Projects on offer from post-doctoral to BSc. (Honours) level:

If you have an interest in ecosystem level ecology, and in learning to understand how ecosystems function, systems analysis and dynamics, contact us. In our lab we engage in estuarine and marine fieldwork, network analysis and ecosystem modelling to understand the function and dynamics of ecosystems. 


Current students:




Gemma Gerber. PhD candidate. Global change in estuaries investigated through ecosystem models. Supervisor: U. Scharler




Karabo Thema. MSc candidate. Spatial differences in ecosystem function, a modelling study. Supervisor: U. Scharler





Dikarabo Rafedile (aka Fifi). MSc candidate. Resilience of mesozooplankton communitites in estuaries. Supervisor: U. Scharler, H. Jerling (UniZulu)






Andile Nkosi. MSc candidate. Resilience of benthic communitites in estuaries. Supervisor: U. Scharler, F. MacKay (ORI)





Ben Brooker. PhD candidate. System limits in estuaries. Supervisor: U. Scharler





Chris Waspe. PhD candidate. A network Analysis framework for Southern African coastal aquatic ecosystems. Supervisors:  U. Scharler, B. Fath (Towson University)




Fru A Nche-Fambo. PhD candidate. Microplankton dynamics in relation to freshwater input and pollution. Supervisor: U. Scharler





Kendyl le Roux. PhD candidate. Energy flows in coastal marine ecosystems. Supervisors: U. Scharler, D. Glassom





Amy Shurety. MSc candidate. Resilience in ecosystems. Supervisor: U. Scharler





Thembeka Radebe. MSc candidate. Variability of estuarine macrozoobenthos communities. Supervisor: U. Scharler.





Kajal Lechman. MSc candidate. the role of zooplankton in the Mdloti estuarine ecosystem. Supervisor(s): Dr. U. Scharler, Dr. H. Jerling (University of Zululand).




Dane Garvie. MSc candidate. the role of zooplankton in the Mlalazi estuarine ecosystem. Supervisor(s): Dr. U. Scharler, Dr. H. Jerling (University of Zululand).






Past postgraduate students/post-docs: 

 2015-2017. Morgana Tagliarolo. Post-doc. Assessing spatial and temporal variability of carbon fluxes using a network analysis approach. U. Scharler.

2011-2015. Katrin Tirok. Post-doc. Modelling of plankton dynamics in St. Lucia. U. Scharler, D. Stretch.

2013. Morag Ayers. Post-doc. Robustness of networks and ecosystems. U. Scharler.



2013-2015. Reinhardt Scholtz. PhD candidate. Geostatistical Analysis of Integrated Ecosystem Monitoring Data. Supervisors: G Kiker (University of Florida), U. Scharler, H. Mwambi (UKZN).

2010-2013. Kelly Ortega-Cisneros. PhD. Estuarine ecosystem function. Supervisors: U. Scharler, A. Whitfield (SAIAB). 

2011-2013. Ntuthuko Masikane. PhD. Development of a sediment toxicity test with an endemic amphipod. Supervisors: B. Newman (CSIR), U. Scharler.

2009-2013. Robynne Chrystal. PhD. Hydrodynamics and network analysis of St. Lucia. Supervisors: D. Stretch, U. Scharler.

2009-2012. Morag Ayers. PhD.  Ecosystem modelling of the Natal Bight. Supervisor: U. Scharler. 



2011-2013. Madonna Vezi. MSc. Phosphorus distribution in estuarine food webs. Supervisor: U. Scharler.

2012-2013. Fru A Nche-Fambo. MSc. Microplankton dynamics in St. Lucia. Supervisors: U. Scharler, K. Tirok. 

2010-2013. Travis Kunnen. MSc. Bacteria biomass and productivity in the Natal Bight. Supervisors: D. Muir, U. Scharler.

2010-2011. Elisa Inguane-Vicente. MSc. Aquaculture in the South west Indian Ocean region. Supervisors: U. Scharler, J. Sara.  

2011. Vuyiswa Radebe. MSc. Coastal Dune activities. Supervisors: U. Scharler, J. Harris (EKZN Wildlife).


BSc (Honours)

2018. Melissa Ewels. Influence of the Thukela River on the Thukela Bank. Supervisor: U. Scharler

2018. Abigail Rohde. Meiofauna communities in the Mlalazi estuary. Supervisor: U Scharler.

2017. Khutso Ramalepe. Microplankton community structure in the Mdloti estuary. Supervisor: U. Scharler

2017. Senine Naidoo. Biomass and productivity pyramids of food webs. Supervisor: U. Scharler

2016. Corrine Joseph. Catches of target and bycatch species in the Zinkwazi and Blythedale bather protection nets of the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board from 1978 - 2014. Supervisors: U. Scharler, M. Dicken (KZN Sharks Board).

2015. Kajal Lechman. BSc (Honours). Modelling the impact of changes in riverflow of the Thukela on the Thukela Bank ecosystem. Supervisors: U. Scharler.

2015. Dane CD Garvie. BSc (Honours). Variability and stability of estuarine zooplankton. Supervisors: U. Scharler, H. Jerling (University of Zululand).

2013. Divesh Sookdeo. BSc (Honours). Resuspension of plankton in Lake St. Lucia. Supervisors: U. Scharler, Dr. K. Tirok.

2012. Snethemba Kunene. BSc (Honours). Plankton biomass distribution in estuaries. Supervisor: U. Scharler. 

2011. Ropa Moyo. BSc (Honours). Microplankton abundance and biomass in the Natal Bight. Supervisor: U. Scharler.

2009. Kendyl le Roux. BSc (Honours). Macrobenthos community distribution in Mhlanga. Supervisors: F. MacKay (Oceanographic Research Institute), U. Scharler.

2009. Keren Worlock. BSc (Honours). Macrobenthos biomass distribution in Mhlanga. Supervisors: U. Scharler, F. MacKay (Oceanographic Research Institute).