Casey Broom

PhD Candidate
Casey Broom


 

Fish community responses to environmental stressors in the Cape Fold Ecoregion.

South African freshwater ecosystems are imperilled by a variety of threats, primarily as a result of anthropomorphic interference. A system of primary concern is the Olifants-Doorn water management area, as it contains endemic fishes which are largely threatened or endangered. The imminent threat of human-mediated environmental change makes the case for urgent research focus on these systems to recommend conservation actions. I will focus my research efforts on Pseudobarbus calidus (Clanwilliam Redfin), Pseudobarbus phlegethon (Fiery Redfin) and Labeobarbus seeberi (Clanwilliam Yellowfish) in the Rondegat river, exploring functional morphology, ecological interactions, functional responses and behavioural interactions within and between these endemic species. This work will elucidate niche utilisation and invasion potential of these species and thus inform scientific and conservation bodies of the fishes' vulnerability and conservation prospects. Registered: Rhodes University (Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science)

Supervisor: Dr Olaf Weyl, NRF/DST Research Chair in Inland Fisheries and Freshwater Ecology, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (NRF/SAIAB)