The BCB Staff Profile - Mark Gibbons


 

The BCB Staff Profile

Mark Gibbons

Tel: +27 21 959 2475
Email:
mgibbons@uwc.ac.za

Undergraduate courses:

BDC 222: Population Biology (previously known as BCB 241 )


My components of the course deals with:

·         Basic population dynamics and life-tables.

·         Age-structured population models.

·         Population survey and census techniques.

·         Intra-specific competition and derivation of the logistic growth equation.

·         Modeling populations showing logistic growth.

·         Harvesting natural populations: deterministic and stochastic models.

·         Population fluctuations - key factor analysis.

At the end of this module, learners should be able to:

·         collect field data and use them to estimate population sizes of mobile and sessile organisms.

·         identify factors that contribute to population size,

·         determine the importance of different processes to population growth,

·         build simple models of populations, and to simulate population growth

·         use models to determine the most appropriate method of exploiting populations sustainability.

BDC321: Community Ecology (previously known as BCB 331)


This module deals with:

·         an introduction to concepts of community membership

·         an overview of inter-specific interactions

·         Lotka-Volterra models of inter-specific competition and predation

·         the description and identification of communities using numerical techniques

·         basic analysis of factors contributing to community structure

·         temporal changes in community composition and structure

·         the influence of inter-specific interactions on community structure

At the end of this module, learners should be able to:

·         collect field data and analyse them numerically to objectively delineate communities

·         identify the different factors and processes contributing to community structure

·         build simple models to illustrate key ecological concepts

·         think objectively about biological communities

Postgraduate courses:

BCB715: Pelagic Biodiversity  (part of Marine Biology - BCB732)


This module aims to introduce learners to the principles of pelagic ecology, and will equip them with some of the basic field and laboratory skills needed to collect, analyse and interpret relevant data. Background information on the chemical composition and physical properties of seawater will be provided, and students will learn how these characteristics vary in time and space. Students will, through discussion, learn about surface and deep-water circulation patterns and the forcing mechanisms. Against this background, learners will be introduced to pelagic biota and will study processes of primary, secondary and tertiary production and how they vary in a temporal and spatial context. Emphasis will be placed on regional ecosystems and processes.

Research Focus:

My personal research focuses on pelagic ecology – especially zooplankton ecology - at the individual, population and assemblage level. Most of my work examines local and regional patterns in the evolution of populations and species and on assemblage structure and distribution. In recent time, a lot of my research has been conducted on pelagic cnidarians, which are particularly abundant off Namibia where they pose numerous economic problems (http://sajellywatch.uwc.ac.za). Jellyfish are a “worldwide” concern at the moment and effort has been directed to look at patterns in abundance as related to a variety of environmental factors. While we are still active in situ, we are starting to move our emphasis away from the field and into the laboratory in order to try and look at the factors responsible for medusa release and polyp persistence, as well as to try and understand growth and behaviour of ephyrae and medusae. All of my work is being done in collaboration with international and regional experts.

Collaboration/Outreach:

International research collaboration with colleagues at:

http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/courses/bcb241/BD14583_.gif   The Natural History Museum (London)

http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/courses/bcb241/BD14583_.gif    The University of Queensland (Australia)

http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/courses/bcb241/BD14583_.gif    The Institute for Marine Research at Bergen (Norway)

http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/courses/bcb241/BD14583_.gif    The University of Bergen (Norway)

http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/courses/bcb241/BD14583_.gif    NatMIRC (Swakopmund, Namibia)

Local research collaboration with colleagues at

http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/courses/bcb241/BD14583_.gif   Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/courses/bcb241/BD14583_.gif   The University of Stellenbosch

http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/courses/bcb241/BD14583_.gif   The Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/courses/bcb241/BD14583_.gif   Assistant Editor of the African Journal of Marine Science

http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/courses/bcb241/BD14583_.gif   Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Plankton Research

Research Outputs:

Some Recent Publications in Peer Reviewed Journals

Sparks, C., Buecher, E., Brierley, A.S., Boyer, H., Axelsen, B.E. and Gibbons, M.J. (2001). Observations on the distribution and relative abundance of the scyphomedusan Chrysaora hysoscella (Linné, 1766) and the hydrozoan Aequorea aequorea (Forskål, 1775) in the northern Benguela ecosystem. Hydrobiologia, 451: 275-286

