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Current Egagasini Projects

Monitoring the nearshore marine environment in Vleesbaai
Demersal trawl experimental closure
Offshore invertebrate monitoring and development of field identification guide
Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
Agulhas System Climate Array (ASCA)
Variability in the Southern Ocean
Key collaborators: SANAP, UCT This SANAP funded project was initiated to further understand the interaction of the (Southern Annular Mode) in the Southern Ocean with the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), its relationship with subtropical sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies and the resulting influence on Southern African climate. This project has now come to an end but two masters students (co-supervised by Juliet) graduated working on this project, one paper is in press and the other is undergoing corrections. Through this project SANAP also contributed to the Argo floats.
Algoa Bay Long Term Monitoring and Research Programme
Key collaborators: Elwandle and Egagasini but much collaboration from a variety of other institutes including HEI’s, SAIAB, etc. Algoa Bay has been chosen by SAEON as an ‘ecosystem study area’ and is a joint effort between the Elwandle and Egagasini Nodes, providing a complete interdisciplinary monitoring program to fully understand the region and the links between offshore and coastal waters,
The ARGO Project
Key collaborators: SANAP and UCT Argo is part of the integrated global observation strategy. It consists of a global array of 3,000 free-drifting profiling floats that measure the temperature and salinity of the upper 2 km of the ocean ( The floats ascend approximately every 10 days collecting profiles which are then transmitted via satellite to data centres. The floats are designed to be deployed from voluntary observing ships, at a minimum cost.
Southwest Indian Ocean and Agulhas Current monitoring and research
Umbrella project: The Node is linked in with a number of national, regional and international projects working towards better monitoring of the SW Indian Ocean and Agulhas Current Region. The key regional collaboration for the SW Indian Ocean is the ASCLME. The Node manager was the Data and Information Coordinator for South Africa’s contribution to the ASCLME and the data management support was part funded by ASCLME and has extended projects linked to this.
Western Indian Ocean and Agulhas Current Related Activities
The Node is linked in with a number of national, regional and international projects working towards better monitoring of the SW Indian Ocean. The Node’s key role in such projects includes representing South Africa, providing a platform for international scientists and forging relationships between key role players. One of the key projects – the Agulhas Current Transport project run by Dr Lisa Beal, will monitor the Agulhas Current for a period of 3 years and relate this to satellite observations. Although not directly involved, the Node has been assisting with the facilitation of this project and will hopefully remain involved in the many projects which are being initiated through this work.
IPCC Reporting
Key collaborators, Elwandle, SANBI, UCT and other national marine experts. Wayne Goschen and Juliet Hermes were part of a team, contracted by the IPCC through SANBI, to write the marine country report for South Africa’s second national communication on climate change.
Nairobi Convention Clearinghouse Summary Report
Key collaborators, UNEP, ASCLME and all data producing marine institutes within South Africa The NCCH, or the “Nairobi Convention Clearinghouse and Information Sharing System” is a project initiated by UNEP's Division of Early Warning and Assessment. It started in February 2010 and is roughly half-way complete. Wayne Goschen was nominated country coordinator by DEAT and Gavin Fleming is managing the project.
DEA Oceans and Coasts
Key collaborators, DEA, SADCO, Elwandle A key focus of Egagasini has been to swiftly establish what historical data has been collected by MCM and at what stage of archiving this data is at (e.g., after cruise, quality control, validation, archiving in SADCO)
South African Estuaries Information System
SAEIS; Key collaborators, Elwandle and SAIAB The SAEIS project is joint effort by SAEON’s Elwandle and Egagasini Nodes. A standalone application and database of SAEIS is available, as well as a web site with the same database providing the backend. With both the application and web site, an estuary may be selected off a GIS map (or from a list of estuaries), and then the estuary’s details and other management parameters are displayed. A search may be made on the estuary’s literature, images, datasets and maps.
Ships Underway Database
Key collaborators: DEA and DAFF SUD is a stand-alone application that displays parameters measured by a ship while underway, such as wind and sea surface temperature. Variables from several cruises may be displayed at once, allowing a visual comparison to be made between cruises. In addition, the measurement of surface area allows fisheries scientists to calculate critical variables by the click of the mouse.
The SAEON/SADCO relationship remains close and ongoing. There are a number of data-related projects that are being worked on with SADCO and one of the Node’s key tasks is to ensure a smooth transition of data into the SADCO archives.
Ocean Sciences Capacity Building
Key collaborators, START, SCOR, DBCB, IMBER The node received funds from START (Global Change Systems for Analysis Research and Training), as well as the ASCLME and in kind contributions from the UCT oceanography department to run a week long ocean modelling course in 2009.
Egagasini Environmental Science Education
Key collaborators, UCT, DEA OC, Two Oceans Aquarium, MCM Science Centre, Department of Education SAEON currently has an ‘education experts committee’ specifically to advise the Node Education Officers.
Long-term change in benthic biodiversity in the Southern Ocean
Using historical images (taken by University of Cape Town researchers in the 1980’s), this project is investigating the change in benthic assemblages at the pristine Prince Edward Islands in the Southern Ocean. Current photographic and video sampling efforts undertaken using the towed benthic camera (SkiMonkey III) have re-surveyed the original locations around the islands, providing comparative data. The work seeks to examine functional change in the epibenthos in relation to a range of biophysical drivers.
Historical South African Marine Fisheries Databases (1897-1938)
Operation Phakisa (SAMREF)
Algoa Bay offshore survey and research
Using a Remotely Operated (underwater) Vehicle (ROV) and towed benthic camera, this project integrates with the extensive Sentinel site programme that already covers the coastal waters in and around Algoa Bay. Specifically, the project aims to expand our understanding of epibenthic biodiversity and ecology in the offshore areas of the bay and shelf. With relatively little known about offshore epibenthos, particularly of soft-sediment assemblages, efforts are focused on characterising offshore biodiversity and habitat interactions, as well as testing ideas about the functional ecology of these areas.
Understanding the Agulhas System, as well as its impacts on coastal features
This is student and postdoc driven work, which investigates the Agulhas Current System as well as its impacts on the South African coastal features. It is mostly based on modelling work, but does use in situ and remote sensing data as well. There is 1 PDP Postdoc and 2 PDP PhDs working on this and details are found in the PDP applications and the SAEON internal project document
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