86 Works

Data from: Safety and immunogenicity of H1/IC31®, an adjuvanted TB subunit vaccine, in HIV-infected adults with CD4+ Lymphocyte counts greater than 350 cells/mm3: a phase II, multi-centre, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Klaus Reither, Lynn Katsoulis, Trevor Beattie, Nicolene Gardiner, Nicole Lenz, Khadija Said, Elirehema Mfinanga, Christian Pohl, Katherine L. Fielding, Hannah Jeffery, Benjamin M. Kagina, Elisabeth J. Hughes, Thomas J. Scriba, Willem A. Hanekom, Søren T. Hoff, Peter Bang, Ingrid Kromann, Claudia Daubenberger, Peter Andersen & Gavin J. Churchyard
Background: Novel tuberculosis vaccines should be safe, immunogenic, and effective in various population groups, including HIV-infected individuals. In this phase II multi-centre, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the safety and immunogenicity of the novel H1/IC31 vaccine, a fusion protein of Ag85B-ESAT-6 (H1) formulated with the adjuvant IC31, was evaluated in HIV-infected adults. Methods: HIV-infected adults with CD4+ T cell counts >350/mm3 and without evidence of active tuberculosis were enrolled and followed until day 182. H1/IC31 vaccine or...

Data from: Evidence of reduced individual heterogeneity in adult survival of long-lived species

Guillaume Peron, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Christophe Barbraud, Christophe Bonenfant, Anne Charmantier, Rémi Choquet, Tim Coulson, Vladimir Grosbois, Anne Loison, GIlbert Marzolin, Norman Owen-Smtih, Déborah Pardo, Floriane Plard, Roger Pradel, Carole Toïgo, Olivier Gimenez & Norman Owen-Smith
The canalization hypothesis postulates that the rate at which trait variation generates variation in the average individual fitness in a population determines how buffered traits are against environmental and genetic factors. The ranking of a species on the slow-fast continuum – the covariation among life-history traits describing species-specific life cycles along a gradient going from a long life, slow maturity, and low annual reproductive output, to a short life, fast maturity, and high annual reproductive...

Data from: The earliest bird-line archosaurs and the assembly of the dinosaur body plan

Sterling J. Nesbitt, Richard J. Butler, Martin D. Ezcurra, Paul M. Barrett, Michelle R. Stocker, Kenneth D. Angielczyk, Roger M. H. Smith, Christian A. Sidor, Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki, Andrey G. Sennikov & Alan J. Charig
The relationship between dinosaurs and other reptiles is well established, but the sequence of acquisition of dinosaurian features has been obscured by the scarcity of fossils with transitional morphologies. The closest extinct relatives of dinosaurs either have highly derived morphologies or are known from poorly preserved or incomplete material. Here we describe one of the stratigraphically lowest and phylogenetically earliest members of the avian stem lineage (Avemetatarsalia), Teleocrater rhadinus gen. et sp. nov., from the...

Data from: Prevalence and unmet need for diabetes care across the care continuum in a national sample of South African adults: evidence from the SANHANES-1, 2011-2012

Andrew Stokes, Kaitlyn M. Berry, Zandile Mchiza, Whadi-Ah Parker, Demetre Labadarios, Lumbwe Chola, Charles Hongoro, Khangelani Zuma, Alana T. Brennan, Peter C. Rockers & Sydney Rosen
South Africa faces an epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), yet national surveillance is limited due to the lack of recent data. We used data from the first comprehensive national survey on NCDs—the South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES-1 (2011–2012))—to evaluate the prevalence of and health system response to diabetes through a diabetes care cascade. We defined diabetes as a Hemoglobin A1c equal to or above 6.5% or currently on treatment for...

Data from: Topographic mapping of the interfaces between human and aquatic mosquito habitats to enable barrier-targeting of interventions against malaria vectors

Victoria M. Mwakalinga, Benn K.D. Sartorius, Alex J. Limwagu, Yeromin P. Mlacha, Daniel F. Msellemu, Prosper P. Chaki, Nicoderm J. Govella, Maureen Coetzee, Stefan Dongus, Gerry F. Killeen, Nicodem J. Govella & Benn K. D. Sartorius
Geophysical topographic metrics of local water-accumulation potential are freely available and have long been known as high resolution predictors of where aquatic habitats for immature Anopheles mosquitoes are most abundant, resulting in elevated densities of adult malaria vectors and human infection burden. Using existing entomological and epidemiological survey data, here we illustrate how topography can also be used to map out the interfaces between wet, unoccupied valleys and dry, densely populated uplands, where malaria vector...

