Dr Kerry-Ann van der Walt

Dr Kerry-Ann var der Walt
Dr Kerry-Ann var der Walt

Research Interests:

Evaluating the thermal physiology (resiliency) of early life stages of fish and invertebrates under the effects of climate change in urban coastal systems using green eco-engineering

Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow: South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity

Dr Kerry-Ann van der Walt Joined NRF-SAIAB as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2020, but has been affiliated with NRF-SAIAB since 2011 as a student. Her research focuses primarily on the eco-physiological challenges associated with man-made structures in coastal zones on early life stage assemblages of marine organisms and strives towards developing nature-based solutions that improve the complexity of harbour seawalls and ultimately increase the biodiversity value of urban coastlines.

Dr Kerry-Ann van der Walt’s research aims, firstly, to produce knowledge of an organism’s response to anthropogenic-mediated changes within coastal habitats by evaluating their thermal tolerance and performance (physiology). Secondly, it aims to monitor the use of developed nature-based structures by early and late life stages of coastal fish and invertebrates in coastal urban habitats using traditional and innovative approaches such as non-invasive remote underwater video (RUV) cameras and genomic metabarcoding (eDNA).

This research will help improve our understanding of the effect of temperature variability as well as provide insights into the value of nature-based solutions in urban coastal ecosystems, particularly in South Africa, where there is currently very limited ecophysiologically-linked climate change research and very few implemented nature-based research projects conducted along the urban rocky shores which are important areas for biodiversity as they act as important nursery areas.



Institution and location


BSc. Zoology, Ichthyology and Fisheries Science

Rhodes University, Makhanda


BSc. (Hons) Ichthyology and Fisheries Science

Rhodes University, Makhanda


MSc. (cum laude) Ichthyology

Rhodes University, Makhanda


PhD. Ichthyology

Rhodes University, Makhanda



Google Scholar Profile



Twitter: @Kerbear_vdw