Pete Laver, PhD

+27 74 528 8664
Cape Town, South Africa

Pete is a director of the Biodiversity and Development Institute and a quantitative ecologist (in other words, he likes the idea of being outdoors but spends his time tethered to a computer playing with numbers). He was a Claude Leon Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Cape Town, and is the Deputy Director of the Mogalakwena Research Centre. He has a background in spatial and animal movement ecology, human-wildlife conflict, disease ecology, and behavioural endocrinology. His current work focuses on Darwinian fitness and how to measure it in wild populations.

Pete earned his BSc in Forestry (Nature Conservation) from Stellenbosch University, and his MSc and PhD in Fisheries and Wildlife Science from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). He co-founded the Mogalakwena Research Centre in northern Limpopo in 2006, which conducts and facilitates ecological and anthropological research. Pete has conducted research on numerous taxa, including cheetah, banded mongooses, Nile crocodiles, horses, bushbabies, bat-eared foxes, sheep, and various shorebirds. Pete has done field research throughout South Africa, Botswana (Chobe National Park), Tanzania (Serengeti National Park), and the United States (Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska).

When Pete is not working on his computer tan, he can be found backpacking and trail running. By introducing friends and hapless bystanders to Dutch Blitz (a card game), Pete is directly responsible for the collective loss of innumerable productive hours to society. It is rumoured that in his youth, Pete once went to a Halloween party as the Tooth Fairy's alopecious cousin, the Mullet Fairy. By karmic twist of fate, Pete's hairline is now receding.

Field site in the Mogalakwena Reserve
Field site in Kruger National Park
Field site in Alaska