Dr Groeneveld’s exemplary contribution to promoting interdisciplinary research in the WIO region and beyond, his dedicated commitment to research and his contribution to the training of emerging scientists earned him admiration and respect of scientists and his peers globally and in the WIO region and he therefore merits the WIOMSA fellowship award.
Dr Groeneveld’s illustrious career in marine and coastal research spans 26 years; most of it at the Oceanographic Research Institute, a branch of the South African Association for Marine Biological Research. Some of his notable accomplishments include: leadership of the South African Rock Lobster Working Group and international recognition as expert on lobster fisheries; participation in the development and implementation of the World Bank-funded South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Project (SWIOFP). He has contributed as a lead author or editor of regional outlooks and state of the coast reports report e.g., the Regional state of the coast report: Western Indian Ocean, published by the Nairobi-Convention and WIOMSA and a book about the contributions of the research vessel Dr Fridtjof Nansen to marine research and capacity development in the WIO over 40 years. Dr Groeneveld has served as principal investigator in regional research projects such as the WIOMSA MASMA-funded Estuarize-WIO project. Dr Groeneveld has contributed immensely to mentorship and development of researchers in the region, supervising 16 post-graduate students, including 12 at Master’s level, two at doctoral level and one post-doctoral fellow and unofficially mentoring many others. He is an honorary professor at the University of KwaZulu Natal, School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, a member of the prestigious Peer-review College of the Marine Stewardship Council (UK); a member of the editorial boards of Fisheries Research and the Western Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Science.
“This award comes as a very pleasant and humbling surprise – and a timely reminder that one can always do more. It is in no small way a result of the enthusiasm and willingness of researchers (young and established) in the WIO to participate in regional projects; their many bright ideas; and their vast appetite for learning. Shared research in the WIO has grown such a long way since 2001 – when I first started working in the region on the SWIOFP project. I feel really happy to have been a part of the process, and hope to continue with it well into the future”- Johan.