Carla Wagener

I am an evolutionary ecologist with a broad range of interests, including animal physiology, microbiomes, and biostatistics. My research is integrative, often combining many, if not all, of these fields. For my PhD studies, I’m investigating how variation in wild mammal gut microbiomes impacts the phenotypic variation and ultimately, host fitness.


Araspin, L., Wagener, C., Padilla, P., Herrel, A., Measey, J. (2023). Shifts in the thermal dependence of locomotor performance across an altitudinal gradient in native populations of Xenopus laevis. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 96.
Ginal, P., Kruger, N., Wagener, C., Araspin, L., Mokhatla, M., Secondi, J., Here, A., Measey, J., Rodder, D. (2023). More time for aliens? Performance shifts lead to increased activity time budgets propelling invasion success. Biological Invasions. 25, 267-283.
Baxter-Gilbert, J., Riley, J. L., Wagener, C., Baider, C., Florens, F.B.V., Kowalski, P., Campbell, M., Measey, J. (2022). Island hopping through urban filters: anthropogenic habitats and colonised landscapes alter morphological and performance traits of an invasive amphibian. Animals. 12, 2549.
Mohanty, N.P., Wagener, C., Herrel, A., Thaker, M. (2022). The ecology of sleep in reptiles. Biological Reviews. 97, 505-526.
Wagener, C., du Plessis, M., Measey, J. (2021). Invasive amphibian gut microbiota and functions shift differentially in an expanding population but remain conserved across established populations. Microbial ecology. 1-13.
Baxter-Gilbert, J., Riley, J.L., Baider, C., Florens, V., Wagener, C., Mohanty, N.P. (2021). Nocturnal foraging and activity by diurnal lizards: three species of day gecko (Phelsuma spp.) using the night-light niche. 46, 501-506.
Wagener, C., Kruger, N., Measey, J. (2021). Progeny of Xenopus laevis from altitudinal extremes display local adaptation and maternal effects of physiological performance. Journal of Experimental Biology. 224, jeb233031.
Barsotti, A.M.G., Madelaire, C.B., Wagener, C., Titon, B., Measey, J., Gomes, F.R. (2021). Challenges of a novel range: water balance, stress and immunity in invasive Sclerophrys gutturalis. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A. 253, 110870.
Wagener, C. (2021). Spill your guts: the invasive amphibian gut microbiome. Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University.
Wagener C., Mohanty, N.P., Measey, J. (2020). The gut microbiome facilitates ecological adaptation in an invasive vertebrate. BioRxiv.
Baxter-Gilbert, J., Riley, J.L., Wagener, C., Mohanty, N.P, Measey, J. (2020). Shrinking before our isles: The rapid expression of insular dwarfism in two invasive populations of guttural toad (Sclerophrys gutturalis). Biology Letters. 16, 20200651.
Measey, J., Wagener, C., Mohanty, N.P., Baxter-Gilbert, J., Pienaar, E. (2020). The cost of implementing EICAT and SEICAT. Neobiota. 62, 279-299.
Araspin, L., Martinez, A.S., Wagener, C., Courant, J., Louppe, V., Padilla, P., Measey, J., Herrel, A. (2020). Rapid shifts in the temperature dependence of locomotor performance in an invasive frog, Xenopus laevis, implications for conservation. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 60, 456-466.
Madelaire, C.B., Barsotti, A.M.G., Wagener, C., Sugano, Y., Baxter-Gilbert, J., Gomes, F.R., Measey, J. (2020). Challenges of dehydration result in a behavioral shift in invasive toads. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 74, 1-15.


2019-2020 MSc Zoology (cum laude) Stellenbosch University
2018 BScHons Biodiversity & Ecology (cum laude) Stellenbosch University
2015-2017 BSc Biodiversity & Ecology Stellenbosch University


2021 Oxford-Oxitec-LMH studentship 
2020 DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology Research Grant
2019 DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology Research Grant
2018 Botany & Zoology Academic Excellence Reward