Conservation of freshwater fishes in southern African and the management of alien freshwater fishes
Dr Sean Marr, PDP Post-Doctoral Fellow at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), is a leading estuarine ecologist with a particular interest in the biology and ecology of fishes within these environments.
Sean initially studied as a Chemical Engineer and graduated B.Sc. Eng. from the University of Natal. He worked in the metallurgical industry for more than ten years, initially on process plants and subsequently designing metallurgical process facilities. During this period be became interested in environmental issues and sought a more environmental focus to his work by completed an MSc Eng. at the University of Cape Town.
While in Cape Town, Sean began to recognize the perilous plight of many of the south-western Cape’s native freshwater fishes and took courses in Zoology and Conservation Biology to prepare himself for a career in freshwater fish conservation. Sean’s PhD thesis explored the conservation of freshwater fishes in Mediterranean-climate regions, specifically the Cape Fold Ecoregion, and the management of non-native fishes, primarily introduced into the Cape Fold Ecoregion for sports fisheries.
Following graduation from the University of Cape Town, Dr Marr took up a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Limpopo where he initially researched and published on metal accumulation in freshwater fish muscle tissue and the associated human health risk of consuming these fish. During this time, Sean work closely with students from under privileged backgrounds to help them complete their post graduate degrees.
Sean moved to SAIAB in 2016 to continue working on the conservation of native freshwater fishes and the management of non-native fishes. The move to Grahamstown also facilitated an increasing involvement with postgraduate students, and involvement in a WRC funded project to develop capacity in freshwater research at Historically Black Universities. Sean is also a member of the Faculty of Science at Rhodes University.