Monday, 24 August 2015 19:16

Rhodes UniversityThe Research Unit in Bioinformatics (RUBi) invites applications for a one-year MSc Programme by coursework and research thesis for 2016.

Courses include, but not limited to, Linux, Python programming, Mathematical and Statistical Tools, Genomics, Metagenomics, Structural Bioinformatics, Databases.
Projects include, but not limited to, large scale DNA analysis, protein structure-function analysis, inhibitor design, protein-protein and DNA-protein interactions and software development.

Please submit a motivation letter including contact details of two referees with e-mail addresses, CV and detailed academic records (subjects-marks, degree completion). Submissions should be made online at https://rubi.ru.ac.za/apply. The closing date is 30 September 2015.

Please note that this programme does not offer any fellowships. Space is limited and applicants with high marks will have priority.

Saturday, 22 August 2015 19:30

The South African Society for Microbiology wishes to congratulate two of its members who were honoured with the Department of Science and Technology's (DST) Women in Science Awards in Johannesburg on Thursday (13 August 2015). The awards are organised and presented by the Department of Science and Technology in recognition of the achievements of woman scientists and their profile as role models for woman in science. The theme for the 2015 awards was “Science for a Sustainable Future” with special reference to the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015 14:14

SASM 2016

The South African Society for Microbiology's 19th Biennial Congress, SASM2016, will be held at the Coastlands Umhlanga Convention Centre, Durban, from the 17th to the 20th of January 2016. SASM2016 is organised by Durban University of Technology. Online registration and abstract submission details are now available.

Please note the following updates:

Tuesday, 18 August 2015 00:00

Stay up to speed with microbiology research in South Africa. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter (with the #SASMNews twitter handle), or Google+. SASM aims is to create a space where microbiologists from diverse fields all over South Africa can get involved in sharing news, discussions, knowledge-sharing to increase general awareness of microbiology in South Africa. 

SHARE THIS WITH COLLEAGUES AND FELLOW STUDENTS TO EXPONENTIALLY GROW SA's BIGGEST MICROBIAL SOCIAL NETWORK!

Facebook Twitter Google+

Wednesday, 12 August 2015 00:00

CeBERThe ASTER™ process is commercially used to bioremediate cyanide- (CN-) and thiocyanate- (SCN-) containing waste water, typically, from cyanidation of refractory gold ores. There are currently three industrial-scale ASTER™ processes in operation worldwide. This aerobic bioprocess reduces the CN- and SCN- concentrations to below 1 mg/L in a continuous system, facilitating reuse or safe discharge of process water. To date, the microbial consortia associated with this bioprocess have been poorly characterized and, as a result, the relative abundance and diversity of the community has been significantly under-represented. Researchers within the Centre for Bioprocess Engineering Research (CeBER) at the University of Cape Town, together with those at the University of California, Berkeley are employing a molecular approach, including 16S rRNA gene surveys and metagenomic analysis, to study CN- and SCN- biodegradation within laboratory-scale reactors.

Monday, 10 August 2015 00:00

Figure 1Lepidopteran insects such as the false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick), the African bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner), the codling moth (Cydia pomonella, L.), the potato tuber moth (Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) and the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Figure 1) are serious crop pests in South Africa, with considerable economic impact on various agricultural crops.

Monday, 27 July 2015 09:31

Gold nanoparticlesThere has been growing focus on the potential to use gold nanoparticles as tools in the field of bionanotechnology because of their unique optical, electronic and molecular recognition properties. Gold nanoparticles are known to be fairly stable and are regarded as generally bio-compatible. However, some studies have reported that these nanoparticles could be toxic to some organisms, including bacteria. The mechanism by which gold nanoparticles may confer toxicity to E. coli cells remains to be fully understood.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015 18:15

LipidsUniversity of the Free StateResearch into the molecular mechanisms of common yeasts and bacteria at the University of the Free State in South Africa seeks to exploit the roles of lipid molecules as instigators of disease symptoms towards development of new therapeutics and antifungal agents.

