Grantee – Chanel Lewis

Grantee – Chanel Lewis

Nationality: South African

Institution:  University of the Free State

Department:  Zoology and Entomology

PAST programme support: Degree support

Project title: How niche breadth constrains morphophysiological trait evolution in ruminants.


Facebook: Chanel Lewis
Instagram: @chanellewis1995

Chanel Lewis is a passionate scholar holding an M.Sc. in Zoology (cum laude) and currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of the Free State. Originally from Mahikeng, her upbringing on a Botswana game farm fostered a deep connection with nature. 

As a Research Assistant under Prof. Daryl Codron’s mentorship, she actively contributes to literature searches, data analysis, and report writing. Her commitment to education extends to teaching roles, emphasizing her dedication to knowledge-sharing.

Chanel’s academic journey includes an Honours degree and a B.Sc. in Genetics and Zoology. Specializing in morphological trait evolution in mammal herbivores, she challenges conventional form-function relationships. She has previously been awarded the NRF Honours and Final Year B-Tech Bursary in 2019, the NRF Postgraduate Scholarship from 2022 to 2025, and the recent recognition with the PAST degree support grant. Chanel has also participated in several conferences including the 50th South African Wildlife Management Association and the 23rd International Congress of Zoology, showcasing her expertise in integrating trophic levels with the niche variation hypothesis.

Beyond academia, Chanel is passionate about animals, art (sketching and painting), and extensive reading. Her dream is to transform her home into a library one day. Looking forward, her aspirations include completing her Ph.D. and exploring innovative ways to merge art with scientific endeavours. This journey signifies her commitment to pushing boundaries, embracing interdisciplinary exploration, and contributing meaningfully to both scientific and creative spheres.