The Marine Apex Predator Research Unit (MAPRU) is a research unit within the CMR. It was established in 2016 and is managed by Professor Pierre Pistorius. 

Objectives include:

  • Conduct research on marine top predators, including seabirds, seals, sharks and cetaceans, particularly in relation to global change, conservation and sustainable resource management.
  • Provide learning opportunities and train postgraduate students in various aspects involving marine top predators.
  • Be involved in various forms of engagement, using charismatic predator species to stimulate public interest in marine biodiversity and conservation.

MAPRU focuses research activities on marine top predators as a group, addressing questions of fundamental and applied interest by drawing on a range of disciplines. Many marine top predator species are threatened and research undertaken has a strong conservation focus. At the upper limit of the food chain, marine top predators are generally good inficators of global change as well as areas of high productivity. Marine top predators, at the species and community level, are therefore also used to better understand ecosystem changes and for conservation-based spatial planning.

Click here to see MAPRU's official Nelson Mandela University website.


Please note the Research Diving Unit is temporarily closed. Queries can be directed to

Research diving at the Nelson Mandela University dates back to 1974, and has grown substantially since those early days. In addition to servicing the needs of subtidal marine research projects, the RDU now also provides diver training and contracted diving support for external projects.