Masters Opportunity: Biodiversity and Settlement in the Great African SeaForest

South Africa’s kelp forests, informally termed “The Great African Seaforest” hold a remarkable and largely unexplored biodiversity. During a successful pilot study in 2022, 120 invertebrate families were identified from kelp holdfasts with diversity varying across sites and bioregions in the Western Cape. Building on this survey, this project aims to understand settlement dynamics within and around kelp forest stands in False Bay, Cape Town. Using  collective taxonomic expertise, and drawing on other taxon expert collaborators, the project aims to unravel this hidden biodiversity, record findings as species
pages and records, supplement ongoing barcoding initiatives, and transfer our skills (taxonomy, photography, scientific writing and presentation) to  South African postgraduate students.

This MSc, which runs from January 2024- December 2025, will form part of the FBIP Small Grant project “Holdfast-associated invertebrate diversity in South Africa’s kelp forests” and will inform the Sea Change “1001 Seaforest Species” project. The project is looking for a motivated, independent South African student committed to academic excellence and open to learning new techniques. The applicant must have an Hons degree or equivalent in a related field, be a good English communicator both written and orally, and be willing to work as part of a multi- cultural team. There is a significant field work component which will be conducted in the kelp forests within False Bay and, as such, the applicant must be comfortable swimming and snorkelling in the ocean. Ideally, they would be familiar with statistical analyses and have a good understanding of marine systems.

To apply or to find out more about the projects, please contact Dr Koebraa Peters at pe*****@cp**.za or Dr Jannes Landschoff at  ja****@se**************.com Please provide a CV with two referees, your academic transcripts and a short statement on why you wish to pursue this MSc. The deadline for this application is 31 May 2023.

 

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