Brierley, A.S., Axelsen, B.E., Buecher, E., Sparks, C., Boyer, H. and Gibbons, M.J. (2001). Acoustic observations of jellyfish in the Namibian Benguela. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 210: 55-66

Gibbons, M.J. and Buecher, E. (2001) Short-term variability in the assemblage of medusae and ctenophores following upwelling events in the southern Benguela ecosystem. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 220: 169-177

Gibbons, M.J., Goosen, A.J.J. and Wickens, P.A. (2002) Habitat use by demersal nekton on the continental shelf in the Benguela ecosystem, southern Africa. Fishery Bulletin, 100: 475-490

Gibbons, M.J., Buecher, E. and Thibault-Botha, D. (2003) Observations on the ecology of Pleurobrachia pileus (Ctenophora) in the southern Benguela ecosystem. South African Journal of marine Science 25: 253-261

Toefy, R., McMillan, I. and Gibbons, M.J. (2003) The effect of wave exposure on the foraminifera of the intertidal agarophyte Gelidium pristoides. Journal of the Marine Biological Association, UK. 83: 705-710

Thibault-Botha, D., Lutjeharms, J. and Gibbons, M.J. (2004) Siphonophore assemblages along the east coast of South Africa: Mesoscale distribution and temporal variations. Journal of Plankton Research 26: 1115-1128

Brierley, A.S., Axelsen, B.E., Boyer, D.C., Lynam, C.P., Didcock, C.A., Boyer, H,J., Sparks, C.A.J., Purcell, J.E. and Gibbons, M.J. (2004) Single-target echo detections of jellyfish. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 61: 383-393

Gibbons, M.J., Richardson, A.J., Angel, M.V., Buecher, E., Esnal, G., Fernandez Alamo, M.A., Gibson, R., Itoh, H., Pugh, P., Boettger-Schnack, R. and Thuesen, E. (2005) What determines the likelihood of species discovery in marine holozooplankton: is size, range or depth important? OIKOS 109:567-576

Samaai, T. and Gibbons, M.J. (2005) Demospongiae taxonomy and biodiversity of the Benguela region on the west coast of South Africa. African Natural History, 1: 1-96

Samaai, T., Best, P.B. and Gibbons, M.J. (2005) The taxonomic status of common dolphins Delphinus sp. in South African waters. African Journal of marine Science, 27: 449-458

Sparks, C., Brierley, A.S., Buecher, E., Boyer, D., Axelsen, B.E. and Gibbons, M.J. (2005). Submersible observations on the daytime vertical distribution of Aequorea ?forskalea off the west coast of South Africa. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 85: 519-522

Samaai, T., Gibbons, M.J. and Kelly, M. (2006). Revision of the genus Latrunculia du Bocage, 1869 (Porifera, Demospongiae, Latrunculiidae) with descriptions of new species from New Caledonia and the northeastern Pacific. Zootaxa 1127: 1-71

Lynam, C.P., Gibbons, M.J., Axelsen, B.A., Sparks, C.A.J., Coetzee, J., Heywood, B.G. and Brierley, A.S. (2006). Jellyfish overtake fish in a heavily fished ecpsystem. Current Biology, 16: 492-493

Flynn, B.A. and Gibbons, M.J. (2007). A note on the diet and feeding of Chrysaora hysoscella in Walvis Bay Lagoon, Namibia, during September 2003. African Journal of Marine Science, 29: 303-307

Florence, W.K., Hayward, P.J. and Gibbons, M.J. (2007). Taxonomy of the Shallow Water Bryozoans of the west coast of South Africa. African Natural History 3: 1-58

Gibbons, M.J. and Richardson, A. J. (2008). Patterns in jellyfish abundance in the North Atlantic. Hydrobiologia DOI 10.1007/s10750-008-9593-8

Richardson, A.J. and Gibbons, M.J. (2008). Are jellyfish increasing in response to ocean acidification? Limnology and Oceanography 53(5), 2008, 2035–2040

D’Amato, M.E., Harkins, G.W., deOliveira, T., Teske, P.R. and Gibbons, M.J. (2008). Molecular dating and biogeography of the neritic krill Nyctiphanes. Marine Biology DOI 10.1007/s00227-008-1005-0

