Professor Alan Whitfield

Emeritus Chief Scientist & Honorary Research Associate
Professor Alan Whitfield
Tel : +27 46 603 5829
Fax : +27 46 622 2403

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Research Interests

Estuarine ecology

Professor Alan Whitfield, Emeritus Chief Scientist at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), is a leading estuarine ecologist with a particular interest in the biology and ecology of fishes within these environments. Most of his earlier studies during the 1970s were focused on the feeding biology of fishes in KwaZulu-Natal estuaries and this was later extended in the 1980s to the Western Cape where he also developed skills in larval fish ecology. When Alan moved to the J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology in 1987 he broadened his research interests to include the importance of estuaries in fish life cycles, as well as the monitoring and amelioration of human impacts on fish assemblages through.the use of fish indices.

Professor Whitfield has developed strong international linkages in the field of estuarine ecology and continues to pursue a major research interest on the role of river flow in the functioning of estuaries. He was also the leader of multidisciplinary studies on the river estuary interface zone, temporarily open/closed estuaries and the structure and functioning of micro-estuaries in South Africa. Alan is an internationally rated scientist on the NRF rating system, the recipient of the JDF Gilchrist Memorial Medal for contributions to South African marine science, the SASAqS Gold Medal for his contributions to African aquatic science, an Honorary Professor at Rhodes University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.

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