Prof. John S. Terblanche

Department of Conservation Ecology & Entomology
Stellenbosch University

Phone: +27 21 808 9225



I consider myself part of a small group of physiological ecologists working across a range of applied and more basic research fields. Primarily I am interested in the mechanisms and patterns of animal responses to their environments, at a range of time scales and spatial scales, in order to gain a deeper understanding into the precious diversity of life on our fascinating planet Earth. I get excited about testing or finding support for general ‘rules’, but also the exceptions that prove the rule.

I was a rather unwilling participant in an undergraduate degree in biochemistry, physiology and sports science while pursuing much greater aspirations as a rock climber. I dabbled in a Master’s degree in human physiology which raised my interest levels slightly but was still far from being wholly captivating. However, a few pivotal trips with Brent Sinclair and Jaco Klok, under the mentorship of Steven Chown, gave me sharpened focus in animal evolutionary physiology. I now enjoy rare opportunities for performing lab work myself, and learning from my international and local colleagues whose profound knowledge has the power to radically transform one’s thinking on virtually any topic.

I’m active in the Centre for Invasion Biology as a Core Team Member, while pursuing mechanistic, comparative or experimental assessments of topical hypotheses in animal physiological ecology, and developing new lab tools and techniques for measuring physiological traits and systems.

I serve on a range of editorial boards, including the Journal of Thermal Biology, Climate Change Responses, Austral Entomology, Scientific Reports and Frontiers in Physiology. I routinely review for a host of excellent international journals such as the Journal of Experimental Biology, Journal of Insect Physiology, The American Naturalist, European Journal of Entomology, Evolution, Proceedings of the Royals Society of London B, and Ecology Letters.



Society for Experimental Biology President’s Medal 2013, Animal Physiology Section
Stellenbosch University Top 25 Researchers 2013
Society for Experimental Biology President’s Medal 2012, Runner up in Animal Physiology
TWAS ROSSA Prize for Young Scientist’s in Basic Sciences, 2011 (African Academy of Sciences, Nairobi Kenya)
NRF President’s Award 2011
Elsevier Young Scientists Award 2011
Rector’s Award for Research Excellence 2010
Rector’s Award 2011, 2015
NSTF Awards, 2014/2015. Finalist for TF Kambule Award & GreenMatter Award, South Africa
Stellenbosch University Top Researchers 2016


Committees and editorial boards:

Editorial board member – Scientific Reports, African Entomology,  Journal of Thermal Biology
Associate Editor – Frontiers in Physiology, Climate Change Responses, Austral Entomology
Committee member – Macrophysiology Meeting 2008, Plymouth, U.K.
ACGMO Sub-committee Department of Agriculture
INTECOL 2009 – ‘Insect responses to climate change’ session organizer
ESSA 2009 – committee member
SEB 2010 Prague – ‘periodic ventilation and gas exchange’ session co-organizer
Guest co-editor, special issue of Journal of Thermal Biology – See special issue Table of Contents here
Guest co-editor, Insect invasions special issue in Biological Invasions – See special issue Table of Contents here
ICE 2015 Florida – ‘Insect responses to climate change’ symposium co-organizer


CIB Core Team member – Read more here

Department of Conservation Ecology & Entomology – Read more here

South African Young Academy of Sciences –Read More here

Society for Experimental Biology – Read more here