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Dr Lynne Shannon

SARChI - Marine Ecology & Fisheries 
Phone: 021 650 5454 
Room No.: 2.35



Lynne Shannon is a senior researcher at the Marine Research (MA-RE) Institute of the University of Cape Town, undertaking ecological research and modelling in support of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF). She has published ninety papers in peer-reviewed journals. Having a broad appreciation of the dynamics and issues through the food web, she has constructed trophic models of the Benguela region to provide an understanding of structure and functioning and changes in the marine food webs off South Africa and Namibia, with a view to providing a basis for EAF. A particular focus has been examination of the relative and combined effects of fishing and environmental forcing on the ecosystem dynamics of the Benguela, including regime shifts. She is exploring practical ways in which ecosystem considerations might be incorporated into fisheries management in the Benguela, especially the use of ecological indicators. Currently, Dr Shannon co-chairs an international working group “IndiSeas2” (Indicators for the Seas; and works in the Marine Ecosystem Evolution in a Changing Environment EU project (MEECE), where she further explores frameworks for using ecosystem indicators for EAF, providing information on the anthropogenic and natural drivers of ecosystem change, and integrating this into management.

Shortened CV

Publications (Journals and conference proceedings)

90 papers published: First author of 28 papers published in internationally recognized journals; Co-author of an additional 62 papers;

41 papers reviewed for internationally recognized journals.


Leadership and Management (Local)

Active leadership and participation in several Scientific Working Groups (SWGs) at Marine and Coastal Management: Chair of the Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries Management SWG (2004-2008); Convener of Ecosystem Change WG (1994-1995), the Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries Management Task Group (2003/4) and the South African National Task Group of the BCLME EAF project (2004-2006); Member/participant of the Chondrichthyan WG (1996-1999), Pelagic Fishery SWG (2003-2009), Demersal SWG (2005-2008), Secretary of the MCM Research Steering Committee (RSC) (1996-2000), Member of Research Steering Committee (2001-2002); Chair of an African Penguin Model Group (2010 onwards); Co-ordinator of the Ma-Re BASICS (Marine Research in the Benguela and Agulhas Systems for supporting Interdisciplinary Climate-Change Science) programme at the University of Cape Town (2012).


Key International Projects and Leadership

South African Project Leader of BENEFIT/FAO multi-national project “Trophic Interactions in the Benguela Ecosystem and their Implications for Multispecies Management of Fisheries” (1998- 2001).

One of two South African representatives in the INCO-DV EU Project (Concerted Action): Placing Fisheries in their Ecosystem Context (1997-2000).

South African representative of SCOR/IOC Working Group 119 “Quantitative Ecosystem Indicators for Fisheries Management” (2001-2004). Co-chair of Task Force 4: “Trophodynamic Indicators”.

VIBES/IDYLE French-South African projects (1999-2004).

EUROCEANS project - Upwelling System & Ecosystem Approach to Marine Resources (2005-2008).

Upwelling Ecosystems French-Benguela-Humboldt programme (ECO-UP): partner researcher and assistant Scientific co-ordinator of the Benguela Regional Project (2006-2007).

INCOFISH EU project partner and  South African co-ordinator (2006-2008).

Co-chair of the EUROCEANS European Network of Excellence (NoE) IndiSeas WG on “EAF Indicators : a comparative approach across ecosystems” (2006 onwards).

MEECE (Marine Ecosystem Evolution in a Changing Environment) EU project partner (2009-2012).

Co-chair of the Biodiversity and Sustainable Ocean Use theme within the Life in a Changing Ocean project (2011-2012).

Member of the Centre Advisory Panel for the Nordic Centre of Excellence programme “Climate Change Effects on Marine Ecosystems and Resource Economics” (Marine Ecosystems Under Climate Change) led by Prof Nils Stenseth of the University of Oslo and partnered by institutes in Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Faroe Islands.

Partner in the Ecopath Consortium signed in 2011.


Ten selected key publications

  1. Shannon, L.J., Moloney, C.L., Jarre, A. and Field, J.G. 2003. Trophic flows in the southern Benguela during the 1980s and 1990s. Journal of Marine Systems  39 (1-2):83-116.
  2. Shannon, L.J., Christensen, V. and Walters, C. 2004. Modelling stock dynamics in the southern Benguela ecosystem for the period 1978-2002. In Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries in the Southern Benguela. Shannon, L.J., Cochrane, K.L. and S.C. Pillar (Eds). Afr. J. mar. Sci. 26:179-196.
  3. Shannon, L.J., Cury, P.M., Nel, D., van der Lingen, C.D., Leslie, R.W., Brouwer, S.L., Cockcroft, A.C. and Hutchings, L. 2006. How can science contribute to an ecosystem approach to pelagic, demersal and rock lobster fisheries in South Africa? African Journal of Marine Science 28(1): 115-157.
  4. Shannon, L.J., Neira, S., Taylor, M. 2008. Comparing internal and external drivers in the southern Benguela and the southern and northern Humboldt upwelling ecosystems. African Journal of Marine Science 30(1): 63-84.
  5.  Shannon, L.J., Coll, M., Neira, S., Cury, P.M., and Roux, J.-P. 2009. Impacts of fishing and climate change explored using trophic models. Chapter 8, pp. 158-190  in Checkley, D.M., C. Roy, J. Alheit, and Y. Oozeki (eds.), Climate Change and Small Pelagic Fish. Cambridge University Press 7.
  6. Shannon, L.J., Coll, M. and Neira, S. 2009. Exploring the dynamics of ecological indicators using food web models fitted to time series of abundance and catch data. Ecological Indicators 9: 1078-1095.
  7. Shannon, L.J., Jarre, A.C., and Petersen, S.L. 2010. Developing a science base for implementation of the ecosystem approach to fisheries in South Africa. In Perry, R.I., Barange, M., Hofmann, E., Moloney, C., Ottersen, G. and Sakurai, Y. (Editors). GLOBEC Special Issue, Progress in Oceanography 87(1-4): 289-303.
  8. Shin, Y.-J., and Shannon, L. J. 2010. Using indicators for evaluating, comparing and communicating the ecological status of exploited marine ecosystems. 1. The IndiSeas Project. ICES Journal of Marine Science 67: 686-691.
  9. Smith, A.D.M., Brown, C.J., Bulman, C.M., Fulton, E.A., Johnson, P., Kaplan, I.C., Lozano-Montes, H., Mackinson, S., Marzloff, M., Shannon, L.J., Shin, Y.-J., Tam, J. 2011. Impacts of fishing low-trophic level species on marine ecosystems. Science 333: 1147-1150.
  10. Cury PM, Boyd IL, Bonhommeau S, Anker-Nilssen T, Crawford RJM, Furness RW, Mills JA, Murphy EJ, Österblom H, Paleczny M, Piatt JF, Roux J-P, Shannon LJ and SydemanWJ. 2011. Global seabird response to forage fish depletion – one-third for the birds. Science 334: 1703-1706.