Samaai, T., Gibbons, M.J. and Kelly, M. (2009) A revision of the genus Strongylodesma Lévi (Porifera: Demospongiae: Latrunculiidae) with descriptions of four new species. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK , doi: 10.1017/s00253-154-0900-0101

Gershwin, L-A and Gibbons, M.J. (2009) Carybdea branchi, sp. nov., a new box jellyfish (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) from South Africa . ZooTaxa, 2088: 41-50

Richardson , A.J., Bakun, A., Hays, G.C. and Gibbons, M.J. (2009) The jellyfish joyride: causes, consequences and management responses to a more gelatinous future. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 24: 312-322

Fréon, P., Arístegui, J., Bertrand, A., Crawford, R.J.M., Field, J.C., Gibbons, M.J., Tam, J., Hutchings, L., Masski, H., Mullon, C., Ramdani, M., Seret, B. and Simier, M. (2009) Functional group biodiversity in Eastern Boundary Upwelling Ecosystems questions the wasp-waist trophic structure. Progress in Oceanography, 83: 97-106

Gibbons, M.J., Janson, L.A., Ismail, A. and Samaai, T. (2010) Life-cycle strategy, species richness and distribution in marine Hydrozoa (Cnidaria: Medusozoa). Journal of Biogeography, 37: 441-448.

Gibbons, M.J., Buecher, E., Thibault-Botha, D. and Helm, R.R. (2010) Patterns in marine hydrozoan richness and biogeography around southern Africa: implications of life-history strategy. Journal of Biogeography, 37: 606-616.

Hendricks, M.G.J. and Gibbons, M.J. (2010). Two new nematode species from Saldanha Bay, South Africa: Perepsilonema benguelae sp. nov. and Leptepsilonema saldanha sp. nov. (Nematoda, Epsilonematidae). Zootaxa, 2504: 20-30.

Samaai, T., Gibbons, M.J., Kerwath, S., Yemane, D. and Sink, K. (2010) Sponge richness along a bathymetric gradient within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa. Marine Biodiversity, 40: 205-217.

Utne-Palm AC, Salvanes AGV, Currie B, Kaartvedt S, Nilsson GE, Braithwaite VA, Stecyk JAW, Hundt M, van der Bank M, Flynn B, Sandvik GK, Klevjer TA, Sweetman AK, Brüchert V, Pittman K, Peard KR, Lunde IG, Strandabø RAU, Gibbons MJ (2010) Trophic structure and community stability in an overfished ecosystem. Science 329: 333-336

Clarke, D.T., Paterson, G.L.J., Florence, W.K. and Gibbons, M.J. (2010) A new species of Magelona (Polychaeta: Magelonidae) from southern Namibia. African Natural History, 6: 77-82

Neethling, S., Channing, A., Gershwin, L-A. and Gibbons, M.J. (2011) A modern description of Crambionella stuhlmanni (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae) from St. Lucia Estuary, South Africa. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, 91: 357-367

van der Bank, M.G., Utne-Palm, A.C., Pittman, K., Sweetman, A.K., Richoux, N.B., Brüchert, V. and Gibbons, M.J. (2011). Dietary success of a ‘new’ key fish in an overfished ecosystem: evidence from fatty acid and stable isotope signatures. Marine Ecology Progress Series 428: 219–233, 2011

Hundt, M., Utne-Palm, A.-C. and Gibbons, M.J. (2011). Cross-shelf observations on the diet and diel feeding behaviour of the bearded goby, Sufflogobius bibarbatus, off Namibia. African Journal of Marine Science 33: 119-126

Cedras, R.B., Salvanes, A.-G.V. and Gibbons, M.J. (2011) Investigations into the diet and feeding ecology of the bearded goby, Sufflogobius bibarbatus, off Namibia. African Journal of Marine Science 33: 313-320

Some Recent Books and/or Chapters in Books

Boltovskoy, D., Gibbons, M.J., Hutchings, L. and Binet, D. (1999) General Biological features of the South Atlantic. In: South Atlantic Zooplankton. Boltovskoy, D. (Ed.). Backhuys, Leiden, 1-42

Gibbons, M.J. (1999) An Introduction to the Zooplankton of the Benguela Current region. National Book Publishers, Cape Town. 55pp

Gibbons, M.J., Spiridinov, V. and Tarling, G. (1999) Euphausiids. In: South Atlantic Zooplankton. Boltovskoy, D. (Ed.). Backhuys, Leiden, 1241-127

Gibbons, M.J. (2010) Roles of gelatinous zooplankton. In: Marine Ecosystem and Global Change. Barange, M., Field, J.G., Harris, R.P., Hofmann, E.E. and Werner, F.E. (Eds). Oxford University Press, Oxford. 181-183.