Thursday, 16 July 2015 18:20

SASM2016 BursarySASM will sponsor the conference fees of 25 deserving students (5 Hons, 10 MSc and 10 PhD students) presenting at the SASM2016 congress in Umhlanga in January 2016.

Saturday, 04 July 2015 10:27

SASM 2016The South African Society for Microbiology's 19th Biennial Congress, SASM2016, will be held at the Coastlands Umhlanga Convention Centre, Durban, from the 17th to the 20th of January 2016. SASM2016 is organised by Durban University of Technology. Online registration and abstract submission details are now available.

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 00:00

S cerevisiaeL-carnitine, a medically relevant, amino acid-derived molecule is a valuable target for biotechnological production. Researchers at the Institute for Wine Biotechnology, Stellenbosch University has recently provided the first report of a metabolically engineered carnitine producing strain of the industrial yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an organism that does not natively produce its own carnitine. This was achieved by cloning and reconstructing the Neurospora crassa L-carnitine biosynthesis pathway in the baker’s yeast to create an L-carnitine producing strain. The engineered yeast strains are able to catalyze the synthesis of L-carnitine from the pathway’s precursor, trimethyllysine, as well as from intermediates. Several native S. cerevisiae genes were identified that contribute to, or interfere with, the heterologous pathway. This includes (i) the threonine aldolase Gly1p which effectively catalyzed the second step of the pathway, fulfilling the role of a serine hydroxymethyltransferase, (ii) the arginine transporter Can1p which was identified as the yeast transporter for trimethyllysine, and (iii) the two serine hydroxymethyltransferases, Shm1p and Shm2p, which reduced the flux through the heterologous pathway. The work opens opportunities for using an engineered, L-carnitine producing S. cerevisiae strain in various industrial applications.

Monday, 22 June 2015 00:00

A plant's survival is determined by its ability to tolerate stress that arises from physical, chemical and biological events. For example, nutrient limitation affects cellular functions, and consequently, plant development. This could be due to nutrient depletion or inaccessibility as nutrients such as phosphorus and iron could be locked up in complex compounds in the soil. In addition, plants have to withstand harsh environmental conditions such as heat, winds, torrent storms and drought. Disease-causing pathogens and pesticides are another threat that reduce a plant’s fitness.

Tuesday, 09 June 2015 21:13

UWC_Manager_ Research and InnovationMANAGER: RESEARCH & INNOVATION
(3-year Contract)

Suitably qualified and experienced applicants are invited to apply for the abovementioned position at the Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics.

As Manager: Research & Innovation, your role will include developing an innovation process to generate microbial-derived products and services.

Monday, 08 June 2015 17:31

Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus causes severe infections, especially in nosocomial environments. The cells are often deeply imbedded in biofilms, which makes treatment of the infections extremely difficult. Cells exposed to antibiotic levels below MIC (minimal inhibitory concentration) may develop resistance. The aim of this study was to develop a drug carrier that would keep antibiotic levels, in this case Ciprofloxacin, well above MIC for the duration of treatment. By electrospinning Ciprofloxacin into a nanofiber scaffold consisting of poly(D,L-lactide) (PDLLA) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO), the antibiotic was released within 2 h, killing 99% of P. aeruginosa and 91% of a methicillin-resistant strain of S. aureus in a biofilm. Ciprofloxacin, which remained intact, were released from the nanofibers for 7 days at levels above MIC. The nanofibers were not toxic when tested against MCF-12A breast epithelial cells. Antibiotic-filled nanofibers may be the answer to the eradication of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus biofilms.

