Biology, ecology and movement of coastal fishesManagement of declining fishery resources
My research interests deal primarily with the movement behaviour, habitat use patterns and ecology of coastal fishery species with the aim of improving management and ultimately the abundance of declining fishery resources. Much of my research is done in collaboration with scientists from a number of local and international institutions.Student training forms a very important part of my vocation and over the past decade I have been involved with the supervision of approximately 25 post-graduate students. I am a Research Associate of the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science and a member of the Faculty of Science at Rhodes University (South Africa), where I also present selected lectures.I serve on the editorial board of the African Journal of Marine Science and I am an active member of several national research coordinating, namely the Biotelemetry Research Group (BRG), the Marine Linefish Research Group (MLRG) and the Consortium for Estuarine Research and Management (CERM). I am the founder member and standing Chairperson of the BRG, as well as a past Chairperson of the MLRG. I also serve in an advisory capacity to the Linefish Scientific Working Group of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.At the international level, I am a member of the Ocean Tracking Network’s (OTN) International Scientific Advisory Committee. My involvement with the BRG and OTN in recent years had led to the development of national acoustic telemetry platform called the Acoustic Tracking Array Platform (ATAP). It is envisaged that this initiative will witness substantial growth in biotelemetry research, foster broader national and international collaboration and ensure a sustained future for the study of migration biology and behavioural ecology of marine animals in coastal waters around the African continent
Becker A, Whitfield AK, Cowley PD, Jarnegren J, Naesje TF. 2013. Potential effects of artificial light associated with anthropogenic infrastructure on the abundance and foraging behaviour of estuary-associated fishes. Journal of Applied Ecology 50, 43–50.
Bijoux JP, Dagorn L, Robinson J, Berke G, Cowley PD , Soria M, Gaertner J-C. 2013. Temporal dynamics, residency and site fidelity of spawning aggregations by an herbivorous tropical reef fish Siganus sutor. Marine Ecology Progress Series 475, 233–247.
Bennett RH, Cowley PD, Childs A-R, Whitfield AK. 2012. Area-use patterns and diel movements of white steenbras Lithognathus lithognathus in a temporarily open/closed South African estuary, inferred from acoustic telemetry and long-term seine-netting data. African Journal of Marine Science 34(1), 81–91.
Holbach A, Cowley PD, Kramar P Neumann T. 2012. Otolith microchemistry of fishes from Kosi Bay, South Africa: a preliminary multiple analytical methods approach to reconstruct fish migrations. Estuarine Coastal Shelf Science 109, 30-40.
James NC, Götz A, Potts WM, Cowley PD. 2012. Temporal variability of a temperate fish assemblage in Africa’s oldest marine protected area. African Journal of Marine Science 34(1), 15-26.
Naesje TF, Cowley PD, Disrud OL, Childs A-R, Thorstad EB. 2012 Riding the tide: estuarine movements of a sciaenid fish, Argyrosomus japonicus. Marine Ecology Progress Series 460, 221–232.
Reddy P, James NC, Whitfield AK, Cowley PD. 2012. Marine connectivity and fish length frequencies of selected species in two adjacent temporarily open/closed estuaries in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. African Zoology 46(2), 239–245.
Sheppard JN, Whitfield AK, Cowley PD, Hill JM. 2012. Effects of altered estuarine submerged macrophyte bed cover on the omnivorous Cape stumpnose Rhabdosargus holubi. Journal of Fish Biology 80, 705–712.
Solano- Fernandez S, Attwood CG, Chalmers R, Clark BM, Cowley PD,Fairweather T, Fennessy ST, Gotz A, Harrison TD, Kerwath SE, Lamberth SJ, Mann BQ, Smale MJ, Swart L. 2012. Assessment of the effectiveness of South Africa's marine protected areas at representing ichthyofaunal communities. Environmental Conservation 39(3), 259- 270.
Whitfield AK, Bate GC, Adams JB, Cowley PD, Froneman PD, Gama PT, Strydom NA, Taljaard S, Theron AK, Turpie JK, van Niekerk L, Wooldridge TH. 2012. A review of the ecology and management of temporarily open/closed estuaries in South Africa, with particular emphasis on river flow and mouth state as primary drivers of these systems. African Journal of Marine Science 34(2), 163-180.