French Embassy PhD scholarship holder Natasha Kruger arrives in France!
Left to right: Giovanni Vimercati (Post-doc), Natasha Kruger and her supervisor Jean Secondi

Natasha Kruger will work on her PhD project which is under a co-tutelle agreement between the Center of Excellence for Invasion Biology at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and the University of Lyon 1 in France. John Measey is the supervisor for the South African university and Jean Secondi the supervisor for the French university.

Her research project asks the question:Are tadpoles limiting the invasion of the African Clawed Frog? As introduction it can be mentioned that biological invasions are a major threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services on a global scale. One challenge is to anticipate the invasive potential of populations when introduced in a novel area and identify key parameters that may limit their spread. Climate-based models are limited as they cannot always identify the actual biophysical limits, especially for species with complex life cycles. The African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, is a model system for an integrated approach of invasive biology.This PhD project will focus on the evolutionary responses at the larval stage of X. laevis in invaded areas of France and within the native range in South Africa. The approach is primarily experimental (in both France and South Africa) with supporting field-work.

We wish her all the best with her research in France and hope she has a wonderful time in Angers, France!