Thursday, 04 June 2015 21:49

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A significant number of households in rural South Africa rely on roof-harvested rainwater (RHRW) for domestic purposes. Although, there is a general public health perception that RHRW is safe to drink, the presence of potential pathogens has been reported in this water source. Generally, the microbiological methods used to evaluate water quality depend on conventional culturing methods, which may underestimate total pathogen content and diversity and, thus limit the extent to which one can fully understand potential infectious risks from RHRW use. However, the use of high-throughput next-generation sequencing, (pyrosequencing) offers an alternative, in which detailed community structure can be achieved in combination with a fairly high taxonomic resolution. Not only does high-throughput next-generation sequencing allow for the detection and identification of dominant bacteria phylotype profiles within a sample but the high sequence numbers produced allows for the detection of rare species including pathogens within bacterial communities.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 21:04

Announcing an available 'sandwich' PhD opportunity between UWC and the University of Wageningen, Netherlands. Interested candidates must apply to Prof. Marla Trindade by 17 April 2015: e-mail - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Tel: +27 21 959 9725. Please note that only South African citizens are eligible. Further information about the sandwich program click here.

PhD UWC Wageningen

Sunday, 01 March 2015 16:34

UWC_IMBM

The Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics (IMBM) is a leading research unit within the Department of Biotechnology at the University of the Western Cape. IMBM is committed to being a globally competitive institute through excellence in research and in the training of future research leaders, and hosts the DST/NRF SARChI research chair in Microbial Genomics. The core research objective of the Institute is to develop Microbial Biotechnology, through complementary aspects of Microbial Biology. Current research interests within the Institute include Environmental and Industrial Microbiology, Metagenomics, Applied Genomics, and Marine Biotechnology. IMBM is accommodated in the new Life Sciences Building, providing state of the art research facilities and equipment. These include the Next Generation Sequencing Facility and other “omics” related technologies.

Monday, 16 February 2015 13:16

Cyanothece sp. bloom at the mouth of the Mkhuze River in North Lake, St Lucia, on 20 July 2009 (Photo courtesy of Ricky Taylor).The St Lucia Estuary is part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the largest estuarine system in Africa. This three-lake complex is particularly vulnerable to droughts and hypersaline conditions due to its large surface area (350 km2) and shallow water depth (average depth 0.9 m). A widespread bloom of the unicellular cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. appeared in June 2009 and persisted for 18 months within the two northern basins of St Lucia (False Bay and North Lake). This was the first recorded bloom of this genus globally.

Sunday, 01 February 2015 21:18

HelpProf Sehaam Khan's research group at CPUT is seekeing assistance from the SASM community for a Sf9 Cell Line from Spodoptera frugiperda.

They are having difficulty sourcing SF9 cells from major suppliers in South Africa due to a change in import licences. They would be grateful if someone could either point them in the direction of a local supplier or possibly donate a working adherent culture/or a frozen stock of SF 9 cell-line. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Please contact Prof Sehaam Khan at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Sunday, 01 February 2015 20:58

CSIRFollowing the first call made earlier in 2014, we are now opening a further call to support students and post-doctoral fellows as part of the national Biocatalysis Initiative being funded by DST.

The first call had a good response rate and we were able to provide support to a total of 18 candidates from six different universities. During this second call we encourage those researchers that did not apply previously to participate.

Sunday, 25 January 2015 21:33

Stellenbosch UniversityReseach details:

Plant biomass-derived bioethanol is regarded as a leading alternative energy source in a fossil fuel dependent energy paradigm. Bioethanol functions as octane enhancer, and can be used to replace up to 15% of petrol. It also acts as a fuel oxygenate in petrol blends allowing more complete combustion and hence, decreased polluting emissions. The departments of Microbiology and Process Engineering at Stellenbosch University, through the South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Biofuels, are at the forefront of South African research to address the shortcomings of plant polysaccharide conversion to bioethanol. Strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were engineered to simultaneously hydrolyse plant materials (cellulose and raw starch) and ferment the resulting monosaccharides through the development of enabling technologies such as advanced plant polysaccharides pretreatment and advanced Consolidated Bioprocessing (CBP). Simplification and cost-reduction of the hydrolysis-fermentation process can be further achieved by integrating superior enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation with more robust yeast into a single unit operation. To achieve this, supportive bioinformatics research dedicated to solving current problems in bioethanol biotechnology, specifically improved industrial performance of yeast strains and improved catalytic efficiency of enzyme hydrolysis, remain key.

