Fenton Peter David Cotterill

Fenton Peter David Cotterill
Stellenbosch University | SUN · Department of Earth Sciences

PhD

About

177
Publications
139,802
Reads
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2,720
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - present
Stellenbosch University
Position
  • Stellenbosch University
July 2011 - December 2015
Stellenbosch University
Position
  • Researcher
July 2006 - June 2011
University of Cape Town
Position
  • Researcher
Education
July 2003 - June 2006
Stellenbosch University
Field of study
  • Zoology
February 1988 - December 1989
University of Zimbabwe
Field of study
  • Biology
January 1987 - December 1987
University of Pretoria
Field of study
  • Zoology - Mammalogy

Publications

Publications (177)
Article
Full-text available
Geoecodynamics integrates relevant concepts and knowledge from the earth and life sciences into a cross-disciplinary synthesis. Within the encompassing framework of earth system science, the concepts and methods of (palaeo-)geoecodynamics are obtained from biogeography, geomorphology, genomics, structural geology, tectonics, geochronology, sediment...
Article
Full-text available
Invited contribution to the Symposium Volume celebrating the 225th anniversary of the Zoological Museum of Lomonosov Moscow State University The Tentelic Thesis explicates the attributes and roles of collections of preserved natural science specimens in epistemology. Combining the Latin roots (Tena — to hold, with Tela — a web), tentelism describe...
Article
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Thirty-five museum specimens collected in 1926 and 1947–48 vouch for the distinctiveness of an undescribed large mammal, a form of lechwe antelope. Their preservation has allowed comparative analyses of morphological characters to reveal this new species, the Upemba lechwe Kobus anselli sp. nov. It is most similar to the black lechwe K. smithemani...
Article
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Africa’s modern Zambezi is proposed as an example of a major extant river system, which archives the tectonic events that assembled and then fragmented a supercontinent. The Zambezi and an earlier Karoo river system, (here designated the Proto-Zambezi River system), have a recorded geological history spanning approximately 280 million years. Its or...
Article
Full-text available
The geobiotic history of landscapes can exhibit controls by tectonics over biotic evolution. This causal relationship positions ecologically specialized species as biotic indicators to decipher details of landscape evolution. Phylogeographic statistics that reconstruct spatio-temporal details of evolutionary histories of aquatic species, including...
Article
Located between the Northern Province of Zambia and the southeastern Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lakes Mweru and Mweru Wantipa are part of the southwest extension of the East African Rift System (EARS). Fault analysis reveals that, since the Miocene, movements along the active Mweru-Mweru Wantipa Fault System (MMFS) have b...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports a phylogeny of the African killifishes (Genus Nothobranchius, Order Cyprinodontiformes) informed by five genetic markers (three nuclear, two mitochondrial) of 79 taxa (seven undescribed and 73 of the 92 recognized species). These short-lived annual fishes occupy seasonally wet habitats in central and eastern Africa, and their dis...
Article
The description of Nothobranchius ocellatus was based on a unique holotype, comprising an immature male, and a photograph of a female. The holotype is apparently lost. The species is here redescribed in detail, and a neotype designated from a site near the original type locality. The range of distribution of the species is within the lower Rufiji a...
Article
The Nothobranchius ugandensis species group from the inland plateau of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda is reviewed. Members of this group are characterized in males by the combination of characters of a light blue body coloration with red to red-brown scale margins; a frontal part of head red-brown; throat light blue or red; a uniform red or yellow caud...
Article
The Nothobranchius taeniopygus species group from central and western Tanzania is reviewed. Five new species are identified, to raise total species richness to seven. Members of this group are characterized by an anal fin with a slender to broad light medial band and broad black distal band in males. Nothobranchius taeniopygus is redescribed and th...
Article
We respond to recent criticisms of supposed “taxonomic anarchy” which is said to hamper conservation efforts. Using examples from African small mammals, we document recent increases of 13% (rodents) and 18% (bats) over the past three decades in the number of recognized species of Afro-Malagasy rodents and bats. By reference to a number of case stud...
