News » SAIAB Students and Staff Honoured at the Rhodes University October 2022 Graduation Ceremonies


SAIAB celebrates 7 Masters degree graduates and 4 PhD degree graduates at the
Rhodes University 2022 October Graduation Ceremony

SAIAB is proud to have had an exceptional number of its research students graduating for their Masters and PhD degrees at the two Rhodes University Graduation Ceremonies held in October 2022. Rhodes University added a series of graduation celebration ceremonies in thier 2022 graduation programme for graduates who had to undergo virtual graduations due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021.

SAIAB’s 2020 & 2021 Graduates included:

Nkosinathi Mazungula (SAIAB Collections Manager) and Zinzi Somana (SAIAB-SANBI Curation Technician) who received their Master of Science (MSc) degrees.

Dr Kerry-Ann van der Walt and Dr Carla Edworthy, who are now SAIAB Postdoctoral Researchers, were awarded their Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees at the Rhodes special ceremony for 2020 & 2021 graduates.

The 2022 Rhodes Graduate’s ceremony saw over 175 graduands, with the majority in the Humanities and Science Faculties. Women graduands made up almost 60%, and international graduands made up over 30% of the total (ref: https://www.ru.ac.za/latestnews/rhodesuniversitytocelebrateitsvirtualgraduatesduringlatestgraduation.html)

SAIAB’s 2022 Graduates included:

Russell Dixon, Ncumisa Matam, Nobuhle Mpanza, Thulisile Nkomo, and Seshnee Reddy were awarded their Master of Science (MSc) degrees.

Dr Phumza Ndaleni (now a SAIAB Postdoctoral Researcher) and Dr Casey Broom were awarded their Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees.


Left to right: Dr Phakama Nodo, supervisor Prof Nikki JamesDr Kerry-Ann van der WaltDr Carla Edworthy and Dr Phumza Ndaleni
at the Rhodes University's Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science graduation function.

More importantly, the SAIAB coastal research group, Seascape Ecology SA led & supervised by Prof Nikki James celebrated the graduation of their four female PhD students, researching shallow-water seascape ecology in South Africa, who graduated at the Rhodes 2022 graduation ceremonies (April & October), representing an all female PhD graduate cohort.

University of Fort Hare Graduation

The University of Fort Hare also held its graduation ceremony on the 7th of October and SAIAB former student, Godfrey Padare graduated with a MSc degree. Godfrey’s research looked at ‘Movement patterns of an important fishery species, Pomadasys commersonnii (Haemulidae), in relation to a no-take zone in the Goukou estuary, South Africa’.

SAIAB’s Rhodes University Graduates and their thesis titles:

Master’s thesis titles:

  1. Russell Dixon: Movement patterns of the iconic giant kingfish (Caranx ignobilis) from southern Africa
  2. Ncumisa Matam: An analysis of inland fisheries resource use in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
  3. Thulisile Nkomo: Evaluating the trophic ecology and feeding habits of three divergent lineages of Sandelia bainsii (Teleostei: Anabantidae), from the Eastern Cape Rivers using stable isotope analysis.
  4. Nobuhle Mpanza: The biology of Oreochromis mossambicus and vulnerability to the invasion of Oreochromis niloticus
  5. Seshnee Reddy: Larval assemblages in intertidal habitats: the use of artificial and natural microhabitats
  6. Nkosinathi Mazungula: Taxonomic revision of the Natal mountain catfish, Amphilius natalensis (Siluriformes, Amphiliidae) in southern Africa
  7. Zinzi Somana: Combining DNA barcoding and morphology to identify larval fishes from the nearshore environment off the south-east coast of South Africa

PhD thesis titles:

  1. Dr Casey Broom: Cape Fold Ecoregion fish community ecology and responses to stressors.
  2. Dr Phumza Ndaleni: Understanding resource partitioning in three species of Gobiidae living in the warm temperate Sundays Estuary.
  3. Dr Carla Edworthy: Coastal pH variability and the eco-physiological and behavioural response of a coastal fish species in light of future ocean acidification
  4. Dr Kerry-Ann van der Walt: Thermal tolerance and the potential effects of climate change on coastal intertidal and estuarine organisms in the Kariega Estuary and adjacent intertidal coastline, Eastern Cape, South Africa
SAIAB would like to congratulate all its graduates for their achievements, we are all inspired by their hard work and determination.