Aquatic invasive species cause damage worth billions of dollars: First global study on economic costs of aquatic invasive species published. The global movement of goods and people, in its modern form, has many unwanted side effects. One of these is that animal and plant species travel around the world with it. Often they fail to establish themselves in the ecosystems of the destination areas. Sometimes, however, due to a lack of effective management, they multiply to such an extent in the new environment that they become a threat to the entire ecosystem and economy. Thousands of alien species are currently documented worldwide. A quarter of them are in highly vulnerable, aquatic habitats. Read more about story
Why the Kruger Park is demolishing artificial water sources: Years of artificial water sources in the park have led to a number of ecological problems and landscape degradation. Strategically placed boreholes to cope with fluctuating rainfall patterns were first constructed in the Kruger National Park (KNP) as early as 1927. Now it is a programme the park is seeking to destroy. This is because scientists and conservationists have discovered that years of artificial water sources in the park have led to a number of ecological problems and landscape degradation. The project began in 1930, continuing until 1990. Boreholes, water troughs, concrete reservoirs and dams were constructed throughout the park to ensure all animals had access to water. Read more about project
SOUTHERN AFRICA DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY – GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE (2020), Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDEs) and Biodiversity in the Khakea/Bray Transboundary Aquifer: Groundwater plays an important role in sustaining below-ground and above-ground aquatic ecosystems. However, there is limited data that demonstrate the relationship between groundwater and Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDEs) to inform the sustainable management of the GDEs. In southern Africa, little research has been undertaken to delineate GDEs, assess their interactions with groundwater, or understand the impacts of anthropogenic changes to the groundwater systems. There is also a lack of biodiversity data specific to GDEs, as well as a lack of joint management of the transboundary aquifers in southern Africa. Read more about project
On the move: I have recently joined the School of Biology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Mpumalanga (Nelspruit, South Africa) with effect from 1 January 2021 as a Lecturer in Water Management. Looking forward to the exciting new post.
What's new in 2020: Excited to have joined the Editorial Board of Environmental Advances and also become Review Editor for Frontiers in Water - Water Quality
2020 Young African Researcher Award - Am super excited on winning the 2020 Young African Researchers Award, announced by the President of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) of Egypt. The award is in recognition my authenticity and quality of scientific research in the field of Water, Energy and Environmental Sciences. see PDF
Third Iso Lomso cohort of Fellows announced. The STIAS Research and Fellowship Programme Committee recently concluded its selection of the Iso Lomso cohort of fellows for 2019. Seven candidates were offered the prestigious three-year fellowship at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. They join the first cohort of five candidates and the second cohort of seven candidates to constitute the current STIAS Iso Lomso fellows. Read more
Southern African Society of Aquatic Scientists Bronze Medal Winner 2016: I was recently awarded the Southern African Society for Aquatic Scientists Bronze Medal 2016 at the yearly conference held at Skukuza, Kruger National Park (South Africa: 26-30 June). Many thanks to my best buddie, friend and work colleague Dr Ryan J Wasserman (insert) for nominating me for the award. See Link on story and SASAqS website.
FEATURED ARTICLE: A new species of copepod collected near Grahamstown has just been described (see published article by Saurez-Morales, Wasserman, Dalu 2015 in Crustaceana. Despite Grahamstown being a hotspot for Southern African aquatic biodiversity research, this little crustacean had managed to fly under the radar and avoid attention until recently. In June 2014, research collaborators from South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) and Rhodes University collected copepods from a temporary (ephemeral) pond on a farm just outside Grahamstown. Immediately suspecting that the species had not been described, samples were sent to Dr Eduardo Suárez-Morales, a freshwater copepod specialist based at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur in Mexico. The copepod was identified as belonging to the group “Paradiaptomus” and the genus “Lovenula”. The new species was named Lovenula raynerae Saurez-Morales, Wasserman, Dalu 2015, after Dr Nancy A Rayner for her outstanding contributions to the taxonomical knowledge of this particular group of copepods. Perhaps the most striking thing about Lovenula raynerae is its size (4 - 5 mm long). It is among the world’s largest freshwater copepods, and is likely the largest of all African copepods. See featured research on El Colegio De La Frontera Sur, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity and Water Wheel Magazine (July-August Issue, 2015) websites for more information on the recently discovered biggest known African freshwater copepod Lovenula raynerae Saurez-Morales, Wasserman, Dalu 2015.