Article
Full-text available
Examination of historical and recent collections of small Rhinolophus bats revealed cryptic taxonomic diversity within southern African populations previously referred to as R. swinnyi Gough, 1908 and R. landeri Martin, 1832. Specimens from Mozambique morphologically referable to R. swinnyi were phylogenetically unrelated to topotypic R. swinnyi fr...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic rescue is a measure to mitigate the effects of reduced genetic variation in endangered small, isolated (inbreed) populations by introducing new genetic variation into such populations. This is usually accomplished by translocating individuals from a related population, assumed to belong to the same, often polytypic species, into the endange...
Article
Full-text available
The nature of species, especially as applied to large mammals, is of major concern in conservation. Here, we briefly comment on recent thinking in alpha taxonomy, and assert that species are in essence evolutionary lineages, and that the most effective way of recognising them is by their diagnosability, i.e. the so-called Phylogenetic Species Conce...
Article
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Nothobranchius cooperi, Nagy, Watters and Bellstedt, new species, is described from seasonal streams and ephemeral pools associated with the upper Mansa River system in the middle Luapula drainage and systems draining into the low-lying area marginal to the southwestern part of Lake Bangweulu, in the Luapula province of northern Zambia. It belongs...
Article
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We review the state of African ungulate taxonomy over the last 120 years, with an emphasis on the introduction of the polytypic species concept and the discipline's general neglect since the middle of the 20th century. We single out negative consequences of 'orthodox' taxonomy, highlighting numerous cases of neglect of threatened lineages, unsound...
Article
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This study briefly reviews the geology and geological history of the Manica Highlands followed by a summary of the geomorphic evolution of southern Africa, with particular focus on eastern Zimbabwe. The Manica mountain land is a long-lived topographic high, characterized by a diverse range of lithologies (rock types), including the nutrient-poor Um...
Article
Full-text available
This study briefly reviews the geology of the Manica Highlands followed by a summary of the geomorphic evolution of southern Africa, with particular focus on eastern Zimbabwe. The Manica mountain land is a long-lived topographic high, characterized by a diverse range of lithologies (rock types), including the nutrient-poor Umkondo quartzites. Such...
Article
Full-text available
The question whether taxonomic descriptions naming new animal species without type specimen(s) deposited in collections should be accepted for publication by scientific journals and allowed by the Code has already been discussed in Zootaxa (Dubois & Nemésio 2007; Donegan 2008, 2009; Nemésio 2009a–b; Dubois 2009; Gentile & Snell 2009; Minelli 2009;...
Data
This plot is not part of the published stance but derives from it. The plot shows the number of authors by geographic region (courtesy of Dr. Diego Astua).
Article
Full-text available
Nothobranchius sainthousei, new species, is described from a seasonal swamp on the floodplain of the small, seasonal Chimbembe River, near the Luongo-Luapula confluence in northern Zambia. It belongs to the N. brieni species group. Males of Nothobranchius sainthousei are distinguished from congeners by the following unique combination of characters...
Article
Full-text available
Species distribution models were used to predict bat species richness across southern Africa and to identify potential drivers of these spatial patterns. We also identified species richness within each biotic zone and the distributions of species considered of high conservation priority. We used this information to highlight conservation priorities...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the framework of Earth System Science, landscapes are the templates structuring the biosphere: the membranes interfacing between exosphere and geosphere. The hosts of earth surface processes, in their dynamics and complexity, landscapes hold a pivotal position in the evolving earth system – not least in their archives of Earth history. Their lan...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The spatial domain of geobiology is contained within the Critical Zone, causally embedded in the evolving earth (albeit, causal roles of organisms are modulated given their absence outside of the biosphere). Here the Critical Zone comprises the spatial entirety of the biosphere (the terms are loosely interchangeable). An integrative ontology focusi...
Article
Full-text available
