Young Science Communicator Winner

I am pleased to announce that I have won the ‘open’ category for Young Science Communicator of 2018 with NRF-SAASTA! My entry below, named “Finding fish“, illustrates our environmental DNA research through cartoon! This exciting work is being carried out in the von der Heyden lab at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, in collaboration with the Molecular Ecology…

Exciting new tool for marine conservation: environmental DNA

Fish and other aquatic animals shed DNA into the surrounding water. This means that seawater is filled with the DNA of the animals living there, and this is known as environmental DNA (eDNA). Scientists have used environmental DNA to study a range of animals, from earlier eDNA studies in 2008 (e.g. on the invasive American Bullfrog),…

How does mangrove carbon offset work?

  Coastal livelihood and mangroves Coastal villages often heavily rely on fishing for livelihood, and also often have houses and buildings close to the shore. Areas of coast with mangrove forests benefit from the mangroves supporting large fisheries, and also protecting the shoreline from erosion and sedimentation. Although these benefits are significant to the local…

Sustainable livelihoods

Today we visited the fish ponds in Makongeni, South Kenya. There is a local group in the village (90% women) who run the fish ponds. They gain benefits for the community (from selling the fish product) whilst avoiding using and degrading the local mangrove ecosystem. There are five fish ponds, with milkfish of different life…

Heart Shaped Predator

Originally posted on The Natural History of Crustaceans:
Phyllolithodes papillosus Brandt, 1848 Apart from the obvious delicacy and beauty of this specimen, which overwhelmed me when I first saw it, it was actually the ‘u’ shaped depression in the middle of the dorsal side of this specimen that caught my eye. It looks spectacular and,…