Electronic Media

Boltovskoy, D., Gibbons, M.J., Hutchings, L. and Binet, D. (2005) General Biological features of the South Atlantic. In: Zooplankton of the South Atlantic Ocean. Boltovskoy, D. (Ed.). DVD-ROM, ETI Information Services Ltd, Wokingham, UK

Gibbons, M.J., Spiridinov, V. and Tarling, G. (1999) Euphausiids. In: Zooplankton of the South Atlantic Ocean. Boltovskoy, D. (Ed.). DVD-ROM, ETI Information Services Ltd, Wokingham, UK

Some Recent Presentations at Conferences and Workshops

Bali, A. and Gibbons, M.J. (2005). An investigation into the abundance and distribution of Chrysaora hysoscella and Aequorea aequorea off the Namibian coast. South African Marine Sciences Symposium. Symposium, Durban, July 2005.

Gibbons, M.J. (2005). Common Patterns in Large Scale Pelagic Biogeography: Ancient or Modern? Dynamic Planet 2005 - Monitoring and Understanding a Dynamic Planet with Geodetic and Oceanographic Tools, Cairns August 2005. Invited speaker

Harkins, G., D’Amato, ME and Gibbons, MJ (2005). The Population Genetics of Three Species of Euphausiids, based on mtDNA Sequences of NADH Dehydrogenase (ND1) Dynamic Planet 2005 - Monitoring and Understanding a Dynamic Planet with Geodetic and Oceanographic Tools, Cairns August 2005.

Gibbons, M.J., Lambshead, P.J.D., Kelly, M. and Hendricks, M.G.J. (2005). How successful has the RS-NRF SET Programme in Zoology at the University of the Western Cape been? DEAT/DST Science Meeting on Climate Change and Biodiversity in Africa, Gallagher Estate, Midrand, 17-19 October 2005

Tsotsobe, S., Verheye, H.M. and Gibbons, M.J. (2003). Seasonal, interannual and inter-decadal variability in total zooplankton biomass in the northern Benguela. Annual Symposium of the Zoological Society of South Africa (ZSSA)/South African Society of Aquatic Sciences (SASAqS), University of Cape Town, June 2003

Tsotsobe, S., Verheye, H.M. and Gibbons, M.J. (2004). Spatio-temporal variation in the abundance and community structure of the major copepod species in the northern Benguela. Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, July 2004.

Tsotsobe, S., Verheye, H.M. and Gibbons, M.J. (2005). Spatio-temporal variation in the abundance and community structure of copepods in the northern Benguela. In 11th Southern African Marine Science Symposium, Symposium Guide and Book of Abstracts, p. 78

Gibbons, M.J. and Richardson, A.J. (2007) Patterns in pelagic cnidarian blooms in the North Atlantic. Second International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium, Gold Coast, Australia, 24-27 June 2007.

Flynn, B.A. and Gibbons, M.J. (2007) A preliminary note on the diet and feeding of Chrysaora hysoscella in Walvis Bay lagoon, Namibia, during September 2003. Second International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium, Gold Coast, Australia, 24-27 June 2007.

Richardson, A.J., Bakun, A., Hays, G.C. and Gibbons, M.J. (2008) The Jellyfish Joyride: can we stop oceans sliding down the slippery slope to slimy stingers? Effects of Climate Change on the World's Oceans, International Symposium May 19-23, 2008, Gijón, Spain

Fréon, P., Mullon, C., Arístegui, J., Bertrand, A., Crawford, R., Gibbons, M., Hutchings, L., Masski, H., Seret, B., Simier, M., Tam, J., Field, J., Ramdani, M. and Checkley, D. (2008) Dominant species within functional groups of Eastern Boundary Upwelling Ecosystems: what can we learn? Eastern boundary upwelling ecosystems: integrative and comparative approaches. International Symposium, 2-6 June 2008, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.