Sunday, 18 January 2015 20:15

University of PretoriaResearch Details
The Bacterial Genomics and Host Pathogen Interactions group is based at the University of Pretoria, Forestry, Agriculture and Biotechnology Institute. Our research focuses on the interaction on potato plant interactions with one of their major bacteria pathogens Soft Rot Enterobacteriaceae (SRE). To understand these interactions we use genomics, transcriptomics, and other ‘omics’ to identify bacterial virulence factors as well as elucidate host defence mechanisms being targeted by these virulence factors. The following projects are currently available in the research group.

Sunday, 18 January 2015 20:00

icfmh-iumsThe The International Committee on Food Microbiology and Hygiene (ICFMH) Mobility Grants initiative is aimed to promote the mobility of young researchers between research institutions which are active in the field of food microbiology and hygiene.

Monday, 12 January 2015 13:49

PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY LABORATORY, SCHOOL OF MOLECULAR AND CELL BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND

START DATE: 2015 (AS SOON AS POSSIBLE)

REQUIREMENTS: Both student positions require the appropriate qualifications and should preferably be South African permanent residents or citizens.  The background required to do this project would be microbiology (preferably some plant virology); molecular biology; some plant background and some knowledge and practice of general plant transformation and tissue culture.  Some basic bioinformatics is also required.

Monday, 15 December 2014 06:40

Fort Hare

Two postodctoral fellowships at University of Fort Hare. See details below:

Monday, 15 December 2014 06:31

North-West UniversityBACKGROUND:
The successful candidate will join the Microbiology Subject Group of the Environmental Science and Management Research Unit at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University to contribute towards applications of Next-Generation Sequencing (microbial metagenomics, annotation of small genomes, transcriptome assemblies) in Microbiology or related biological field.

Sunday, 23 November 2014 09:59

Two new forum posts are available under Industrial Microbiology and Medical Microbiology catergories. A Temporary posision in Modderfontien and Help with the SF 9 cell-line.

Sunday, 23 November 2014 09:38

RULECTURER/SENIOR LECTURER/ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR/PROFESSOR IN THE DEPARTMENT OF MICROBIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY
CONTRACT UNTIL: 31/12/2018

Friday, 14 November 2014 20:29

University of Kwazulu NatalTwo MSc and 1 PhD projects are available for 2015, which will focus on Drug Discovery from Marine and Plant Natural Products in the Discipline Microbiology, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Thursday, 27 September 2012 19:13

Over the past 30 years, he has made internationally recognised contributions to the field of molecular biology about microorganisms that can be used in biomining practices. He has been evaluated as an A-rated scientist by the National Research Foundation since 1992. It is the highest ranking that a South African scientist can receive, and recognises the person as an international leader in his or her specific field. In 2011 he was also rewarded the SASM Gold Medal for exceptional service to Microbiology over an extended period of time.

We asked Prof Rawlings some key questions about his career as a microbiologist.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015 00:00

CeBERThe ASTER™ process is commercially used to bioremediate cyanide- (CN-) and thiocyanate- (SCN-) containing waste water, typically, from cyanidation of refractory gold ores. There are currently three industrial-scale ASTER™ processes in operation worldwide. This aerobic bioprocess reduces the CN- and SCN- concentrations to below 1 mg/L in a continuous system, facilitating reuse or safe discharge of process water. To date, the microbial consortia associated with this bioprocess have been poorly characterized and, as a result, the relative abundance and diversity of the community has been significantly under-represented. Researchers within the Centre for Bioprocess Engineering Research (CeBER) at the University of Cape Town, together with those at the University of California, Berkeley are employing a molecular approach, including 16S rRNA gene surveys and metagenomic analysis, to study CN- and SCN- biodegradation within laboratory-scale reactors.

Monday, 10 August 2015 00:00

Figure 1Lepidopteran insects such as the false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick), the African bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner), the codling moth (Cydia pomonella, L.), the potato tuber moth (Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) and the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Figure 1) are serious crop pests in South Africa, with considerable economic impact on various agricultural crops.