Data from: Postcanine microstructure in Cricodon metabolus, a Middle Triassic gomphodont cynodont from south-eastern Africa

Christophe Hendrickx, Fernando Abdala & Jonah Choiniere
Cricodon metabolus is a trirachodontid cynodont from the Anisian (Middle Triassic) of eastern and southern Africa. It has labiolingually expanded (gomphodont) postcanines but also a sectorial tooth in the last postcanine locus. In this paper, we examine the crown microstructure of isolated sectorial and gomphodont postcanines belonging to the holotype specimen of this taxon using scanning electron microscopy. The enamel of both teeth is prismless and composed of discontinuous columnar divergence units, supporting the consistent...

Data from: Human-mediated extirpation of the unique Chatham Islands sea lion and implications for the conservation management of remaining New Zealand sea lion populations

Nicolas J. Rawlence, Catherine J. Collins, Christian N. K. Anderson, Justin J. Maxwell, Ian W. G. Smith, Bruce C. Robertson, Michael Knapp, Katherine Ann Horsburgh, Jo-Ann L. Stanton, R. Paul Scofield, Alan J. D. Tennyson, Elizabeth A. Matisoo-Smith & Jonathan M. Waters
While terrestrial megafaunal extinctions have been well characterized worldwide, our understanding of declines in marine megafauna remains limited. Here, we use ancient DNA analyses of prehistoric (<1450–1650 AD) sea lion specimens from New Zealand's isolated Chatham Islands to assess the demographic impacts of human settlement. These data suggest there was a large population of sea lions, unique to the Chatham Islands, at the time of Polynesian settlement. This distinct mitochondrial lineage became rapidly extinct within...

Data from: A new tusked cistecephalid dicynodont (Therapsida, Anomodontia) from the upper Permian Upper Madumabisa Mudstone Formation, Luangwa Basin, Zambia

Kenneth Angielczyk, Julien Benoit & Bruce Rubidge
Cistecephalids are among the most distinctive Permian dicynodonts because of their highly derived skulls and postcrania, which indicate a fossorial ecology. Four cistecephalid species have been described from India, South Africa, and Tanzania; a fifth putative species has been reported from the Luangwa Basin of Zambia but never formally described. Here we present a detailed description of the Luangwa Basin cistecephalid, which we name Kembawacela kitchingi gen. et. sp. nov. The most obvious diagnostic character...

Effects of climate change on pup growth and survival in a cooperative mammal, the meerkat

Tanja Van De Ven, Andrea Fuller & Tim Clutton-Brock
1. Breeding systems in which group members help to raise the offspring of co-members are associated with arid, unpredictable environments. Cooperative rearing may mitigate the effects of adverse environmental conditions on pup growth and survival. However, few studies have explored the relationship between environmental variation and breeding success, and the role of helpers. 2. Here we show that increases in daily maximum air temperatures (Tmax) in the southern Kalahari over the last twenty years have...

Data from: Quantifying water requirements of African ungulates through a combination of functional traits

Michiel Veldhuis, Emilian Kihwele, Victor Mchomvu, Norman Owen-Smith, Robyn Hetem, Matthew Hutchinson, Arjun Potter & Han Olff
Climate and land use change modify surface water availability in African savannas. Surface water is a key resource for both wildlife and livestock and its spatial and temporal distribution is important for understanding the composition of large herbivore assemblages in savannas. Yet, the extent to which ungulate species differ in their water requirements remains poorly quantified. Here, we infer the water requirements of 48 African ungulates by combining six different functional traits related to physiological...

The past, present, and future of herbivore impacts on savanna vegetation

Ann Carla Staver, Joel Abraham, Gareth Hempson, Allison Karp & J Faith
1) Herbivory is a key process structuring vegetation in savannas, especially in Africa where large mammal herbivore communities remain intact. Exclusion experiments consistently show that herbivores impact savanna vegetation, but effect size variation has resisted explanation, limiting our understanding of the past, present, and future roles of herbivory in savanna ecosystems. 2) Synthesis of vegetation responses to herbivore exclusion shows that herbivory decreased grass abundance by 57.0% and tree abundance by 30.6% across African savannas....

