MAPRU Members


Pierre PistoriusProf Pierre Pistorius
Head of Unit
Professor, Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela University


Maëlle ConnanDr Maëlle Connan
Research Associate, Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela University

Research interests: Trophic ecology of marine top predators from the tropics to high latitudes


Greg HofmeyrDr Greg Hofmeyr
Curator: Marine Mammals, Port Elizabeth Museum

Research interests: behavioural ecology, ecology, demography, human-animal interactions, morphology, pinnipeds, marine mammals, Western Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean


Dr Stephen Kirkman
Research Associate, Oceans and Coasts, Department of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Affairs, Cape Town

Research interests: marine mammal ecology, behavioural ecology, marine biodiversity, marine protected areas (MPAs), ecologically or biologically significant areas (EBSAs), Benguela ecosystem, Southern Ocean.


Prof Mandy Lombard

Research Associate, Marine Spatial Planning Research Chair, Nelson Mandela University

Research interests: conservation planning research, terrestrial and marine protected areas, conservation, animal welfare and ethics, ecosystem-based management



Lorien PichegruDr Lorien Pichegru
Research fellow, Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela University

Research interests: seabird foraging ecology and life history traits in relation to prey availability and local competition with industrial fisheries


Dr Ryan Reisinger
Associate member, Centre Etudes Biologique de Chizé, France

Research interests: Foraging ecology of marine top predators, with a focus of those occurring in the Southern Ocean


Malcolm SmaleDr Malcolm Smale
Curator Emeritus, Port Elizabeth Museum at Bayworld
Research interests: Biology and feeding ecology of marine apex predators, with a focus on sharks. The use of Port Elizabeth Museum fish otolith and cephalopod beak collections for prey identification has allowed specific identification of prey taken by marine predators. The use of ultrasonic and satellite telemetry, and stable isotopes analyses has broadened our knowledge of the movements, ranges and ecological roles of various apex predators.

Dr  Ralph Vanstreels
Associate member, Instituto de Pesquisa e Reabilitação de Animais Marinhos, Brasil
Research interests: Health parameters as a tool to study the ecology of marine apex predators, especially seabirds. Medicine, epidemiology and pathology of diseases that affect seabirds, especially external and blood parasites. Mass mortality events of seabirds and their impacts for conservation.





Dr Alistair McInnesDr Alistair McInnes
Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Zoology, NMU
Research interests: influence of marine bio-physical processes on at-sea performance of foraging seabirds, functional relationships between foraging effort and prey supplies, novel approaches to marine ecosystem management.


Dr Florian OrgeretDr Florian Orgeret
Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Zoology, NMU
"Comparisons of marine top predators distribution and behaviour between French and South African subantarctic islands" Florian_Orgeret


Dr Giannina Passuni
Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Zoology, NMU
"Bottom-up influence of climate change on endangered marine top predators via trophic coupling and retroactive top-down influence of these predators on their environment."


Theoni PhotopoulouDr Theoni Photopoulou
Post-doctoral fellow, Institute for Coastal and Marine Research, NMU


Andréa Thiebault

Dr Andréa Thiebault
Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Zoology, NMU
"Social interactions among foraging seabirds"


Dr Chris OosthuizenDr Chris Oosthuizen
Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Zoology, NMU
Research interests: Marine predator ecology, with a focus on seabirds, seals and cetaceans inhabiting sub-Antarctic and Antarctic ecosystems. 




Jonathan BothaJonathan Botha
"A regional assessment of foraging and trophic ecology of the Cape fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus)"


Tegan Carpenter-KlingTegan Carpenter-Kling
“Ocean utilization of marine top predators at the Prince Edward Archipelago”


Danielle FifeDanielle Fife
"Tracking trace elements (including heavy metals) in seabird communities using stable isotopes and fatty acids"


Danielle Keys

"The link between foraging and demography of wandering albatrosses"





Katharina Reusch

"Foraging ecology of kelp gulls in natural and anthropogenically modified environments"





Dr Alejandra Vargas Fonseca
“Abundance, distribution and population genetic structure of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) along the southeast coast of South Africa”



Shamiso Banda

"Foraging ecology of sooty albatrosses and their interaction with fisheries"





Ilana Engelbrecht
"Individual foraging specialisation in Cape gannets breeding at Bird Island, Algoa Bay"


Kuhle HlatiKuhle Hlati
"Assessing spatio-temporal patterns of cetacean occurrence in the south-east coast of South Africa, using synchronised automated acoustic and visual monitoring systems


 Lillina Ruiters

"King penguins at Marion Island: Inter-annual spatial variability in foraging and trophic ecology"





Makabongwe Sigqala
Decadal trends in the diet of marine top predators on Marion Island"



 Plaxedes RukuniPlaxedes

"Integration of functional diversity indices as proxies to evaluate the stability of the pelagic food web leading to the Afican penguin (Spheniscus demersus)"





Kezia Bowmaker-Falconer

"Acoustic signatures in the vocalizations of breeding Cape gannets"





Melissa Duflot

"The trophic ecology of grey-headed albatrosses on Marion Island"





Sarah Hawkes

"Assessing the functional response of the African penguin Speniscus demersus to variations in local fish abundance"






Michelle CaputoMichelle Caputo | PhD | Rhodes University
"Occurrence and fine-scale population structure of delphinids off the Wild Coast of South Africa, and their connectivity to adjacent population"