Mark Gibbons is a researcher at the University of Western Cape in South Africa. His research focuses on pelagic ecology – especially zooplankton ecology - at the individual, population and assemblage level. Most of his work examines local and regional patterns in the evolution of populations and species and on assemblage structure and distribution. His research has been conducted on pelagic cnidarians, which are particularly abundant off Namibia where they pose numerous economic problems (http://sajellywatch.uwc.ac.za).
Jellyfish are a worldwide concern at the moment and effort has been directed to look at patterns in abundance as related to a variety of environmental factors. He is starting to move his emphasis away from the field and into the laboratory in order to try and look at the factors responsible for medusa release and polyp persistence, as well as to try and understand growth and behaviour of ephyrae and medusae. All of his work is being done in collaboration with international and regional experts.