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Prof McQuaid awarded A rating

Date Released: Tue, 18 September 2012 16:00 +0200

Rhodes University’s Professor Christopher McQuaid was one of the 22 researchers to be awarded an A rating at a ceremony held in Cape Town last week.

The prestigious National Research Foundation (NRF) awards are an annual celbration of the country’s leading researchers who have been recognised by their peers for the impact, quality and the exemplary nature of their research outputs.

South Africa’s coastal regions and the Southern Ocean areas have provided Professor Christopher McQuaid with ample scope for research into areas of biology, supply-side ecology, invasion biology, phylogeography and upwelling. As a seasoned researcher, he has provided a steady output that has influenced much of what is understood about the Earth’s oceans.

Prof McQuaid’s work has addressed several aspects of the physical shaping of the biological world. His work has advanced the understanding of how frontal systems function in terms of trophic networks, and how temperature regimes, small and large hydrodynamics, intensity and frequency of upwelling, shifts in biogeographic boundaries and changes in competitive balances affect the interactions between invasive and indigenous species.

He served as director of the Southern Ocean Group (SOG) at Rhodes University for 20 years and was appointed South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Marine Ecosystem Research at Rhodes. He was the recipient of the Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor’s Junior and Senior Research Awards, two Ernest Oppenheimer Travelling Fellowships, and the Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.

Prof McQuaid has published four book chapters and 185 papers in a variety of local and international journals, including Science, Proceedings of the Royal Society of the UK, Ecology, South African Journal of Science, and Biology Letters.

In addition, he is a member of the Editorial Board for the South African Journal of Science and has made numerous keynote and plenary conference contributions. He has acted as external assessor for Universities such as Aberdeen, West Indies, Pretoria and Oregon State. His work has been featured on South African television as well as the BBC.

Prof McQuaid obtained his BSc, Honours and Doctorate in Zoology from the University of Cape Town. His primary research focuses on biological, Earth and marine sciences with specialisation in intertidal ecology and biological oceanography.

His career spans over more than thirty years, during which time he has served in a variety of roles including that of Senior Scientific Officer at UCT, Lecturer and Head of Department at Rhodes University, and Chief Scientific Officer for the Transglobe Expedition.

He was also a visiting Lecturer at the University of Wales’s Department of Biology and the University of St Andrews, as well as a Sir Kirby Laing Fellow at the University of Wales. He is currently a Visiting Research Professor at the University of Hong Kong.