Biodiversity and conservation

This theme is dedicated to knowledge and capacity development pertaining to a better understanding and conservation of freshwater and estuarine aquatic fauna and the management ecosystems.

Our region has a rich diversity of freshwater animals that is poorly understood. Many vertebrate and invertebrate species complexes are currently being unpacked and the ROL is a prominent contributor to this field of study.

Our team is working on life history research and the requirements and contribution of animals in inland ecosystems in southern and central Africa.

ROL has established an aquatic invertebrate and fish collection which is closely associated with existing national collections

Team members involved in this research theme :

Dr Céline Hanzen is the theme leader. She’s a Senior Researcher with Rivers of Life and a post doctoral researcher at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in Pietermaritzburg. She focus on freshwater eels : their distirbution, genetic and spatial ecology. She has a keen interest in issue associated with fish movement, migration and river connectivity. Her research also overlaps with the “Fisheries” theme as she is involved in the Fishtrac programme and as she is conducting some spatial ecology studies herself.

Read about her research here.




Mahlatse Fortunate Mashaphu is a Junior Rearcher with Rivers of Life and conducts her PhD through UKZN. She focus on the conservationof the Mozambique Tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus. She is interested in the conservation of this threathened indigenous species through the use of genetic. She is also very interested in the development of aquaculture in South Africa.

Read about her research here.




Other team members are also involved in this theme :