Presenter

Josie South

Dr Josie South

Ph.D.Queens University - Belfast

Biography

I completed my BSc. Hons and PhD at Queen’s University Belfast, where I worked on predicting the ecological impact of invasive lionfish in the Caribbean regarding habitat complexity and MPAs. My PhD was funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to predict and quantify the possible threat to Northern Irish sea fisheries regarding invasive species and climate change. I am currently a post-doc with the inland fisheries and freshwater research team at the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity.

I am interested in what things eat and why. Trophic interactions have implications for wider ecosystem functioning as well as understanding rules governing community assemblages.

I predict and quantify the ecological impact exerted by established and emerging aquatic invaders across Southern Africa. This is done through phenomenological methods (functional response analysis) and mechanistic work (behavioural assays and functional morphology). I am also interested in how abiotic factors mediate predatory performance and have a collaborative project looking to understand how aquatic contaminants can enhance or depress predation dynamics. Further, my work revolves around finding nature-based mitigation solutions such as habitat restoration and enhancing biotic resistance of native communities.

I am leading the side of the freshwater invasion of the WWF Upper Zambezi project. We just finished the first strategic assessment of southern Africa's redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) invasion.

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