From 2021, the CMR will host a quarterly seminar to showcase research done by a prominent CMR member or collaborator.

 

2023

Quarter 1: Dr Tegan Carpenter-Kling

22 February, 13:00 - 13:30 via Zoom and Venue (Hybrid event)

From High Seas to Coastal Islands: From Counting Seabirds to Spatial Analysis in R

Dr Carpenter-Kling is a new post-doctoral fellow at the CMR working with Professor Mandy Lombard on the Algoa Bay Project. She specializes in working with spatial data in R and developed her spatial analysis skills during her PhD research in which she worked with tracking data from 8 seabird species. Dr Carpenter-Kling’s research included correlating seabird movements to oceanographic variables, creating multispecies ‘isoscapes’ and developing an agent-based movement model in R. More recently, she worked for BirdLife South Africa, where she applied her skills to provide or support scientific evidence for at-sea management and conservation strategies of South Africa’s Endangered coastal seabirds.

In this seminar, Dr Tegan Carpenter-Kling presented highlights of her past, present and future research. This has included her work on sub-Antarctic seabird species as well as how she applied her skills to contribute towards efforts to conserve South Africa's seabirds. She has briefly touched on the work she will be doing for the Algoa Bay Project and other future research plans.

Dr Carpenter-Kling's presentation is available via this link. Please click here to access the recordng of her presentation. 

 

Quarter 2: Dr Heidi van Deventer

18 April, 13:00 - 14:00 via Zoom and Venue (Hybrid event)

Using GIS and Earth Observation to Report Changes in Extent and Integrity of Aquatic Ecosystems Aligned with Global Biodiversity Framework Targets

Four new Goals and 23 Targets have been set for the years 2030 and 2050 under the Global Biodiversity Framework ( Goal A focus on changes in the extent, integrity and connectivity of systems, including of Inland Waters, that includes rivers, estuarine and freshwater wetlands Target 2 focus on ensuring that 30 of the extent of degraded ecosystems are under effective restoration, whereas Target 3 aims at 30 of the extent of systems are effectively conserved and managed GIS and remote sensing play a key role in being able to track changes over time for reporting to these two targets of Goal A The use of GIS and remote sensing in mapping and typing of Inland Waters for South Africa will be presented, demonstrating progress and challenges with ongoing projects Challenges in the reporting to these targets will be raised, both from a South African and global perspective.

Dr Heidi van Deventer is a principal researcher at Natural Resources Enabling Infrastructure Professional Services of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research ( She focuses on the use of Geographical Information Systems ( and Earth Observation ( technology or Remote Sensing ( for the mapping, classification, and monitoring of Inland Waters for the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, related to both estuarine and freshwater ecosystems.

Dr van Deventer's presentation is available via this link. Please click here to access the recording of her presentation.  

 

2022

Quarter 1: Prof Kerry Sink

30 March, 13:00-14:00 via Zoom and Venue (Hybrid event)

Deep Secrets, Deep Forests and Deep Connections: Progress and Plans in Advancing Marine Ecosystem Protection in South Africa

Professor Sink is a principal scientist and the marine programme manager at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and serves as an associate professor at Nelson Mandela University.

This presentation draws from 16 years of team work to improve marine ecosystem protection in South Africa. Prof Sink shared stories, imagery, and lessons from efforts to classify and map marine ecosystems, engage stakeholders and build the knowledge base to support the development of an effective and fair Marine Protected Area (MPA) network. These lessons included the value of systematic conservation planning, recognising, and addressing stakeholder complexity and the value of transdisciplinary research. Prof Sink has shared research results and plans from work undertaken through the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme including cruises to sample proposed and established protected ateas, map and manage Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems and better address connectivity in MPA expansion efforts.

Prof Sink's presentation is available via this link. Please click here to access the recording of her presentation.  

 

Quarter 2: Dr Christo Rautenbach

06 June, 13:00-14:00 via Zoom and Venue (Hybrid event)

Modelling of low- and high frequency sea level variability and their drivers around the southern African coast

Dr Rautenbach has completed two PhDs, the first in Applied Mathematics and the second in Physical Oceanography, with a broad range of numerical modelling experience. His main interests are coastal and ocean hydro- and wave dynamics. Dr Rautenbach has over 10 years experience as a senior scientist in the disciplines of operational physical oceanography, coastal engineering and coastal dynamics research. Dr Rautenbach is currently a senior scientist at the New Zealand, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Centre for Coasts and Estuaries and a Research Associate at the CMR.

Recent surveys indicate that marine operational forecasting is becoming increasingly important due the pressure to manage impacts associated with our changing climate. The methods with which forecasts are being produced are also changing as computational power is becoming more accessible. Nevertheless, understanding and improving the incorporation of oceanographic dynamics, underpinning hind- and forecasting models, will remain fundamental to the accurate prediction of physical ocean and coastal dynamics. Numerous recent studies have investigated current and possible future Southern Ocean dynamics. However, these dynamics are under studied in the continental shelf areas of southern Africa. Dr Rautenbach presented on how his study aimed to address this knowledge gap and will report results of a methodical exploration of water level and wave dynamics in these waters.

