Dr Taryn Murray

Dr Taryn Murray
Dr Taryn Murray

Research Interests:

Movement ecology and distribution patterns of aquatic animals

Position: Instrument Scientist, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity; Research Associate, Rhodes University

Dr Taryn Murray joined NRF-SAIAB as an instrument scientist in 2017. Her research examines the movement, ecology and distribution patterns of various aquatic animals along the coastline of South Africa, with the aim of understanding how animals interact with their environment, and producing outcomes relevant to management and conservation.

Dr Murray’s primary method of collecting movement information on aquatic animals is acoustic telemetry. This entails placing an acoustic transmitter which emits a signal (with varying battery life from three months to ten years) into or onto animals, and having that signal recorded by acoustic receivers deployed in estuaries or at sea. Using the recorded detections, she is able to describe various aspects of animal movements, including residency and site affinity, home range size, seasonal migratory behaviours, and habitat connectivity.

These studies have improved our understanding of the movements of some important fishery species along the South African coastline. Dr Murray’s most recent work focuses on movements of several mullet species in a permanently open estuary in the Eastern Cape, as well as the movements of several shark and ray species in False Bay and Algoa Bay (a multi-institutional project with Two Oceans Aquarium and Shark Spotters). One of the main aims of collecting movement data is to assist in planning conservation or management zones, particularly marine protected areas, and ecologically or biologically significant areas.



Institution and location


BSc. Ichthyology and Fisheries Science (cum laude), Geology

Rhodes University, Makhanda


BSc. (Hons) (cum laude) Ichthyology and Fisheries Science

Rhodes University, Makhanda


MSc. Fisheries Science

Rhodes University, Makhanda


PhD. Ichthyology

Rhodes University, Makhanda



Google Scholar Profile


Twitter: @murray_taryn and @ATAP_ZA

Facebook: ATAP – Tracking fish movements

Instagram: @atap_za

Dr Taryn Murray's ATAP Research Group