Meet the scientists


Associate Prof Colin Attwood, PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons)

Colin wanted to be a marine biologist ever since he caught his first goby at age 7, replacing his earlier desire to be a train driver. He obtained a PhD in Marine Biology at the University of Cape Town in 2002, based on his work on galjoen. He has worked for the South African National Parks Board, the South African Antarctic Programme, the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and now the University of Cape Town, where he lectures on marine ecology, fisheries management and conservation. In these appointments he has gained extensive experience of fisheries management around the world, fish biology, deep-sea ecology and conservation. He has contributed to international workshops on Marine Protected Areas. He currently serves on the Linefish Working Group and contributes regularly to the demersal working group.Colin managed the De Hoop fish tagging project for many years, and has tagged over 3000 fish. Colin has published over 60 scientific papers on a wide variety of marine topics, and continues to fish when he finds a break.


Dr Warren Potts
, PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons)

Warren is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science at Rhodes University. After living in southern Angola for two years, he developed a coastal marine research program on this virtually unstudied region, gathering fundamental information such as species taxonomy and phylogeography, through to the biology of important fishery species and socio-economic characteristics of the coastal fisheries. However, with significant warming observed in the coastal environment, focus has shifted to the impacts of climate change on the distribution and reproduction of coastal fishes, including extensive fish movement studies, ecophysiology experiments and schlerochronology (using hard parts to track the growth history of fishes).

As an avid angler, he has become extremely interested in all aspects of recreational fisheries and particularly how they can benefit developing country economies, with lesser biological impacts than traditional fisheries. Research in this area includes economic evaluations of recreational fisheries, understanding the social dimensions of recreational fisheries compliance and optimising the survival of released fishes.


Bruce Mann, MSc, BSc (Hons)


Bruce has been a keen angler since his early childhood and his fascination with fish and fishing led him to complete a MSc Degree in Ichthyology and Fisheries Science at Rhodes University in 1992. He started work at the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI – which is a department of the South African Association for Marine Biological Research based at uShaka Marine World in Durban), in 1992. Other than a short six-month stint as a marine ecologist with Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife in 1998, he has remained at ORI for most of his working career. Much of his work has been focused on obtaining a better understanding of the biology and population status of many of our important marine line-fish species and he is passionate about the importance of MPAs as a management tool to ensure the conservation and wise use of our marine fishes. He is a keen angler and participates in many different facets of angling whenever time allows.



Greg Pengelly,
BSc ( Sciences)

After graduating from UCT , Greg was employed as a research chemist at SA Druggists. He spent years in pharmaceutical research before joining Hewlett Packard in the mid 70’s. During his many years at HP he saw the introduction of the pocket calculator and the PC. He was transferred to Johannesburg and had extensive IT training in the USA. He started his own company in 1990 back in Cape Town and was involved in the design and installation of major corporate networks.

In 2000 he switched to software development and has spent years in software writing and web development. His IT experience has been invaluable in the development of this project.
On the fishing front, Greg has been a keen fisherman since an early age and used to fish with his Dad at Rooikrantz catching yellowtail from the rocks in the early days. His father was a pioneer in the development of the Penn 49A reel and most of the spinners we use today. His keenness has never waned and is still active as a deep sea fisherman for his club. He has been an active member of Western Province Angling and has WP colours. He has served as a committee member for his club for over 12 years and has been PRO, Vice Chairman and secretary. He currently serves on the committees of local club and national competitions.

Greg’s fishing experience, IT savvy and knowledge of the recreational fishery has been vital in the creative development of this project.


Malcolm Grant, Resource Management Officer, Western Province Deep Sea Angling Association.

Malcolm studied Industrial Design at the Johannesburg College of Art in the mid 1970’s. He has worked in the plastic packaging industry since early 1980’s designing bottles and caps and is currently self employed working as a freelance industrial designer.

Malcolm, aka Budgie, first joined Cape Boat and Ski-boat Club (CBSC) on 20 July 1996 and is active mainly in the Western Province Deep Sea Angling Association’s (WPDSAA) inshore leagues. There was an interlude from 1998 to 2002 where he was involved with the False Bay Nippers firstly as a coach and where he ended up as Nipper Officer.

He rejoined the CBSC in August 2003.

He was elected Inshore Officer for CBSC in 2004 and served his club in this position for four years. He stood briefly as CBSC Development Officer in 2010 and was elected chairman of CBSC at the end of 2010 and served for 2 years. He was granted Honorary Life Membership of CBSC by the 2013 committee.

He was elected as the WPDSAA Resource Management Officer in 2008. As such he represented the WPDSAA at South African Marine Linefish Management Association until it was disbanded and has represented the WPDSAA at the Recreational Fishing Forum meetings with DAFF since its inception. He has established many contacts within the scientific community including Bruce Mann of ORI, Colin Attwood of UCT, and numerous others associated with marine research. He understands the threats our marine resources face and believes that the lack of available data and information, especially with regards to recreational fishing activities, is a key concern. He is willing to work with the scientific community (and NGO’s like the WWF-SA) in order to help scientists gain a better understanding of the impact recreational fishing has on our linefish resources so that more informed, science-based recommendations can be made to fisheries management for the sustainable utilisation of our marine resources.

To this end Malcolm and Greg are currently assisting Prof Colin Attwood establish a national web based and mobile phone linked portal called CatchReport through which and whereby recreational catch data may be submitted voluntarily for research analysis. This work is based on a web based catch return site he was mandated by WPDSAA to develop in 2008 where they digitised the WPDSAA league data going back to 2000 and made the data available for post graduate study.


Dr Denham Parker, PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons)

Having grown up in Zimbabwe, Denham’s interest in fish lead him out of the landlocked country in search of bluer pastures. He obtained a PhD in Fisheries Science at Rhodes University in 2015 for his work evaluating the importance of the Tsitsikamma National Park marine protected area in maintaining reef fish populations. Much of Denham’s work has focused on optimising the scientific methods necessary to better understand our nearshore fisheries, as well as the spatial distribution of specific species. He has worked for the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) where he was involved in setting up long-term monitoring programmes to assess fish populations using stereo-video footage (stereo-BRUVs). Denham is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UCT where much of his time is spent researching important recreational angling species, and the prospect of incorporating recreational catch information in assessing their stock status. He is an avid angler and spearfisherman, and tries to get onto the ocean whenever possible.






Rose Thornycroft, MSc, BSc (Hons)

Rose is part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), coordinating both the FishforLife project and the Citizen Science component of the Sea Fish Atlas. Her background is in marine biodiversity research and she recently worked for the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (ACEP). She has a growing interest in fish taxonomy and through this has been learning the art of scientific illustration.

Cambrian Explosion


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