Ecological Genomics & Wildlife Conservation

The Centre for Ecological Genomics & Wildlife Conservation is a molecular research laboratory based at the Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Logo Centre for Ecological Genomics and Wildlife  Conservation

The Aquatic Division uses genetic and genomic tools to study marine and freshwater animals in southern Africa and elsewhere. Our main focus areas are biogeography, phylogeography, phylogenetics, population genetics, genomics/transcriptomics, conservation biology and invasion biology.

Contact: Prof. Peter Teske, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park 2006, Johannesburg, South Africa; Email:

Challenging paradigms

Some of the research conducted in our lab has challenged long-established paradigms. Some of these are relevant to a handful of taxonomists, while others affect how large numbers of scientists interpret their data. Please click on this LINK for details.

Current research projects

Phylogenetic trees SNP vs. DNA barcoding

Thermal adaptation

Genomic and physiological evidence for regional adaptation explains speciation without dispersal barriers. In some cases, incipient species are not yet identifiable on the basis of DNA barcoding. LINK

Heatplot of larval connectivity

Seascape genetics

Connectivity between coastal sites can be surprisingly limited because most larvae never reach the offshore boundary currents. Combined evidence from high-resolution genetic data and larval connectivity simulations. LINK

Critically endangered estuarine pipefish

Endangered species

Initiatives to help conserve the endangered Knysna seahorse (Hippocampus capensis) and the critically endangered estuarine pipefish, Syngnathus watermeyeri. LINK to papers, project log on Researchgate and Estuarine pipefish project website

South Africa ocean currents

The Agulhas Current

A collection of articles that explore the effect of the Indian Ocean's western boundary current on the connectivity of coastal species. LINK

Pyura doppelgangera

Marine invaders

Using genetics to study marine invasions, describe cryptic species and distinguish recent arrivals from overlooked native species. LINK

Morphological difference mudprawn

Cryptic species

Numerous coastal species in temperate southern African and Australia that occur in more than one marine biogeographic province constitute two or more species that are difficult to distinguish using morphological characters. LINK

Brown mussel, Perna perna

Small-scale genetic structure in marine mussels

Despite spending weeks in the plankton, mussel populations at different coastal sites can be so distinct that they are identifiable using even relatively slowly evolving mtDNA. LINK