Supplementary data: What drives grassland-forest boundaries? Assessing fire and frost effects on tree seedling survival and architecture

Monique Botha, Sally Archibald & Michelle Greve
Fire and frost represent two major hurdles for the persistence of trees in open grassy biomes and have both been proposed as drivers of grassland-forest boundaries in Africa. We assess the response of young tree seedlings, which represent a vulnerable stage in tree recruitment, to traumatic fire and frost disturbances. In a greenhouse experiment, we investigated how seedling traits predicted survival and resprouting ability in response to fire vs frost; we characterised survival strategies of...

Resprouting grasses are associated with less frequent fire than seeders

Kimberley Simpson, Emma Jardine, Sally Archibald, Elizabeth Forrestel, Caroline Lehmann, Gavin Thomas & Colin Osborne
Plant populations persist under recurrent fire via resprouting from surviving tissues (resprouters) or seedling recruitment (seeders). Woody species are inherently slow-maturing, meaning that seeders are confined to infrequent fire regimes. However, for grasses, which mature faster, the relationships between persistence strategy and fire regime remains unknown. Globally, we analysed associations between fire regimes experienced by hundreds of grass species and their persistence strategy, within a phylogenetic context. We also tested whether persistence strategies are associated...

Data from: Dental ontogeny in extinct synapsids reveals a complex evolutionary history of the mammalian tooth attachment system

Aaron R.H. LeBlanc, Kirstin S. Brink, Megan R. Whitney, Fernando Abdala, Robert R. Reisz & Aaron R. H. LeBlanc
The mammalian dentition is uniquely characterized by a combination of precise occlusion, permanent adult teeth, and a unique tooth attachment system. Unlike the ankylosed teeth in most reptiles, mammal teeth are supported by a ligamentous tissue that suspends each tooth in its socket, providing flexible and compliant tooth attachment that prolongs the life of each tooth and maintains occlusal relationships. Here we investigate dental ontogeny through histological examination of a wide range of extinct synapsid...

Groundwater recharge in Africa from ground based measurements

Alan MacDonald, Murray Lark, Richard Taylor, Tamiru Abiye, Helen Fallas, Guillaume Favreau, Ibrahim Goni, Seifu Kebede, Bridget Scanlon, James Sorenson, Moshood Tijani, Kirsty Upton & Charles West
This dataset comprises a map of groundwater recharge for Africa and a database of the 134 observations used to generate the map. The map shows long term average annual groundwater recharge in mm per annum relevant to the period 1970 to 2020. It is in the form of a GIS shapefile and is available as a layer package for ESRI and also as a georeferenced TIFF and BIL file for easy exchange with other software....

Speculative Practices: Visual explorations, in understanding place making in transient contexts

Brigitta Stone-Johnson

Data from: The evolutionary relationships and age of Homo naledi: an assessment using dated Bayesian phylogenetic methods

Mana Dembo, Davorka Radovčić, Heather M. Garvin, Myra F. Laird, Lauren Schroeder, Jill E. Scott, Juliet Brophy, Rebecca R. Ackermann, Charles M. Musiba, Darryl J. De Ruiter, Arne Ø. Mooers, Mark Collard & Chares M. Musiba
Homo naledi is a recently discovered species of fossil hominin from South Africa. A considerable amount is already known about H. naledi but some important questions remain unanswered. Here we report a study that addressed two of them: “Where does H. naledi fit in the hominin evolutionary tree?” and “How old is it?” We used a large supermatrix of craniodental characters for both early and late hominin species and Bayesian phylogenetic techniques to carry out...

Data from: X-rays and virtual taphonomy resolve the first Cissus (Vitaceae) macrofossils from Africa as early diverging members of the genus

Neil F. Adams, Margaret E. Collinson, Selena Y. Smith, Marion K. Bamford, Félix Forest, Panagiota Malakasi, Federica Marone & Dan Sykes
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Fossilized seeds similar to Cissus (Vitaceae) have been recognized from the Miocene of Kenya, though some were previously assigned to the Menispermaceae. We undertook a comparative survey of extant African Cissus seeds to identify the fossils and consider their implications for the evolution and biogeography of Cissus and for African early Miocene paleoenvironments. METHODS: Micro-computed tomography (µCT) and synchrotron-based X-ray tomographic microscopy (SRXTM) were used to study seed morphology and anatomy....

