Bettine Jaansen van VuurenProf. Bettine Jansen van Vuuren

University of Johannesburg

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Bettine is a Professor of Zoology at the University of Johannesburg. She is a molecular ecologist, interested in understanding the spatial patterns in species and the drivers of these. Her research often has an applied focus, where scientific findings are translated into management and conservation actions. In 2004 Bettine was introduced to the sub-Antarctic region and has since then held research grants from the South African National Antarctic Programme, with several relief voyage research visits to Marion Island. These research projects have all focussed on describing and understanding genetic spatial patterns in a variety of arthropod species as well as a keystone cushion plant species, typically using a comparative framework. Most of Bettine’s work has focussed on the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands, but she has also been involved with larger multi-national studies to understand spatial patterns across the sub-Antarctic and Antarctic regions. Bettine currently serves as the South African representative to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR; Biology), is involved with SCAR working-groups and is also the Vice-Chair of the ICSU SA Committee for SCAR.   Her current sub-Antarctic research programme aims to understand possible correlations between the abiotic environment and spatial genetic patterns at different spatial scales (at fine spatial scale, typically tens of meters) to the scale of Marion island. She uses molecular techniques which involve large numbers of highly variable independent markers, as well as genomic data.


Key publications

Bergstrom DM, Bricher PK, Raymond B, Terauds A, Doley D, McGeoch MA, Whinam J, Glen M, Yuan Z, Kiefer K, Shaw JD, Bramely-Alves J, Rudman T, Mohammed C, Lucieer A, Visoiu M, Jansen van Vuuren B, and Ball MC (2015) Rapid collapse of a sub-Antarctic alpine ecosystem: the role of climate and pathogensJournal of Applied Ecology, 52: 774-783. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12436

Born C, Le Roux PC, Spohr C, and McGeoch MA, Jansen van Vuuren B (2012) Plant dispersal in the sub-Antarctic inferred from anisotropic genetic structureMolecular Ecology, 21: 184-194. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05372.x

Mortimer E, Jansen van Vuuren B, Meiklejohn KI, and Chown SL (2012) Phylogeography of a mite, Halozetes fulvus, reflects the landscape history of a young volcanic island in the sub-AntarcticBiological Journal of the Linnean Society, 105: 131-145. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2011.01770.x

Cerfonteyn M, le Roux PC, Jansen van Vuuren B, and Born C (2011) Cryptic spatial aggregation of the cushion plant Azorella selago (Apiaceae) revealed by a multilocus molecular approach suggests frequent intraspecific facilitation under sub-Antarctic conditionsAmerican Journal of Botany, 98: 909–914. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1000460

Mortimer E, Jansen van Vuuren B, Lee JE, Marshall DJ, Convey P, and Chown SL (2011) Mite dispersal among the Southern Ocean Islands and Antarctica before the last glacial maximumProceedings of the Royal Society Series B, 278: 1247-1255. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1779