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Bio-sketch of Dr Marthán Bester

Dr Bester has a strong and scientifically productive involvement in the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) studying the population ecology of pack ice seals in the eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica and that of elephant seals and fur seals on a regional level (mainly the Kerguelen Province), individual movement within the region as a whole, together with more detailed studies of their diets and availability of prey, through international cooperation with the Australian Antarctic Division, the University of Tasmania (Australia), the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Germany), the Instituto Antartico Argentino, Centro Nacional Patag├│nico, CONICET (Argentina), the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (USA), the Norwegian Polar Institute, and the Tristan da Cunha Government (UK). The research investigates the trophodynamics of pinnipeds, i.e. food consumption in quality and quantity, the feeding behaviour, and energetic considerations, the role of the various pinniped species in the Southern Ocean, interspecific relationships, the implications for growth and survival, and the use of growth rates and reproductive parameters as indicators of changes in the ecosystem. These are fields of research with most application in conservation and management, in applying the principles embodied in the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (CCAS), the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and the Prince Edward Islands Management Plan.

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