Monday, 27 July 2015 09:31

Gold nanoparticlesThere has been growing focus on the potential to use gold nanoparticles as tools in the field of bionanotechnology because of their unique optical, electronic and molecular recognition properties. Gold nanoparticles are known to be fairly stable and are regarded as generally bio-compatible. However, some studies have reported that these nanoparticles could be toxic to some organisms, including bacteria. The mechanism by which gold nanoparticles may confer toxicity to E. coli cells remains to be fully understood.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015 18:15

LipidsUniversity of the Free StateResearch into the molecular mechanisms of common yeasts and bacteria at the University of the Free State in South Africa seeks to exploit the roles of lipid molecules as instigators of disease symptoms towards development of new therapeutics and antifungal agents.

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 00:00

S cerevisiaeL-carnitine, a medically relevant, amino acid-derived molecule is a valuable target for biotechnological production. Researchers at the Institute for Wine Biotechnology, Stellenbosch University has recently provided the first report of a metabolically engineered carnitine producing strain of the industrial yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an organism that does not natively produce its own carnitine. This was achieved by cloning and reconstructing the Neurospora crassa L-carnitine biosynthesis pathway in the baker’s yeast to create an L-carnitine producing strain. The engineered yeast strains are able to catalyze the synthesis of L-carnitine from the pathway’s precursor, trimethyllysine, as well as from intermediates. Several native S. cerevisiae genes were identified that contribute to, or interfere with, the heterologous pathway. This includes (i) the threonine aldolase Gly1p which effectively catalyzed the second step of the pathway, fulfilling the role of a serine hydroxymethyltransferase, (ii) the arginine transporter Can1p which was identified as the yeast transporter for trimethyllysine, and (iii) the two serine hydroxymethyltransferases, Shm1p and Shm2p, which reduced the flux through the heterologous pathway. The work opens opportunities for using an engineered, L-carnitine producing S. cerevisiae strain in various industrial applications.

Monday, 22 June 2015 00:00

A plant's survival is determined by its ability to tolerate stress that arises from physical, chemical and biological events. For example, nutrient limitation affects cellular functions, and consequently, plant development. This could be due to nutrient depletion or inaccessibility as nutrients such as phosphorus and iron could be locked up in complex compounds in the soil. In addition, plants have to withstand harsh environmental conditions such as heat, winds, torrent storms and drought. Disease-causing pathogens and pesticides are another threat that reduce a plant’s fitness.

Monday, 08 June 2015 17:31

Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus causes severe infections, especially in nosocomial environments. The cells are often deeply imbedded in biofilms, which makes treatment of the infections extremely difficult. Cells exposed to antibiotic levels below MIC (minimal inhibitory concentration) may develop resistance. The aim of this study was to develop a drug carrier that would keep antibiotic levels, in this case Ciprofloxacin, well above MIC for the duration of treatment. By electrospinning Ciprofloxacin into a nanofiber scaffold consisting of poly(D,L-lactide) (PDLLA) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO), the antibiotic was released within 2 h, killing 99% of P. aeruginosa and 91% of a methicillin-resistant strain of S. aureus in a biofilm. Ciprofloxacin, which remained intact, were released from the nanofibers for 7 days at levels above MIC. The nanofibers were not toxic when tested against MCF-12A breast epithelial cells. Antibiotic-filled nanofibers may be the answer to the eradication of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus biofilms.

Thursday, 04 June 2015 21:49

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A significant number of households in rural South Africa rely on roof-harvested rainwater (RHRW) for domestic purposes. Although, there is a general public health perception that RHRW is safe to drink, the presence of potential pathogens has been reported in this water source. Generally, the microbiological methods used to evaluate water quality depend on conventional culturing methods, which may underestimate total pathogen content and diversity and, thus limit the extent to which one can fully understand potential infectious risks from RHRW use. However, the use of high-throughput next-generation sequencing, (pyrosequencing) offers an alternative, in which detailed community structure can be achieved in combination with a fairly high taxonomic resolution. Not only does high-throughput next-generation sequencing allow for the detection and identification of dominant bacteria phylotype profiles within a sample but the high sequence numbers produced allows for the detection of rare species including pathogens within bacterial communities.