Data from: Revision of the first therocephalian, Theriognathus Owen (Therapsida: Whaitsiidae), and implications for cranial ontogeny and allometry in nonmammaliaform eutheriodonts

Adam Huttenlocker & Fernando Abdala
Historically, the whaitsiid therocephalian Theriognathus Owen was one of the earliest described nonmammalian therapsids, its morphology helping to link phylogenetically the Paleozoic synapsids of North America and southern Africa to their mammalian successors. However, decades of taxonomic over-splitting and superficial descriptions obscured the morphologic diversity of the genus, hindering its utility as a study system for the evolution of synapsid cranial function as well as its biostratigraphic significance in the Late Permian of southern Africa....

Data from: Rates of dinosaur limb evolution provide evidence for exceptional radiation in Mesozoic birds

Roger B. J. Benson & Jonah N. Choiniere
Birds are the most diverse living tetrapod group and are a model of large-scale adaptive radiation. Neontological studies suggest a radiation within the avian crown group, long after the origin of flight. However, deep time patterns of bird evolution remain obscure because only limited fossil data have been considered. We analyse cladogenesis and limb evolution on the entire tree of Mesozoic theropods, documenting the dinosaur–bird transition and immediate origins of powered flight. Mesozoic birds inherited...

Data from: The Victoria West: earliest prepared core technology in the Acheulean at Canteen Kopje and implications for the cognitive evolution of early hominids

Hao Li, Kathleen Kuman, Matt G. Lotter, George M. Leader & Ryan J. Gibbon
Prepared core technology illustrates in-depth planning and the presence of a mental template during the core reduction process. This technology is, therefore, a significant indicator in studying the evolution of abstract thought and the cognitive abilities of hominids. Here, we report on Victoria West cores excavated from the Canteen Kopje site in central South Africa, with a preliminary age estimate of approximately 1 Ma (million years ago) for these cores. Technological analysis shows that the...

Data from: Woody encroachment over 70 years in South African savannas: overgrazing, global change or extinction aftershock?

Nicola Stevens, Barend Erasmus, Sally Archibald & William Bond
Woody encroachment in “open” biomes like grasslands and savannas is occurring globally.Both local and global drivers, including elevated CO2, have been implicated in these increases. The relative importance of different processes is unresolved as there are few multisite, multi land-use, evaluations of woody plant encroachment. We measured 70 years of woody cover changes over a 1020km2 area covering four land uses (commercial ranching, conservation with elephants, conservation without elephants and communal rangelands) across a rainfall...

Data from: Habitat attributes similarities reduce impacts of land-use conversion on seed removal

Ananza M. Rabello, Catherine L. Parr, Antônio C.M. Queiroz, Danielle L. Braga, Graziele S. Santiago & Carla R. Ribas
Changes in land use strongly influence habitat attributes (e.g., herbaceous ground cover and tree richness) and can consequently affect ecological functions. Most studies have focused on the response of these ecological functions to land-use changes within only a single vegetation type. These studies have often focused solely on agricultural conversion of forests, making it nearly impossible to draw general conclusions across other vegetation types or with other land use changes (e.g., afforestation). We examined the...

Data from: Diversity and abundance of macro‐invertebrates on abandoned cattle kraals in a semi‐arid savanna

Justice Muvengwi, Gift Chikorowondo, Monicah Mbiba & Edson Gandiwa
Abandoned cattle (Bos taurus) kraals are sources of habitat heterogeneity in dystrophic semi‐arid African savannas with a strong positive effect on soil nutrients and plant productivity. However, little is known regarding how macro‐invertebrate assemblages vary between abandoned kraals and the surrounding savanna matrix. We tested whether herbaceous biomass and basal and aerial covers and soil nutrients have an effect on aboveground and belowground macro‐invertebrate assemblages. Twelve abandoned kraals were contrasted with their paired control plots...

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  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Pretoria
  • Princeton University
  • University of Oxford
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • University of Washington
  • University College London
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Field Museum of Natural History