general; always ready to explore anything new no matter how challenging it is without despair.

The world that we live in is full of sights, smells, sounds and textures that on a daily basis stimulate our various sensory systems and enable us to appropriately interact with the environment. His research interest is on the discipline of sensory ecology which deals with how animals acquire, process and respond to information from the environment and the sensory systems which are involved.

To study Sensory Ecology of animals, his research uses bats as subjects. The project that he is specifically conducting is on echolocation call intensity of bats. Bats emit sound pulses which when coming into contact with objects produces echoes and by listening to the returning echoes a bat is able to detect, localize and even classify objects in its surrounding environment in complete darkness. Intensity plays an important role on the detection range of the echolocation calls and there are very little studies which have been conducted. The current study is investigating whether the echolocation call intensity of animal acoustic signals is different in different situations and whether the intensity is influenced by body size and the foraging habitat. A state-of-the-art multi-microphone array newly developed by the University of Cape Town, South Africa and University of Bristol, United Kingdom is used to record the bats calls.

We are living in an uncertain world and it is difficult if not impossible to predict what to happen in the future, however in the next 4 years he is hoping that he will be having a Doctoral qualification and contributing to the success of the academic world. He is hopeful that he will be an Active Researcher in Science. Ndaaa!!!

RESEARCH PROJECT TITLE: The effect of foraging habitat on the Echolocation call intensity of the bats: Cape Serotine (Neoromicia capensis) and Egyptian free-tailed (Tadarida aegyptiaca) in the Cape Floral Kingdom, Western Cape, South Africa.