MSc opportunity: Habitat features and nursery function in a proposed rocky shore MPA

MSc opportunity: Habitat features and nursery function in a proposed rocky shore MPA

An MSc opportunity is available for students with a background in aquatic zoology or botany

A no-take MPA along a 2 km stretch of rocky shore is being proposed in Jeffrey’s Bay (Jeffrey’s Bay Marine Rock Reserve) for an initial two year period. The “2 for 2” Marine Nature Reserve initiative, under the Jeffrey’s Bay Surf Alliance, aims to create a sustainable environment that benefits both the community and ecosystem. In this project we will sample macroalgae (species assemblage, cover), macro-invertebrates (abundance and biomass) and fish (abundance, behaviour and size structure) within shallow sublittoral reef (<1m – 2m) at sites within the proposed reserve and compare results with sublittoral reef (<1m – 2m) that is currently being sampled outside of the reserve. Results from this project will be used to support the establishment of the Marine Rock Reserve.

This project is available from 2025 with full running costs, but the selected student will have to apply to the National Research Foundation for bursary support (most institutional deadlines are near the end of June 2024). The MSc will be based in Gqeberha at Nelson Mandela University’s Ocean Sciences Campus. Potential applicants should be willing and able to work in the sea – up to hip / wading depth. The application process will close once a suitable candidate has been identified.

If you are interested in applying please submit 1) a covering email detailing your research interests, experience and interest in the project and 2) Your latest academic transcript to Prof Nicola James (, Dr Gavin Rishworth ( and Dr Paul-Pierre Steyn (

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