Freshwater Life

Freshwater Life book cover

New field guide by C·I·B Core Team Member describes life in freshwater more...

Who we are

The C·I·B is an inter-institutional Centre of Excellence established in 2004 within the DST-NRF Centres of Excellence Programme. Its members undertake research on the biodiversity consequences of biological invasions, largely through post-graduate student training. The principal aims of the Centre's work are to reduce the rates and impacts of biological invasions by furthering scientific understanding and predictive capability, and by developing research capacity.

The C·I·B has its physical home at the University of Stellenbosch, but comprises a network of senior researchers and their associated postdoctoral associates and graduate students throughout South Africa. Find out more about us.

The Fall Armyworm arrives in southern Africa

As of early 2017, the fall armyworm has been found in west, central and now southern Africa, chomping its way around Ghana, Nigeria and Malawi, Zimbabwe and now also in Limpopo province of South Africa. The fall armyworm moths lay eggs on the leaves of crop plants, and their larvae, once hatched, feed close to the ground and then higher up the plant, eating the maize cobs and leaves and causing serious damage to the plant. The larvae are hard to detect as they hide among the leaves during the day and feed mostly at night. Fall armyworms eat many of our staple crops – maize, sorghum, soybeans and potatoes. The South African Department of Agriculture is working on a control programme to contain the spread of the species in Limpopo.


Highlighted Paper

Global monitoring of biological invasions brought to the next level

Participants of the workshop in Leipzig in March 2015

What variables should be monitored to aid the management of invasive species? Applying the concept of essential biodiversity variables, a new study identified three essential variables for invasion monitoring; alien species occurrence, status and impact. This minimum information set can then be delivered by joint, complementary contributions from countries and global community initiatives.

Published book

Front cover of Detecting and Responding to Alien Plant Incursions

Detecting and Responding to Alien Plant Incursions

by John R. Wilson, F. Dane Panetta and Cory Lindgren.

Ecologists, land managers and policymakers continue to search for the most effective ways to manage biological invasions. In a new book by C·I·B researcher, John Wilson and colleagues, they explore how to detect and respond to alien plant incursions.

  • Receive a discount when purchasing this book - expires 31 December 2016
  • View a list of all C·I·B published books

For Students

Photo: J. Shaw In support of our vision, we are offering bursaries to students who are studying towards an Honours, Masters or Doctoral degree in biodiversity, environmental sociology or invasion biology. Click on links to the left under “Student & Research support” to find out more about the support and bursaries that are on offer.


C·I·B's first decade

Read a short overview titled Invasion science for society: A decade of contributions from the Centre for Invasion Biology in South African Journal of Science (no subscription required)

22 March 2017

A recent paper led by C·I·B post-doctoral fellow Heidi Hirsch highlights how uncertainty about the taxonomy can impact inferences in invasion ecology, using the Australian silver wattle (Acacia dealbata) as a case study.

24 February 2017

Habitat modification, pollution and alien fishes are among the greatest threats to South Africa’s freshwater biodiversity. Alien fish impact is primarily through predation on, and/or competition with, native fishes, invertebrate and plant communities.

06 February 2017

Findings from a paper by a C·I·B post-doctoral fellow, Ross Shackleton, highlight how a recent invader, Siam weed (Chromolaena odorara), has significant negative impacts on the livelihoods of local communities and the environment in Tanzania.

30 January 2017

In November 2016, the Centre for Invasion Biology (C·I·B) supported a workshop to help close the gap between research and management practices in the restoration of Cape Flats Sand Fynbos.

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Read a review of the book by James A Drake et al. in Biological Invasions

Past C·I·B Events