POGO Visiting Professorship 2011

Course title: 

Understanding Biodiversity of Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ) and methane seep environments and Emerging Technologies for Ocean Observations: CUFES (Continuous Underway Fish Egg Sampler) and LOPC (Laser Optical Plankton Counter)

Dates: 8 Jan to 1st July 2011

Visiting Professors: Prof. Lisa Levin and Prof. David Checkley, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

Hosts: Bronwen Currie, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and Anja Kreiner, National Marine Information and Research Centre, Namibia

Profs. Levin and Checkley were on sabbatical from SIO and based themselves at the National Marine Information and Research Centre (NatMIRC) in Swakopmund, Namibia for most of the six month period, but had a short visit to South Africa. The intention was for them to also spend some time in Angola but this was not possible due to visa difficulties.

One of the activities was an intensive seven day course with 37 students from the University of Namibia (UNAM), including lectures at UNAM in Windhoek on general marine ecology, bioinvasions, ocean observing, and climate change and fisheries, as well as a field trip to the Henties Bay marine facility where they sampled four salt ponds, reflecting a salinity gradient from 35 to 200 ppt. Measurements, collections, and observations included water and sediment properties, planktonic and benthic algae and invertebrates, and birds.

During their stay, Prof. Levin and Checkley also spent alot of time mentoring students and scientists, including their hosts. They also established a Friday afternoon lecture series at NatMIRC, on different aspects of the pelagic ecosystem of the Northern Benguela. They spent one week at the University of Cape Town, where they were hosted by Prof. Coleen Maloney. They taught, lectured and interacted with staff of the Zoology and Oceanography Departments.

After their return home, Lisa and David published an article in Nature Careers on their visiting professorship/sabbatical experience.

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