Dr Rautenbach's presentation is available via this link. Please click here to access the recording of his presentation.  

 

Quarter 3: Dr Ernita Flynn

26 September, 13:00-14:00 via Zoom and Venue (Hybrid event)

Science-policy links for coastal research: an urban, multi-level governance perspective

The science community’s contract with society puts a premium on knowledge generation to support societal well-being. In a world of climate change impacts, pressure on ecosystem services and unprecedented levels of urbanization, the importance of informed action at the level of local and sub-national governments is gaining traction in the global policy arena. This evolving and increasingly impactful world of sub-national sustainability policy relies on new knowledge to inform policy and action. But, how does science get to influence this complex space across different levels of urban sustainability policy from the local, to national to global? Using mainly coastal examples, this presentation offers reflections from two ICLEI scientists, focused on the supply of and demand for science in a complex, multi-level governance policy context.

Following initial training in ecology and conservation, Dr Flynn’s interests and work have focused on the design and implementation of research in the fields of invasive species, adaptive management, biodiversity mainstreaming and environmental stewardship, over a period of 25 years. She has a particular interest in estuary social-ecological systems and approaches that incorporate nature and biodiversity into urban planning and governance in developing country contexts. Dr Flynn holds a PhD in Environment and Development from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Dr Flynn's presentation is available via this link. Please click here to access the recording of his presentation. 

 

2021

Quarter 1: Dr Olivier Bousquet

3 March, 13:00-14:00 via Zoom

Research activities in atmospheric, oceanic, marine ecology and climate sciences in the SWIO: Examples of recent projects initiated in RĂ©union Island

Over the last five years, the University of RĂ©union Island, in collaboration with the European Union and numerous French and international research organisations, developed several ambitious and original research programmes in the fields of oceanic, atmospheric and climate sciences, and marine ecology. These include the ReNovRisk Project (impact of tropical cyclone activity on the inhabited territories of the SWIO basin at present and future horizons), SPY and STORM (use of seabirds and turtles as oceanographic samplers to collect hydrographic data in the western Indian Ocean), and IOGA4MET (monitoring the water vapour field and sea level rise on a regional scale), amonst others. The aim of this presentation was to provide an overview of the objectives and preliminary results of these major research projects, and to discuss other research activities and upcoming funding opportunities, to develop ocean science research programmes in the tropical and subtropical western Indian Ocean.

Dr Bousquet is the Director of Research for the French Ministry of Sustainable Development (MTES), and a Research Associate with the CMR.

Dr Bousquet's presentation is available via this link. Please click here to access the recording of his presentation.  

 

Quarter 2: Prof Rose Boswell

22 June, 13:00-14:00 via Zoom

Professor Rosabelle (Rose) Boswell is an anthropologist and a poet. She serves on the editorial board of SHIMA, a global journal on maritime societies. She has written several books, as well as more than 30 sole-authored papers on heritage, identity, sensory ethnography and the Indian Ocean World.

Prof Boswell holds the DSI-NRF Research Chair for Ocean Cultures and Heritage at the Nelson Mandela University.

In this seminar, Professor Boswell discussed the role of art and the senses in indigenous forms of ocean conservation. The presentation draws on the work of two artists who featured in the One Ocean Hub (OOH) Art and the Oceans webinar held during the UN World Ocean Week in 2020. Prof. Boswell discusses the sensorial nature of art and human beings, as well as the role that art can play in transforming ocean governance. It is argued human artistic endeavour is important to ocean conservation and should be considered in national ocean conservation plans and policy. By using art to leverage human sensory expression, ocean conservation advocates can refine and produce contextually relevant communication for ocean conservation. Recognising the senses and arts is fundamental to reorienting humanity as it enters a post-anthropocentric age, which is marked by dramatic ecological change.

Prof Boswell’s presentation is available via this link. Please click here to access the recording of her presentation.

 

Quarter 3: Dr Jean Harris

6 October, 11:00-12:00 via Zoom

Dr Jean Harris directs WILDOCEANS, the marine programme of the WILDTRUST, an NGO focused on biodiversity protection and building socio-ecological resilience in Southern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean.

Over the last 7 years, the classic research vessel RV Angra Pequena has been used for offshore research cruises along the east coast of South Africa, and up into Mozambique, Tanzania and Comoros. She has been the platform for some of the first mesophotic surveys (40-250m) in South Africa and in the WIO region. Equipment deployments, supported the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) team, have included the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (ACEP) Remotely Operated Video, Stereo BRUVs, plankton nets, drop cameras, oceanographic instruments and multibeam and boomer geoscience work. The team have also found and filmed coelacanths in sub-marine canyons on three cruises to the iSimangaliso MPA.  She is also the ocean home for the Ocean Stewards initiative, providing opportunity for young marine scientists to go to sea and to engage directly with scientists.

Dr Harris’s presentation is available via this link. Please click here to access the recording of her presentation.