UKZN Marine Science Students on the Crest at Bi-annual WIOMSA Symposium
Postgraduate students from the Marine Sciences Department attended the 8th (Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association) WIOMSA Scientific Symposium held in Maputo, Mozambique.
The UKZN team comprised 11 MSc and PhD students, presenting work on marine science topics from population genetics to community ecology and ecosystem food web modelling.
The theme for this year’s event was: “Science and Society: Building Partnerships for Action”.
Three students: Ms Kaylee Smit, Ms Jessica Escobar Porras and Mr Phanor Montoya presented their work orally, while the remainder of the team did poster presentations. The research presented by the UKZN students received significant interest and generated healthy debate.
Students had the opportunity to network with academia and students from Africa, Europe, and North America, and were also able to view the broader scope of marine science currently being done in the Western Indian Ocean.
As it was the first time many of the students had been at an international conference, the general mood was initially one of nervousness. Nevertheless, the welcoming and constructive criticism by members of the symposium was encouraging.
The highlight of the trip was four UKZN posters making it into the top 10 chosen from almost 300 presentations. UKZN’s Mr Ryan Van Rooyen won the best poster award with his entry titled: “Genetic and Morphological Variation of the Assimineids (Mollusca: Caenogastropopoda: Rissoidea) of the St Lucia Estuary, South Africa”.
UKZN Marine Biologist Dr Angus MacDonald thanked the School of Life Sciences together with WIOMSA for funding the trip. ‘It has truly been an exciting and an educational experience for us all,’ he said.
- Angus MacDonald