The objective of this mini-symposium is to bring together the partners of the project Assessing marine mammal health to monitor impacts of ‘Operation Phakisa’- the South African Ocean Health Network (OHN) . This project aims is to establish a bilateral research programme between South Africa and Germany that a) establishes baselines for various contributing factors impacting marine mammal health in South Africa using historical samples and b) in the process builds capacity in this underdeveloped research field not only in South Africa, but also on the African continent.
10.15 Arrival coffee and tea
- Dr. Stephanie Plön- Overview of marine mammal health related studies off south-eastern South Africa over the past 10 years
- Prof. Rob Ingle- Population genetics of endangered humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) using aDNA techniques
- Dr. Cecile Reed- Trends in parasite presence within and between small odontocete species from south-eastern South Africa over the past 50 years
- Prof. Wolfgang Preiser- Endemic and emerging viruses – agents of disease and markers of population and ecosystem health?
- Prof. Dirk Lang- Localization of nanoplastics particles in the brain of marine predators
11.15 Coffee and Tea break
11.30 Summary- Introduction to planned projects going forward, relevance to ‘Operation Phakisa’
11.45 Presentation by Prof. Prof. Dr. h.c. Ursula Siebert about the relevant work her and her colleagues have been and are conducting in Germany
12.00 Discussion on bilateral research program and how it can be realized