Just Blue -
tunicate taxonomy and marine invertebrate research
- Mar 2013 Halogenated Oxindole and Indoles from the South African Marine Ascidian Distaplia skoogi. Candice L. Bromley, Shirley Parker-Nance, Jo-Anne de la Mare, Adrienne L. Edkins, Denzil R. Beukes and Michael T. Davies-Coleman. South African Journal of Chemistry, 2013, 66, 64-68.
- Oct 2012 Antimicrobial Rubrolides from a South African Species of Synoicum Tunicate. Justyna Sikorska, Shirley Parker-Nance, Michael T. Davies-Coleman, Oliver B. Vining, Aleksandra E. Sikora, and Kerry L. McPhail. Journal of Natural Products, 2012, 75 (10), 1824-1827.
- Sep 2012 Shirley has an Algoa Bay soft coral species Eunephthya shirleyae named after her.
- Jun 2012 Mandelalides A–D, Cytotoxic Macrolides from a New Lissoclinum Species of South African Tunicate. Justyna Sikorska, Andrew M. Hau, Clemens Anklin, Shirley Parker-Nance, Michael T. Davies-Coleman, Jane E. Ishmael, and Kerry L. McPhail.
The Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2012, 77 (14), 6066-6075.
- Apr 2011 Sessile biofouling on tags from recaptured raggedtooth sharks (Carcharias taurus) and their effects on tagging studies. M. L. Dicken, S. Parker Nance and M. J. Smale. Marine and Freshwater Research, 2011, 62, 359–364.
What we do
This research initiative aims to make information on the southern African inter
and subtidal benthic hard substrate fauna more accessible. To improve our current
understanding of the environment and the organisms associated with it, we would
like to bring the research closer to everybody and make is more accessible to everyone.
Very little is know of our subtidal hard substrate and of the benthic organism associated
with it. We aim to provide introductory information on various aspects of the southern
African Marine environment and provide answers to commonly asked questions.
The main thrust of this program is in tunicate taxonomy. The southern
African coast is home to a diverse but relatively poorly understood ascidian fauna.
Little work has been done in the past and although the southern African coast is
home to a large number of species, only some 170 species have been described in
the past. Renewed interest in this group due to natural product research and anti-cancer
research has highlighted the enormous amount of new and unknown compounds that are
found in not only ascidians, but also sponges, bryozoans and other marine invertebrates
commonly found off our coast.
Ascidians or tunicates, commonly known
as sea squirts. They are found in abundance on our shores, occur in many shapes,
sizes and colours. They make out a significant component of our fauna on our rocky
shores. One of the bigger species most of you are familiar with is commonly known
as Red bait (Pyura stolonifera), a popular fish bait used by anglers. See
our Ascidian research page for more information.
Southern Africa is blessed with a large number of habitat types, each filled with
its own peculiar and interesting array of life. We are all aware of our rich terrestrial
pant and animal life, it's uniqueness and diversity in Africa and in southern Africa.
But few of us are aware of our marine fauna and flora. The lack of information or
knowledge is directly related to the cost involved in monitoring and studying these
unique environments. As we all know the marine environment (intertidal reefs, subtidal
reefs, sandy beaches and estuarine environments) are partially or completely covered
by water. We need sophisticated sampling apparatus and skilled divers to look, photograph,
record the organisms found, and skilled researchers to investigate these organisms
and the processes taking place.