Gibbons, M.J., Cedras, R.B., Currie, B., Utne-Palm, A.C., Salvanes, A.G-V., Krakstad, J.O., Roux, J.P. and Kaartvedt, S. (2008) Eat your gobies! A review of the biology of Sufflogobius bibarbatus off Namibia. 13th Southern African Marine Science Symposium, Cape Town - 29 June to 3 July 2008

Hendricks, M.G.J., Gibbons, M.J. and Lambshead, P.J.D. (2008) The nematodes of Saldanha Bay – Is Squiggler Park a high or low octane community? 13th Southern African Marine Science Symposium, Cape Town - 29 June to 3 July 2008

Neethling, S. and Gibbons, M.J. (2008) Jellyfish amongst the crocodiles: a new record of Crambionella stuhlmanni (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae) from St. Lucia estuary, South Africa. 13th Southern African Marine Science Symposium, Cape Town - 29 June to 3 July 2008. Awarded Best MSc Poster at the UWC Research Open Day, October 2008.

Helm, R. and Gibbons, M.J. (2008) Planktic cnidaria along the South and West coast of South Africa – mesoscale coupling the physical environment. 13th Southern African Marine Science Symposium, Cape Town - 29 June to 3 July 2008

Cedras, R.B. and Gibbons, M.J. (2008) The diel feeding biology of the pelagic goby Sufflogobius bibarbatus off Namibia. 13th Southern African Marine Science Symposium, Cape Town - 29 June to 3 July 2008. Awarded Best Student Poster Prize.

Fairhurst, L. and Gibbons, M.J. (2008) Age, growth and reproduction of the pelagic goby Sufflogobius bibaratus from the west coast, southern Africa. 13th Southern African Marine Science Symposium, Cape Town - 29 June to 3 July 2008

De Vries, M.J., Compagno, L.J.V. and Gibbons, M.J. (2008) Etmopterus sculptus sp. nov.; a new species of lantern shark (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae: Etmopterus) from South Africa. 13th Southern African Marine Science Symposium, Cape Town - 29 June to 3 July 2008

Flynn, B.A. and Gibbons, M.J. (2008) Seasonality and abundance of jellyfish in the northern Benguela ecosystem. 13th Southern African Marine Science Symposium, Cape Town - 29 June to 3 July 2008

Neething, S., Channing, A. and Gibbons, M.J. (2010) Red jellies in the Benguela Upwelling Ecosystem: a Taxonomic Conundrum resolved. Third International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium, July 13-16 2010, Mar del Plata, Argentina

Gibbons, M.J., Flynn, B.A., Brierley, A.S., Boyer, D., Axelsen, B.E., Scott, L., Moroff, N., Kainge, P. and Richardson, A.J. (2010) Temporal and spatial patterns in the distribution of jellyfish in the northern Benguela upwelling ecosystem.Third International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium, July 13-16 2010, Mar del Plata, Argentina

Brodeur, R., Graham, W., Mianzan, H., Lynam, C., Uye, S.I. and Gibbons, M.J. (2010) Interactions between jellyfish and marine fish and fisheries: insights into fisheries sustainability. Third International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium, July 13-16 2010, Mar del Plata, Argentina.

Salvanes A.G.V., C. Bartholomeo, B. Currie, M. Gibbons, P. Kainge, J.O. Krakstad, M. Rouault, A. Staby and S. Sundby (2011) Remote environmental signals affect goby abundance on the hypoxic shelf of the northern Benguela: Anoxia tolerant fish thrive when oxygen level decreases. Ocean deoxygenation and implications for marine biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems. Eur-Oceans Conference, Toulouse, France 24-26 October 2011.

van der Lingen, C.D., Gibbons, M.J., Moroff, M., Roux, J.-P., Shannon, L.J. and Cury, P. (2011) Jellyfication of marine ecosystems lessons from the Benguela. 8th International William R. and Lenore Mote Symposium. Species interactions in marine communities: the invisible fabric of nature. Sarasota, Florida 8-10 November 2011.