Celiwe Yekani

PhD Candidate, Marine Biology

BSc, Walter SisuluUniversity (2010)

MSc Walter Sisulu University (2018)

Office: 1022, First floor, Life Sciences Building

Email: g18y0001@campus.ru.ac.za

Supervisor: Prof. Christopher McQuaid

Co-supervisor: William Froneman

Thesis Title:

How does trait diversity influence benthic species interactions and primary production in Temporary open/closed estuaries.


During her Honours degree, one of Celiwe's major courses was terrestrial ecology, although she enjoyed it, she soon realized that the field was not for her. For her MSC she looked at the diversity of seaweeds and size structure of limpets in four nature reserves along the Wild Coast of South Africa. Limpets and Seaweeds are mostly found in the rocky intertidal shores, an interface between land and the sea and because of this; species that inhabit in this ecosystem are faced with various harsh physical factors such as high temperatures, high salinity, sand inundation, wind and wave action) and biological factors (competition for space, predation etc.). This was all a new concept to Celiwe, but she immediately fell in love with the dynamics of this ecosystem and therefore the study. Her PhD will be investigating estuarine species functional traits (predation, herbivory, bioturbation etc.) which are characteristics of organisms that influence performance or survival. This will be accomplished by looking at species food webs (using stable isotope analysis), trophic interactions and trophic cascades in the selected temporarily open/closed estuaries.

Research Interests:
  • Estuarine species functional traits (e.g. predation, herbivory, bioturbation)
  • Estuarine food webs
  • Trophic cascades
  • Stable isotope analysis

My long term research interests are to try and document various unique examples about the ecology, behaviour and physiology of estuarine and marine intertidal species, information which could assist in the management, conservation and protection of these ecosystems.


Last Modified: Wed, 06 Mar 2019 12:08:17 SAST