Bontle Mataboge

Postgraduate student (PhD)
Geological Sciences 
University of Cape Town


I have a diverse background in biology, having studied biological sciences (BSc), palaeontology (BSc Hons) and ichthyology (MSc). I am interested in the interactions between organisms and their environment. I am currently working on the Late Ediacaran fossil record from the Nama Group: integrating fossil data with geochemical proxies to understand the role of oxygen in early animal communities.


Palaeoecology, Palaeoredox, Ediacaran

Fields of study

The Ediacaran Period, ~635–541 Ma million years ago (Ma), represents a critical interval where the oceans experienced significant changes in oxygen concentration and simultaneously, the first multicellular animals emerged. The Nama Group (in Namibia and South Africa) contains fossiliferous sediments spanning 550–538 Ma. However, the South African sections are poorly studied and are thus the focus of my research. The oxygen levels of ancient oceans can be determined using stable sulphur isotopes (δ34S), iron (Fe) speciation and cerium (Ce) anomalies. Additionally, micro-computed tomography (µ-CT) is being applied to resolve the taxonomy and ecology of fossils found in these sections. These two datasets will be tied together to understand the role of oxygen availability in the diversification of early complex ecosystems.

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