Monday, 16 February 2015 13:16

Cyanothece sp. bloom at the mouth of the Mkhuze River in North Lake, St Lucia, on 20 July 2009 (Photo courtesy of Ricky Taylor).The St Lucia Estuary is part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the largest estuarine system in Africa. This three-lake complex is particularly vulnerable to droughts and hypersaline conditions due to its large surface area (350 km2) and shallow water depth (average depth 0.9 m). A widespread bloom of the unicellular cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. appeared in June 2009 and persisted for 18 months within the two northern basins of St Lucia (False Bay and North Lake). This was the first recorded bloom of this genus globally.

Thursday, 27 June 2013 22:12

The quality of the essential commodity water is being compromised by contaminants originating from anthropogenic sources, industrial activities, and agriculture amongst others.  Water scarcity and severe drought in many regions of the world also represents a significant challenge to the availability of this resource.  Domestic rainwater harvesting (DRWH), which involves the collection and storage of water from rooftops and diverse surfaces, is successfully implemented worldwide as a sustainable water supplement. In South Africa, a water-scarce country, the use of domestic rainwater harvesting is predominantly practised by communities situated in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. While the use of DRWH tank systems can definitely suffice and serve as an alternative water supply, there is a health risk associated with the use of this water source for drinking purposes, especially if the water is used untreated. Currently the information available on the microbial and chemical quality of harvested rainwater in South Africa is limited.

Sunday, 21 April 2013 18:16

Antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens is a major cause of concern for modern medicine, as this renders these “miracle drugs” ineffective. The accidental discovery of penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming and the countless lives saved by this antibiotic in the 1940’s pioneered modern medicine. However, injudicious use of penicillin and various other antibiotics has caused a major problem in the treatment of “once easily treatable” bacterial infections. A marked increase in antibiotic-resistant pathogens has been reported over the last few decades, including the well-known methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The emergence of multi-drug resistant bacteria has amplified this problem. Antibiotic resistance is causing a regression back to a “pre-antibiotic era” where a minor scrape or cut can lead to a battle between life and death. Skin is our first line of defence against the onslaught of various pathogens causing infection; it plays a role in thermoregulation and maintaining of homeostasis in addition to having immunological, neurosensory and metabolic functions. Severe skin damage, however, exposes underlying tissue to microbial invasion which can easily progress into severe life threatening infections if not treated successfully.

Monday, 11 March 2013 17:06

Very few people know that the smell from wet soil on a rainy day is due to the presence of a compound called geosmin. This compound is produced by a variety of soil dwelling actinobacterial strains. Actinobacteria are amazing microorganisms and have been exploited over the past century for their ability to produce antibiotics, enzymes, antioxidants and pigments.

Thursday, 14 February 2013 19:44

The University of the Western Cape is partner of a large-scale, four-year project launched in October 2012 called PharmaSea funded by the EU. The UWC team is led by Prof Marla Tuffin, Acting Director of the Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics (IMBM), and in collaboration with Prof Michael Davies-Coleman.The collaborative project PharmaSea will bring European researchers to some of the deepest, coldest and hottest places on the planet. Scientists from the UK, Belgium, Norway, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Denmark will work together to collect and screen samples of mud and sediment from huge, previously untapped, oceanic trenches. The large-scale, four-year project is backed by more than €9.5 million of EU funding and brings together 24 partners from 14 countries from industry, academia and non-profit organisations.

Monday, 05 November 2012 12:25

A free-swimming southern right whale, St. Helena Bay (South Africa).  Economic growth and stability, standard of living, social inclusion, development of human capital, critical infrastructure, urbanization, industrialization, human rights and jobs for the nation are among the ideals and realities faced by most nations and governments in our current world. However, the benefits of economic welfare are frequently accompanied by increased pressure on the natural environment and resources. High levels and volumes of pollution and waste are released into marine ecosystems, especially near urban areas. Taking into account that 21 of the 33 mega cities of the world are located on coastlines, high volume discharges present a major threat to the health and well-being of marine life, including cetacean species.