Biology and ecology of fishes in southern African estuaries
Professor Alan Whitfield, Chief Scientist at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), is a leading estuarine ecologist with a particular interest in the biology and ecology of fishes within these environments.Most of his earlier studies during the 1970s were focused on the feeding biology of fishes in KwaZulu-Natal estuaries and this was later extended in the 1980s to the Western Cape where he also developed skills in larval fish ecology.When Alan moved to the J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology in 1987 he broadened his interests to include the importance of estuaries in fish life cycles, as well as the monitoring of human impacts on various fish communities. The move to Grahamstown also facilitated an increasing involvement with postgraduate students, some of whom are now in senior positions at universities and research institutes.Professor Whitfield has developed strong international linkages in the field of estuarine ecology and continues to pursue a major research interest on the role of river flow in the functioning of estuaries.He is an “A” rated scientist on the NRF rating system, the recipient of the JDF Gilchrist Memorial Medal for contributions to South African marine science, an Honorary Professor at Rhodes University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.
Becker, A., Coppinger, C. & Whitfield, A.K. 2012. Influence of tides on assemblages and behaviour of fishes associated with shallow seagrass edges and bare sand. Marine Ecology Progress Series 456, 187-199.
Bennett, R.H., Cowley, P.D., Childs, A.-R. & Whitfield, A.K. 2012. Area-use patterns and diel movements of white steenbras Lithognathus lithognathus in a temporarily open/closed estuary, inferred from acoustic telemetry and long-term seine-netting data. African Journal of Marine Science 34(1), 81-91.
Durand, J.-D., Shen, K.-N., Chen, W.-J., Jamandre, B.W., Blel, H., Diop, K., Nirchio, M., Garcia de León, F.J., Whitfield, A.K., Chang, C.-W. & Borsa, P. 2012. Systematics of the grey mullets (Teleostei: Mugiliformes: Mugilidae): Molecular phylogenetic evidence challenges two centuries of morphology-based taxonomy. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 64(1), 73-92.
Harrison, T.D. & Whitfield, A.K. 2012. Fish trophic structure in estuaries, with particular emphasis on estuarine typology and zoogeography. Journal of Fish Biology 81, 2005 -2029.
Lombarte, A., Gordoa, A., Whitfield, A.K., James, N.C. & Tuset, V.M. 2012. Ecomorphological analysis as a complementary tool to detect changes in fish communities following major perturbations in two South African estuarine systems. Environmental Biology of Fishes 94(4), 601-614.
Pillay, D., Williams, C. & Whitfield, A.K. 2012. Indirect effects of bioturbation by the burrowing sandprawn Callichirus kraussi on a benthic foraging fish, Liza richardsonii. Marine Ecology Progress Series 453, 151-158.
Reddy, P., James, N.C., Whitfield, A.K. & Cowley, P.D. 2012. Marine connectivity and fish length frequencies of selected species in two adjacent temporarily open/closed estuaries in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. African Zoology 46(2), 239-245.
Sheppard, J.N., Whitfield, A.K., Cowley, P.D. & Hill, J.M. 2012. Effects of altered estuarine submerged macrophyte bed cover on the omnivorous Cape stumpnose, Rhabdosargus holubi. Journal of Fish Biology 80(3), 705-712.
Whitfield A.K., Bate G.C., Adams J.B., Cowley P.D., Froneman P.D., Gama P.T., Strydom N.A., Taljaard S., Theron A.K., Turpie J.K., van Niekerk L. & Wooldridge T.H. 2012. A review of the ecology and management of temporarily open/closed estuaries in South Africa, with particular emphasis on river flow and mouth state as primary drivers of these systems. African Journal of Marine Science 34(2), 163 - 180.
Whitfield, A.K., Elliott, M., Basset, A., Blaber, S.J.M. & West, R.J. 2012. Paradigms in estuarine ecology – A review of the Remane diagram with a suggested revised model for estuaries. Estuarine, Coastal & Shelf Science 97, 78-90.
Whitfield, A.K., Panfili, J. & Durand, J-D. 2012. A global review of the cosmopolitan flathead mullet Mugil cephalus Linnaeus1758 (Teleostei: Mugilidae), with emphasis on the biology, genetics, ecology and fisheries aspects of this apparent species complex. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 22(3), 641-681.