South-central Africa is characterized by an archipelago of wetlands, which has evolved in time and space since at least the Miocene, providing refugia for animal species during Pleistocene arid episodes. Their importance for biodiversity in the region is reflected in the evolution of a variety of specialist mammal and bird species, adapted to explo...
Article
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One-hundred-and-thirty-eight years after its original discovery in the former Transvaal Province of South Africa, the giant free-tailed bat Tadarida ventralis was re-discovered from a specimen recovered in the western Soutpansberg Mountains of Limpopo Province in 2014. Acoustic data suggest that the species is locally common, but very rarely collec...
Chapter
Full-text available
Whilst the Congo Basin contains one of the world’s largest fluvial systems, little is known about the basin’s geomorphic evolution during the Cenozoic. The basin’s drainage patterns may provide insights into its geomorphic development during the Neogene. The juxtaposition of differing drainage patterns can be explained by the multi-stage evolution...
Article
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The Makgadikgadi basin and wider Middle Kalahari region of Botswana and beyond host landforms which have been attributed to Quaternary environmental change, including palaeolake level fluctuations and aeolian activity. Tectonic processes and landforms on the other hand, have mostly been linked to the Okavango graben and associated rift zone (ORZ) t...
Article
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In the context of molecularly-dated phylogenies, inferences informed by ancestral habitat reconstruction can yield valuable insights into the origins of biomes, palaeoenvironments and landforms. In this paper, we use dated phylogenies of 12 plant clades from the Cape Floristic Region (CFR) in southern Africa to test hypotheses of Neogene climatic a...
Article
Full-text available
A long history of research focused on the East Africa cichlid radiations (EAR) revealed discrepancies between mtDNA and nuclear phylogenies, suggesting that interspecific hybridisation may have been significant during the radiation of these fishes. The approximately 250 cichlid species of Lake Tanganyika have their roots in a monophyletic African c...
Book
This comprehensive handbook covers all the rodents occurring in Southern, Central, East and West Africa, south of the Sahara. Genus and species accounts include diagnostic descriptions, systematics and taxonomy, biogeographical environment, fossil species, photographs of skull and mandible, illustrations of molar dentition, photographs of live anim...
Article
Full-text available
West African Mountains of the Cameroon Volcanic Line harbour two montane-endemic species of laminated-toothed rats (Otomys), which represent the most westerly occurrence of the genus. We explore here through mtDNA sequencing and cranial morphometrics the taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationships of O. burtoni (Mt Cameroon) and O. occidentalis...
Article
Full-text available
Much attention has been paid to the effects of climate change on species' range reductions and extinctions. There is however surprisingly little information on how climate change driven threat may impact the tree of life and result in loss of phylogenetic diversity (PD). Some plant families and mammalian orders reveal nonrandom extinction pat-terns...
Article
Full-text available
The real diversity of the Bovidae is not only underestimated, but holds many surprises in its richness of diversity, especially overlooked and misclassified cryptic species. Our argument refutes the recent paper (Heller et al. 2013) condemning Groves & Grubb's (2011) revised taxonomy of the Bovidae as "taxonomic inflation" that is bad for conservat...
Article
Full-text available
We tested the prediction that at coarse spatial scales, variables associated with climate, energy, and productivity hy- potheses should be better predictor(s) of bat species richness than those associated with environmental heterogeneity. Distribution ranges of 64 bat species were estimated with niche-based models informed by 3629 verified museum s...
Article
Full-text available
Although constituting more than 100,000 described species, protists are virtually ignored within the arena of biodiversity conservation. One reason is the widespread belief that the majority of protists have cosmopolitan distributions, in contrast to the highly hetereogenous biogeography of the "mega-Metazoa". However, modern research reveals that...
Article
Full-text available
Ontological and epistemological properties of the Phylogenetic Species Concept (PSC) as applied in recent mammalian taxonomic works are redefined and defended against criticisms raised by Zachos and Lovari (2013), which we find inapplicable to taxonomy because they relate more to the field of population biology. We summarize the negative impacts of...