South Africa has extensive marine biodiversity with over 10 000 marine species within 150 diverse ecosystems. The oceans economy also contributes 4.2% to the country’s economy and the marine environment is key in supporting coastal livelihoods. Threats of overfishing, pollution and the effects of intensifying climate change impact marine resources and the overall functioning of the marine environment. Understanding marine systems, interactions with and within it and threats and opportunities is key to safe guarding the health of the marine environment and associated biodiversity.
Marine scientists engage with climate change scientists, marine engineers, other natural science professionals and coastal communities. They work between an office, laboratory and ocean and coastal sites where research can be done over weeks or months at a time.
A comprehensive and extensive knowledge of the marine environment and an understanding of the social and economic interactions within and surrounding it, is needed by marine scientists, along with:
Plan and undertake laboratory and field-based research
Record, analyse and interpret data from biological and physical processes
Report on and present research findings
Advise on and make input into maritime policies
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, community-based and development organisations and private consultancies.