Water resource protection

Water resource protection including ecological risk assessments, E-flow studies, freshwater and estuary monitoring.

Within this theme we endeavor to make a meaningful contribution to the understanding of multiple stressors to ecological and social components of freshwater and estuarine ecosystems we care about.

This includes the development of evidence based ecological risk assessment procedures for regional scale holistic multi-stressor application where the dynamics of ecosystems are incorporated. In this theme, we have established internationally recognised ecological risk assessment and E-flow tools that have been used locally and abroad.

Within this theme we have established numerous international collaborations with scientists and institutions in North America, Europe, Australia and in Africa. In this theme, we monitor and report on the wellbeing of freshwater and estuarine ecosystems.

Dr Gordon O’Brien is the programme leader of AER and a lecturer at UMP. He specialises in regional scale ecological risk assessments, ichthyology, environmental flow (E-flow) assessments, aquatic biodiversity, ecosystem services and water resource management. His scientific profile includes the development of and application of regional scale ecological risk assessments methodologies, and E-flow management tools and frameworks.

More about his research here. 




Mahomed Desai is a Senior Researcher and a PhD Candidate. With his extensive experience in South Africa and in Africa in general and his love for statistics, Mahomed focuses on the risk of ichtyofauna communities to multiple stressors within the Sub-Saharan region of Africa.


More about his research here. 




Indrani Hazel Govender is a Senior Researcher within AER, a PhD candidate and also a lecturer for DUT in Durban. She is working toward the development of a Regional Scale Risk Assessment model for the management of the river resources in the uMngeni River Catchment in KwaZulu-Natal.

More about her research here. 


Melissa Wade is a Junior Researcher within AER and a MSc students. She’s been involved in many project with the team in the past and then decided to doing her MSc focusing on the use and protection of th lower Thukela River and estuary.






This theme also includes other team members : Nombuso Gongo, Mbali Sosibo, Perceverence Tenza