Dr Céline Hanzen is a post-doctoral researcher at Center for Functional Biodiversity, University of KwaZulu-Natal, where she focuses on the conservation and ecology of African freshwater eels. She has a PhD in Ecology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal obtained in 2020. Dr Hanzen has almost 10 years’ experience in both terrestrial and aquatic ecology and conservation and has worked in different countries in Europe and Africa. As a senior researcher of Rivers of Life, Céline contributes to the implementation of different projects relating to fish migration and river connectivity in Kwazulu-Natal in particular and in the Western Indian Ocean Region in general. Céline’s current research topics include the migratory ecology of African eels and the associated fisheries in east and southern Africa.  Céline is an enthusiastic member of the advisory board of “Eel Town”, an international non-profit organization for eel conservation and citizen science education.

Key publications:

Hanzen C., Lucas M., O’Brien G., Downs C., Willows-Munro S., 2020. African freshwater eel species (Anguilla spp.) identification through DNA barcoding. Marine and Freshwater Research, Online Early.

Hanzen C., Lucas M., O’Brien G., Calverley P., Downs C., (in review). First successful surgical implantation of radio tags in freshwater eels (Anguilla spp.) in Africa. Journal of Fish Biology 96, 847–852.

Hanzen C., Weyl O., Lucas M., Brink K., Downs C., O’Brien G., 2019. Distribution, ecology and status of anguillid eels in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean, in Coulson P. & Don A. (eds.) EELS – biology, monitoring, management, culture and exploitation (pp 33-58). Proceedings of the International Eels Sciences Symposium, 2017. 5M Publishing, Sheffield, UK. 

O’Brien, G. C., Ross, M., Hanzen, C., Dlamini, V., Petersen, R., Diedericks, G. J., & Burnett, M. J, 2019. River connectivity and fish migration considerations in the management of multiple stressors in South Africa. Marine and Freshwater Research 70, 1254-1264.

Ovidio M., Hanzen C., Gennotte V., Michaux J., Benitez J. P., & Dierckx, A., 2016. Is adult translocation a credible way to accelerate the recolonization process of Chondrostoma nasus in a rehabilitated river? Cybium, 40(1), 43-49. 


Find her on ResearchGate and ORCiD.



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