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Dr Olaf Weyl

Inland fisheries the major focus of new Research Chair at NRF-SAIAB

Inland fisheries are highly relevant in southern Africa because they provide an opportunity for socio-economic benefits including, jobs, rural livelihoods, food security and economic development based on the small-scale fishing and recreational fishing value chains. Sustainable development in this sector will require capacity to assess and manage fisheries to ensure sustainable utilisation and promote the economic and social well-being of the harvesting fisheries.

The DST/NRF Research Chair in Inland Fisheries and Freshwater Ecology was recently awarded to Dr Olaf Weyl, Principal Scientist in freshwater research at NRF-SAIAB. The overall goal of the Chair is to develop regional capacity and research on inland fisheries to support their sustainable development.

Research priorities will include better understanding of the biology, ecology and resilience of African freshwater fishes; understanding fish invasions and providing research support for the ecological, social and economic sustainability of South African inland fisheries.

NRF-SAIAB’s scientific leadership and expertise in freshwater aquatic biodiversity is vital to the national interest when dealing with issues arising from rapid and consistently increasing pressures put on the environment by human population growth and development. The award of this Research Chair will give increased impetus to this important research area.


Dr Olaf Weyl: http://www.saiab.ac.za/professor-olaf-weyl.htm

South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity - http://www.saiab.ac.za/

The South African Research Chairs Initiative: http://www.nrf.ac.za/division/rcce/instruments/research-chairs

National Research Foundation – http://www.nrf.ac.za/


The South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) was established in 2006 by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF). It is designed to attract and retain excellence in research and innovation at South African public universities through the establishment of Research Chairs with long-term investment of up to fifteen years. The main goal of the Initiative is to strengthen and improve research and innovation capacity and outputs, and produce high quality postgraduate students.

For more information on the Research Chair in Inland Fisheries and Freshwater Ecology please contact Professor Olaf Weyl:

Email: o.weyl@saiab.ac.za

Tel: +27 (0)46 6035834.


About SAIAB: Situated in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, SAIAB is a research facility of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and an internationally recognised centre for the study of aquatic biodiversity. Also an Associated Research Institute of Rhodes University, SAIAB is famous for its historical association with JLB Smith and the discovery of the enigmatic coelacanth, SAIAB’s houses the National Fish Collection and the largest library of books and journals on aquatic topics in Africa. Research focuses on Conservation Biology & Ecology and Molecular Biology & Systematics.

For more information on operations and programmes within SAIAB please visit http://www.saiab.ac.za/or contact Penny Haworth, Manager: Communications and Governance. saiab@saiab.ac.za; Tel: +27 (0)46 6035812.

Press Release