Dr Tainã G. Loureiro
Tainã`s research has two main foci, the first of which considers the potential impacts of climate change on alien fouling species. Climate change is associated to the increase of atmospheric CO2, which is linked to global warming and ocean acidification. Changes in both these physical parameters might modify species distribution and abundance and affect bioinvasions. Therefore, the aim of this work is to verify how changes in temperature and pH might affect the growth, survival, community composition and diversity of alien fouling biota. Secondly, Tainã has an interest in the role of predators in regulating fouling communities.
This project considers the interaction between our changing climate and invasions. Nicole is working with the native predatory whelk Trochia cingulata and investigating how predicted changes in sea temperature and pH may alter its prey selection. This is an interesting system to work on as two of the main prey species are alien mussels.
Phikolomzi’s PhD research focuses on the potential implications of ocean warming and ocean acidification for alien fouling biota. This work explores the interactions between two major global environmental drivers – climate change and biological invasions in the marine context. Through a combination of field work and laboratory experiments, this project will establish a baseline for pH in the marinas along the South African coast, then use alien Ascidians as a model group to explore the effect of ocean warming and acidification on species growth and survival.
For her MSc Melissa is working on the invasive tube worm Ficopomatus enigmaticus. Firstly she is establishing the distribution and abundance of the tube worm in three separate estuaries. Secondly, she will determine the effects of future predicted pH and temperature conditions on the worm to establish how this invader may be affected by climate change.
Megan’s honours project focuses on determining the effects of simultaneously changing temperature and pH on an alien invasive Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas. The Pacific oyster is the focal species of the oyster farming industry in Saldanha Bay and its value to South Africa motivates the need to understand how it will respond to the effects of a changing climate. It is of economic importance, contributing significantly to South Africa’s GDP as well as socio-economic importance, providing employment opportunities and subsequent food security to locals in the surrounding community.
Marina Lopes Bueno
Marina is a PhD student from the Federal University of Lavras, Brazil, and she is spending nine months visiting the Robinson lab. Marina's research aims to understand what regulates the invasion process of fish in watersheds, as well as to quantify the impacts that these species can cause in the receiving environments. She is using an extensive database of 194 alien freshwater fish that have been introduced to Brazil. In addition, Marina focusing in on the guppy Poecilia reticulata and assessing its impacts on native communities.
Dr Lisa Skein
Dr Clova Mabin
Dr Koebraa Peters
Dr Saachi Sadchatheeswarn
Marlene van der Merwe