Dr Aldi Nel

SAIAB Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Aldi Nel
Email

Research Interests

Dr Nel is interested in integrating knowledge of the physiology, life cycles and biology of marine invertebrates with aquatic environmental interactions, both in natural ecosystems and in culture environments. For the past year and as part of a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, she conducted respirometry experiments to compare the temperature response of the settlers and recruits of Perna perna and Mytilus galloprovincialis mussels. During her MSc, Aldi characterised the growth, morphological and feeding response of cultured Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) to different South African coastal farming localities in transplant experiments. Her supervisors included Dr Sue Jackson and Dr Tamara Robinson (Department of Botany and Zoology, University of Stellenbosch). Aldi subsequently moved to Rhodes University for a PhD project under Professor Peter Britz on the effect of macroalgae supplementation on the digestive physiology of cultured abalone fed formulated feeds. For the past year and as part of a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, she conducted respirometry experiments to compare the temperature response of the settlers and recruits of Perna perna and Mytilus galloprovincialis mussels.

Project summary
An understanding of the physiological responses of molluscs to thermal stress during their early life stages is necessary to determine their thermal ranges and scope for metabolic compensation to survive and contribute to the establishment and persistence of adult populations. Dr Nel’s current project aims to determine the thermal tolerances of the early life stages of Mytilus galloprovincialis mussels. The physiological responses of mussel larvae and recruits in terms of oxygen consumption rates at different temperatures will be established for different temperature acclimation protocols.

Collaboration
  • Dr Francesca Porri, Senior Scientist, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Grahamstown
  • Professor Christopher McQuaid, Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown

Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications

ResearchGate Profile

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5515-4600