GTI capacity development project(s) of Samyn Yves
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Increasing Marine Taxonomic Knowledge in Mozambique: the Case of Two Neglected Taxa

Project details

  • Years

    2017 and 2019

  • Country


  • Studied organism

    Echinoderms: Animalia – Echinodermata;  Macroalgae:  1__Plantae – Chlorophyta/ Rhodophyta;  2__Chromista – Ochrophyta

  • Organising institute (Belgium)

    Ghent University, Meise Botanic Garden, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and Royal Museum for Central Africa

  • Partner institute (South)

Eduardo Mondlane University (Inhaca’s Marine Biology Station & School of Marine and Coastal Sciences), Maputo Natural History Museum and Lúrio University (Pemba)

Mozambique has the third largest coastline in mainland East Africa. This coastline is – Somalia excluded – taxonomically the least explored in Eastern Africa. This is regretful given that studies show that this is an extremely productive area due to difficult to characterize upwelling and eddy systems, making it one of the highest biodiverse regions in the Indian Ocean. The three recognised marine bioregions (basically the South, the centre and the North of the country) deserve detailed taxonomic study. Regretfully, such study is non-existing for many taxa. This project aims to lessen this by studying two taxa that have an important ecological and economic importance: echinoderms and macroalgae. In doing so this project will be instrumental in alleviating poverty in a country that is undergoing rapid demographic changes that put high pressure on the environment. The two aimed taxa will be sampled in:

  • southern Mozambique, Inhambane region (2017 project);
  • northern Mozambique (Pemba Bay and Querimba’s Marine National Park), which is thought to have closer affinities with the tropical Western Indian Ocean marine fauna and flora, in contrast to southern Mozambique where affinities with the Agulhas marine province prevail (2019 project, cancelled due to COVID-19 outbreak)


In order to ensure capacity building and durability and return on investment of engaged resources, dedicated hands-on training will be foreseen for selected Mozambican partners. Also, in order to have maximum outreach and leverage towards modern standards in taxonomy of this capacity building project, an invertebrate (incl. echinoderms) expert of the Florida Museum of Natural History (Prof. Dr. G. Paulay) is willing to deliver additional capacity building support (through auto-funding). Resulting collections will be fairly split upon participating institutions, ensuring durability in capacity building. Project results will be jointly presented at international conferences and published in international journals.


Files and additional information

Scientific papers