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PhD Opportunity in South Africa

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (South-Africa) is looking for master and PhD students to conduct a study on African eel ecology (i.e. recruitment, movement & habitat use and migration).

A position is available within the Aquatic Ecosystem Research Programme (AER). The Aquatic
Ecosystem Research Programme (AER) is an applied research program of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in collaboration with the University of Mpumalanga and Rivers of Life. The AER is dedicated to the
development of inland scientific aquatic ecology research and capacity development through formal research outputs and student training.

The goal of this study is to enhance the conservation of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) freshwater eels, and their contribution to the livelihoods of vulnerable human communities through sustainable fisheries. Our aim is to characterize the risk of multiple stressors to the largely unknown life cycle ecology of our local eels and their contribution to subsistence fisheries in the region. This project will include case studies in Kenya, Mozambique and in South Africa.

The successful candidate will focus on eel escapement and fish community in the Thukela catchment in
South Africa and will be based in Pietermaritzburg at University of KwaZulu-Natal.


  • B.Sc., Hons. degree in biology, ecology, environmental sciences, zoology or similar,
  • Valid passport,
  • Willingness to conduct field work and participate on surveys with other Post-graduate students within the research group
  • Drivers licence (experience driving 4x4s and towing trailers/boats would be an advantage)
  • Enthusiastic, punctual, hard-working and pro-active,
  • Skills in GIS and R would be an advantage.

All projects include competitive bursaries and project operational costs. Applicants should submit a covering
letter with motivation for a project, a CV, copies of their academic transcripts, and contact information for at
least two references.

Please apply to and

International students are welcome to apply.

Project start early 2020.
Application will be open until we find a suitable candidate