I distinctly recall learning the word ichthyology at age 12 and am now ecstatic to be pursuing a research career in this field. I developed early interests in fish keeping as a personal hobby since the age of 10 – including breeding the freshwater tropical loach Pangio kuhlii, known to be notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. I have a background in animal ecophysiology; studying the influence of anthropogenic impacts on vertebrate ecophysiology for my Masters, and rodent behaviour for my Honours degree. Both of which serve as a broader background for my current research interests on the link between fish physiology and behaviour. I have a profound interest in the use of physiological biomarkers to identify the coupled effects of exploitation and climate change on the survival (relating to aerobic scope and behavioural phenotype selection) of fished species. I am passionate about making a difference with my life and my goal is to not only contribute to conservation through preservation of South Africa’s line fishery, but conduct research that has a direct impact on South Africa’s society and economy.
Ecophysiology, thermal physiology, fish behaviour, global change
To assess the vulnerability of an important linefish species (Chrysoblephus laticeps), I will examine the link between aerobic scope and behavioural plasticity between a fished and unfished population, to further our understanding of the likely impacts of climate change on linefish – ultimately adding to the benefit of Marine Protected Areas as a climate change resilience tool.