South Africa’s marine environment is rich in biodiversity, with over 10 000 recorded marine plant and animal species and over 150 distinct ecosystem types with habitats ranging from cool-water kelp forests to subtropical coral reefs. However, overfishing, unsustainable fishing and pollution exacerbated by the effects of climate change, threaten these ecological systems and their capacity to support livelihoods. Investigation of marine habitats, populations and interactions within marine ecosystems assists us in rehabilitation and sustainability actions within the marine environment.
Marine ecologists can work within open, deep-sea or coastal marine ecosystems and may work underwater using scuba diving gear. They can analyse collected data in laboratories, returning to an office environment to write up reports and findings.
Marine ecologists require an extensive knowledge of marine biodiversity and ecosystems and will further benefit from:
Conduct field, laboratory and theoretical research
Provide models and analysis to establish influencing factors on the marine ecosystem
Develop conservation strategies and projects for ecosystems under threat
Advise stakeholders and publish findings for sustainable ecosystem management
B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Marine Biology at UCT and UKZN
B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Biological Sciences specialising in Botany or Zoology at all universities
Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Oceanography at CPUT
National, provincial and local government.
NGOs and private consultancies.
Aquariums, museums and zoos.