Featured Research

 SAIAB Research Nuggets describe featured research work, consider expected impacts,

introduce the research team, and provide any other additional information. 


First glimpses of deeper benthic habitats inform Phakisa Marine Protected Area Expansion Initiative

The Phakisa Ocean Economy proposed network of 21 new or expanded Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), designed to increase protection of South Africa’s marine environment to at least 5% (from the existing ca. 0.4%), was published for comment in 2016 by the national Minister of Environmental Affairs. With a full public consultation completed, the declaration of final versions of these MPAs is pending.


Inland Fisheries and Freshwater Ecology Research Chair at SAIAB

The DST/NRF Research Chair in Inland Fisheries and Freshwater Ecology was recently awarded to Dr Olaf Weyl, Principal Scientist in freshwater research at NRF-SAIAB. 

Coastal Fishes of the Western Indian Ocean

For much of the past 20 years a number of fish taxonomists from around the worldhave been collaborating on the compilation of an account of the coastal fishes ofthe Western Indian Ocean. 

ACEP Imida Frontiers Project

On the edge: exploring frontiers of marine science on South Africa’s eastern shelf with
ACEP's new vessel, the R/V Phakisa



Cruise sets out to unlock Secrets of the Deep

Deep reefs and the communities that inhabit them are difficult environments to access 

Innovative technology enables sampling of reef fish across South Africa’s continental shelf

Dr Anthony Bernard


Larval fish ecology in the coastal nearshore

Dr Paul Pattrick

The successful development and growth of fishes in their early stages is largely determined by the characteristics of the water in which they are found.


The evolution, behaviour and ecology of the Giant Trevally Caranx ignobilis 
in the Western Indian Ocean

Jessica Glass

The Giant Trevally (Caranx ignobilis), better known in South Africa by its common name, the Giant kingfish,
is considered an iconic top predator. 

Giant Kingfish

Walking sideways: revisiting the diversity of freshwater crabs in eastern South Africa 

Dr Gavin Gouws

Systematic study into the diversity of South Africa’s freshwater crabs was launched in the early 1990s. 

Potamonautes sidneyi

Informing Policy and Decision Making

Dr Olaf Weyl

Generating knowledge on the distributions, spread and impacts of alien invasive species in South Africa. 

 Gariep - catfish fisheries can contribute to rural economies

Wildlands Ocean Stewards initiative


The ACEP Biosurrogacy Project has teamed up with Wildlands Conservation Trust to create The Ocean Stewards initiative. 


 Africa’s largest known freshwater copepod described 

Dr Ryan Wasserman

A new species of copepod Lovenula raynerae collected near Grahamstown.

Lovenula raynerae

The development of an amphibian research collection at SAIAB 

Roger Bills

Diversifying the natural history collection has been an
on-going focus of curation at SAIAB for some years.


Not just old stuff in boxes - Special Collections in the Margaret Smith Library 

Sally Schramm

The Special Collections in the Margaret Smith Library include a number of unique items relating to the JLB Smith Institute.

 Maditaba Meltaf and Sally Schramm checking JLB Smith's diaries 

SeaKeys: Unlocking foundational marine biodiversity knowledge

 Dr Monica Mwale & Noxolo Ntuli

SAIAB uses DNA barcoding to provide vital information on genetic diversity in marine species.

 African sea bass  

Understanding the aliens among us

 Dr Olaf Weyl

History, status and management of Black bass (Micropterus) species in South Africa.

 Smallmouth bass 

Pseudobarbus skeltoni, the giant redfin minnow that evaded scientists for over a century 

Dr Albert Chakona

Pseudobarbus skeltoni, the giant redfin minnow that evaded scientists for over a century.

 Giant redfin - Pseudobarbus skeltoni – Ill.: Elaine Heemstra ©SAIAB 


Taking Biodiversity Information Management into the Future 
Willem Coetzer

Internships as a vehicle for Biodiversity Human Capacity Development
Ndiviwe Baliwe

Relinkage of the Mfolozi River to the St Lucia estuarine system - An urgent imperative for the long-term management
of a Ramsar and World Heritage Site 
Prof Alan Whitfield 

Sub-Antarctic notothenioid fish systematics
Ofer Gon

Sundays River Fish Invasions Project
Dr Darragh Woodford

Collections Development and Diversification specifically the growing Amphibian Collection
Roger Bills

Ocean Tracking Network in South Africa
Dr Paul Cowley

Modelling the effects of climate change on the distribution of shared fishery species in the subtropical Western Indian Ocean
Dr Nikki James and Dr Monica Mwale

Lake Gariep Fisheries Research Project
Dr Olaf Weyl

Biodiversity conservation - A new way of looking at our heritage
Reyhana Mahomed

Scientific treasure chests or public heirlooms?
Prof Paul Skelton