Emerging River Professional Award (ERPA) Finalist: I was named a finalist for 2017 Emerging River Professional Award (ERPA) sponsored by OceanaGold Corporation presented by the International WaterCentre Alumni Network (IWCAN) and International River Foundation (IRF) on 19 September 2017 during the RiverSymposium and Environmental Flows Conference in Brisbane, 18-20 September 2017. Read more
Water Wise: TATENDA DALU, 31, published his first scientific article after completing a BSc honours degree at the University of Zimbabwe. Read full story on Rhodos, page 25. Special acknowledgement and thank you from the Vice Chancellor of Rhodes University Dr Sizwe Mabizela for my incredible research output over the course of the year. Read full letter
Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDEs) and Biodiversity in the Khakea/Bray Transboundary Aquifer: Groundwater plays an important role in sustaining below-ground and above-ground aquatic ecosystems. However, there is limited data that demonstrate the relationship between groundwater and Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDEs) to inform the sustainable management of the GDEs. In southern Africa, little research has been undertaken to delineate GDEs, assess their interactions with groundwater, or understand the impacts of anthropogenic changes to the groundwater systems. There is also a lack of biodiversity data specific to GDEs, as well as a lack of joint management of the transboundary aquifers in southern Africa. Read more about project
Check out these AMAZING bird pics from #BlackBirdersWeek!! Just a handful compiled by JoAnna (@JoAnnaScience). Follow her tag @JoAnnaScience for more on #BlackBirdersWeek. To see some cool pictures of birds by fellow black birders, follow the Link
Fighting for the conservation of even the less-charismatic species – Fellows’ seminar by Tatenda Dalu. Fighting for the conservation of even the less-charismatic species – Fellows’ seminar by Tatenda Dalu “Tourists don’t pay to see a crab,” said Tatenda Dalu of the Department of Ecology and Resource Management at the University of Venda. “Charismatic animals – like the big five – tend to receive the focus of conservation activities due to the tourist dollars they attract. Often the vital ecological role of the smaller organisms is ignored – for example, dragon flies are now used as important water-quality indicators. We only notice when there’s a crisis – like currently with the bee population. Crabs, especially the freshwater varieties, – no one knows much about them and their important ecological role is therefore overlooked.” Read more
Dr Tatenda Dalu receive the Zimbabwe Achievers Academic Excellence Award. University of Venda Senior Lecturer Dr Tatenda Dalu is also in line to receive an Honorary Academic award for his work and research projects on environmental pollution and conservation within aquatic ecosystems. Read story on Nehanda Radio, New Zimbabwe and ZimAchievers
Top Scholars in South Africa Honoured. Twenty of the country’s leading scholars and scientists were inaugurated as Members of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) at the annual Awards Ceremony on 10 October 2018. As the official Academy of South Africa, ASSAf has as core function to honour the country’s most outstanding scholars by electing them to Membership of the Academy. ASSAf Members are drawn from the full spectrum of disciplines. Read more
Studies from Africa are treated with disrespect‚ say South African academics. The academic old boy network must fall‚ Africans say in the August edition of the South African Journal of Science. Staff from Unisa and the University of Venda said international scientific journals were still guided by the legacy of imperialism and colonialism‚ meaning contributions from the Global South — particularly Africa — were treated with disrespect. “The stains of the colonial legacy still seem to manifest in the international publishing arena‚” said Mwazvita Dalu and Ashley Gunter‚ from Unisa’s geography department‚ and UV ecologist Tatenda Dalu. Read more from the TimesLIVE, BusinessLive and listen SAfm 104-107 podcast
Diatom of the month - December 2017: Water quality monitoring challenges by Luca Marazzi. Although water quality monitoring programmes extensively use diatoms in North America and Europe, this is not the case (yet) in emerging and developing countries. Dalu and Froneman (2016) reviewed diatom-based monitoring in sub-Saharan Africa, concluding that (i) much more training of new experts and financial resources to buy microscopes and identification guides are required to make the most of the ecological indicator properties of these algae; (ii) a stronger focus should be placed on multidisciplinary projects to quantify diatom species tolerances and ecological requirements and (iii) the extensive taxonomic literature (see Fig. 1) needs to be made more widely available, for example online. Read more