Dr Marliese Truter

Post Doc Researcher
Dr Marliese Truter

Research Interests

Freshwater fish parasite biodiversity in southern Africa

My current research focus is on the biodiversity inventory of the undiscovered freshwater fish parasites of hosts across all conservation categories in selected National Freshwater Ecosystem Priority Areas in South Africa. This research integrates classical techniques to identify parasitic species, assess parasitic community assemblages, and incorporates a new sub-discipline, historical ecology of parasitism, in characterising and tracking the shifts in parasitic communities of freshwater fishes in South Africa over time. This research forms part of the Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP) funded project, REFRESH, that aims to renew and fill gaps in research and knowledge of freshwater species of South Africa that are of importance in biodiversity assessments and crucial in informing ecosystem conservation. This research is founded in the fact that South African rivers is home to diverse and unique freshwater fishes, with several endemic species, but we do not have a clear picture of the parasitic communities that is hosts as well as the exclusion of Parasites from the biodiversity assessments. However, they should be included since these organisms play an important role in ecosystem assemblage, function, food web connectivity and biomass.

I completed my undergraduate (Zoology and Microbiology) and Honours (Aquatic Ecosystem Health) degrees at the North-West University (NWU). My postgraduate journey continued in a collaborative capacity between SAIAB and North-West University where the focus was on invasive fish and their parasitological communities and invasion biology (MSc), and the parasitological communities of native and translocated freshwater catfish as well as environmental aspects influencing and potentially driving parasitical community assemblages in southern Africa (PhD).

Supervisors: Dr Albert Chakona (SAIAB) & Prof Nico Smit (NWU)

Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications



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