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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2010  /  September 2010  /  Luca reports back on Okavango Delta biodiversity

Luca reports back on Okavango Delta biodiversity

RGS-IBG support for Luca Marazzi’s postgraduate research

Luca reports back on Okavango Delta biodiversity


In this audio slideshow, prepared for the Royal Geographical Society, Luca Marazzi explains the aims and importance of his research on phytoplankton biomass and biodiversity in the Okavango Delta. Luca started his Ph.D. in 2008 and received one of the 2009 RGS-IBG Postgraduate Research Grants for his fieldwork activities in Botswana.

The Okavango Delta is one of WWFs 200 key eco-regions, and therefore is an important site for geographical study. Phytoplankton (algae and bacteria living in the water column) are crucial organisms: as primary producers they are at the base of the food chain. Phytoplankton communities are very sensitive to changes in the environment and are one of the first groups to respond to potential pressures facing wetlands, including hydrological modifications and declines in water quality as pressures from tourism increase. Phytoplanktonic algae have never been systematically studied in the Okavango Delta before; this project aims at investigating their role in the Delta in terms of the provision of key ecosystem services".


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