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Honorary Research Associates

Prof. Rob Crawford

Oceans and Coasts, Department of Environmental Affairs
Email: Rob.Crawford@environment.gov.za

Qualifications and experience

Rob obtained a BSc (Physics, Zoology; 1969) and BSc(Hons) (Zoology; 1970) at the University of Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal), and then a PhD (1979) at the University of Cape Town. He joined the Sea Fisheries Research Institute, now Branch Marine and Coastal Management of South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, in 1971, and has continued there since then as a researcher, apart from a two-year spell with South African National Parks in the early 1980s.


Research interests

Rob initially worked on fish stock assessment and now focuses on seabirds. Some exploited fish species are an important food source for seabirds, and research is aimed at ensuring an ecosystem approach to fisheries (as it relates to seabirds) and the conservation and sustainable utilisation of South Africa's seabirds, including those at the Prince Edward Islands.

Selected publications

  • Crawford, R. J. M. & Robinson, G. A. 1984. History of the Blue Duiker Cephalophus monticola population in the Tsitsikamma forests, Republic of South Africa. Koedoe 27: 61-71.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., Cruickshank, R. A., Shelton, P. A. & Kruger, I. 1985. Partitioning of a goby resource amongst four avian predators and evidence for altered trophic flow in the pelagic community of an intense, perennial upwelling system. South African Journal of Marine Science 3: 215-228.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., Shannon, L. V. & Pollock, D. E. 1987. The Benguela ecosystem. Part IV. The major fish and invertebrate resources. Oceanography and Marine Biology Annual Review 25: 353-505.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., David, J. H. M., Williams, A. J. & Dyer, B. M. 1989. Competition for space: recolonising seals displace endangered, endemic seabirds off Namibia. Biological Conservation 48: 59-72.
  • Lluch Belda, D., Crawford, R. J. M., Kawasaki, T., MacCall, A. D., Parrish, R. H., Schwartzlose, R. A. & Smith, P. E. 1989. World wide fluctuations of sardine and anchovy stocks: the regime problem. South African Journal of Marine Science 8: 195-205.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., Boonstra, H. G. v. D., Dyer, B. M. & Upfold, L. 1995. Recolonization of Robben Island by African Penguins, 1983-1992. In The Penguins: Ecology and Management. Dann, P., Norman, I. & Reilly, P. (Eds). Chipping Norton, Australia; Surrey Beatty: 333-363.
  • Crawford, R. J. M. 1998. Responses of African Penguins to regime changes of sardine and anchovy in the Benguela system. South African Journal of Marine Science 19: 355-364.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., Dyer, B. M., Cordes, I. & Williams, A. J. 1999. Seasonal pattern of breeding, population trend and conservation status of Bank Cormorants Phalacrocorax neglectus off southwestern Africa. Biological Conservation 87(1): 49-58.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., Davis, S. A., Harding, R., Jackson, L. F., Leshoro, T. M., Meÿ​er, M. A., Randall, R. M., Underhill, L. G., Upfold, L., Van Dalsen, A. P., Van der Merwe, E., Whittington, P. A., Williams, A. J. & Wolfaardt, A. C. 2000. Initial impact of the Treasure oil spill on seabirds off western South Africa. South African Journal of Marine Science 22: 157-176.
  • Crawford, R. J. M. 2003. Influence of food on numbers breeding, colony size and fidelity to localities of Swift Terns in South Africa's Western Cape, 1987-2000. Waterbirds 26(1): 44-53.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., Cooper, J., Dyer, B. M., Greyling, M. D., Klages, N. T. W., Ryan, P. G., Petersen, S. L., Underhill, L. G., Upfold, L., Wilkinson, W., De Villiers, M. S., Du Plessis, S., Du Toit, M., Leshoro, T. M., Makhado, A. B., Mason, M., Merkle, D., Tshingana, D., Ward, V. L. & Whittington, P.A. 2003. Populations of surface-nesting seabirds at Marion Island, 1994/95-2002/03. African Journal of Marine Science 25: 427-440.
  • Crawford, R. J. M. 2004. Accounting for food requirements of seabirds in fisheries management - the case of the South African purse-seine fishery. African Journal of Marine Science 26: 197-203.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., Asseid, B. S., Dyer, B. M., Hija, A., Mwinyi, A. A., Shinula, P. & Upfold, L. 2006. The status of seabirds at Latham Island, Tanzania. African Journal of Marine Science 28(1): 99-108.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., Barham, P. J., Underhill, L. G., Shannon, L. J., Coetzee, J. C., Dyer, B. M., Leshoro, T. M. & Upfold, L. 2006. The influence of food availability on breeding success of African Penguins Spheniscus demersus at Robben Island, South Africa. Biological Conservation 132(1): 119-125.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., Dyer, B. M., Cooper, J. & Underhill, L. G. 2006. Breeding numbers and success of Eudyptes penguins at Marion Island, and the influence of mass and time of arrival of adults. CCAMLR Science 13: 175-190.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., Goya, E., Roux, J-P. & Zavalaga, C. B. 2006. Comparison of assemblages and some life-history traits of seabirds in the Humboldt and Benguela systems. African Journal of Marine Science 28: 553-560.
  • Crawford, R. J. M. 2007. Food, fishing and seabirds in the Benguela upwelling system. Journal of Ornithology 148 (Suppl 2): S253-S260.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., Dundee, B. L., Dyer, B. M., Klages, N. T. W., Meÿer, M. A. & Upfold, L. 2007. Trends in numbers of Cape Gannets (Morus capensis), 1956/57-2005/06, with a consideration of the influence of food and other factors. ICES Journal of Marine Science 64: 169-177.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., Dyer, B. M., Kemper, J., Simmons, R. E. & Upfold, L. (2007) Trends in numbers of Cape Cormorants (Phalacrocorax capensis) over a 50-year period, 1956-57 to 2006-07. Emu 107: 1-9.
  • Crawford, R. J. M., Underhill, L. G., Upfold, L. & Dyer, B. M. 2007. An altered carrying capacity of the Benguela upwelling ecosystem for African Penguins (Spheniscus demersus). ICES Journal of Marine Science 64: 570-576.