Dr Olaf LF Weyl
Dr Olaf Weyl is a Principal Scientist at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Member of Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology and Honorary Professor at the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University. Dr Weyl’s current research focus is geared towards providing information with which to better conserve Africa’s aquatic biodiversity and he has worked on freshwater ecosystems in several African countries including Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and South Africa.
Current interests are fisheries, native fish conservation and aquatic invasions. Dr Weyl’s research is multidisciplinary and includes not only research on natural systems and processes but also research on understanding how humans alter and benefit from aquatic systems.
Recent invasive fish related projects include assessing the impacts of recreational angling species such as carp and bass on native fish and invertebrate communities; parasitological and ecological research on eels; monitoring the recovery of stream ecosystems after alien fish removal using piscicides; impacts of hybridisation resulting from fish introductions; managing fish invasions in protected areas and assessing the role that alien fishes play in subsistence and recreational fisheries in South Africa. Dr Weyl also provides policy support with regards to inland fisheries and legislation on alien fish management. He is also active in the development of decision making tools used by provincial nature conservation departments to assess invasion risks through fish introductions. Lately, Dr Weyl has been actively involved in the development of legislation for managing alien invasive species in South Africa. Engagement with stakeholders demonstrated just how complex the management of alien invasive species that have value to humans but also cause environmental harm can be. His most recent work has been focused on describing these conflicts and attempting to define potential win-win solutions for multiple stakeholders.