UKZN hosts Marine Workshop on Echinoderms and Algae
Marine Biologists in the School of Life Sciences - Professor Ahmed Thandar, Dr Deborah Robertson-Andersson and Mr Gan Moodley - helped organise the Echinoderm and Algae Taxonomy Workshop on UKZN’s Westville campus.
The workshop, attended by about 40 participants from around South Africa, comprised both lectures and hands-on practical exercises dealing with the taxonomy of both echinoderms (marine spiny-skinned animals) and macroscopic algae.
The lectures were presented by Professor John Bolton of the University of Cape Town and eminent Belgian scientists, Professor Olivier de Clerck, Dr Yves Samyn and Dr Brigitte Segers. They were ably assisted by Dr Didier van den Spiegel of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium and Dr Rob Anderson of the Department of Water Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries in Cape Town, and UKZN’s Professor Ahmed Thandar.
The first day of the workshop dealt with an introduction to the Expedition to South Africa, Principles of Taxonomy and working with taxonomic data, and Echinoderm taxonomy, while the second day was devoted to Algal species delimitation, Marine Biogeography of South Africa, and Algal taxonomy.
The workshop generated lively discussion on some of the main issues facing echinoderm and algal taxonomy in South Africa.
‘It was an absolute pleasure to meet with our Belgian and South African scientists, and in hosting them at our institution to exchange ideas with them, said Thandar. ‘We also wish to place on record our sincere thanks and appreciation to Mr Thumba Ganesan, who provided technical assistance during the workshop.’