Mass Extinctions with Prof Jennifer Botha

Journey through the mysteries of mass extinctions and explore how ancient vertebrates adapted to catastrophic environmental changes.


Prof Jennifer Botha exploring for fossils on Loskop in Bethulie, the Free State.

Join us for a captivating journey into the prehistoric world with Professor Jennifer Botha, Director of GENUS and renowned expert in palaeobiology and palaeoecology. As a distinguished researcher and former curator at the National Museum in Bloemfontein Prof Botha has dedicated her career to uncovering the mysteries of our ancient past and is particularly interested in how extinct vertebrates responded to catastrophic environmental change. Discover the mysteries of mass extinctions! Using a groundbreaking methodologies, including palaeohistology, the study of fossil bone microstructure, Prof Botha explores a range of life history variables to understand why certain species vanished while others thrived. Her work focuses on the Elliot Formation in South Africa’s Karoo Basin, a treasure trove of data that captures the dramatic faunal turnover from the Late Triassic to the Early Jurassic, when archosauromorphs (including dinosaurs) essentially replaced non-mammalian synapsids (evolutionary precursors to mammals) as the dominant large-bodied tetrapods (vertebrate animals with four limbs). When she is not doing high-tach analysis in the lab, she is exploring the great outdoors, hunting for fossils! Her passion for palaeontological exploration is contagious, and her groundbreaking work has captivated many curious minds!

Whether you’re a science enthusiast, a corporate sponsor eager to learn about cutting-edge research in South Africa, or someone simply fascinated by the world’s prehistoric marvels, don’t hesitate to connect with Prof. Botha today.


Prof Jennifer Botha: