SCIENTIFIC AQUATIC SERVICES
AQUATIC BIOMONITORING & TOXICOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS:
Known nationally and internationally as an industry leader, SAS has vast experience in conducting aquatic ecological assessments in all freshwater environments, including wetlands and estuarine systems.
SAS has undertaken freshwater studies since 2003, refining techniques and presentation of data over time to ensure improved integration in the EIA process, enabling efficient decision-making by all stakeholders.
In addition to conducting freshwater studies, SAS facilitates ongoing aquatic biomonitoring programmes in over 30 project localities throughout South Africa.
The following sectors are highlighted with examples of prominent clients and listed companies.
- Commercial and residential development (Attacq, Advtech, Century Development, Cosmopolitan Developments, Central Development, and M&T Development).
- Linear developments such as pipe (Drakenstein Municipality and SASOL) and powerlines (Private developers, mining, IPP’s and Eskom), roads (CSIR, SANRAL, ACSA and Rustenburg Rapid Transport)
- Infrastructure development, including transit (PRASA), and sanitation (WSSA);
- Mining across all sub sectors and all regions of South Africa, Southern, East and West Africa from junior mining companies and small quarry operators to the largest diversified mining Companies (Anglo American, Northam Platinum, African Rainbow Minerals, Assore, Glencore, Pan African resources, Petra Diamonds, Wescoal, Canyon Coal).
- Industrial developments and facilities including the paper and pulp industry (Enstra Papers), chemical manufacturers (NCP Chlorchem, AEL) and cement production (Dangote).
Studies focus on concisely presenting all data gathered by desktop methods, and databases along with the definition of the Present Ecological State (PES), Ecological Importance and Sensitivity (EIS), and other relevant aspects of aquatic resources using the most appropriate and industry recognised assessment tools. SAS also undertakes Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) as well as the Direct Estimation of Ecological Effect Potential (DEEEP) assessments to assess the possible acute effects on aquatic biological assemblages. Monitoring reports focus on Ecostatus Definition, spatial and temporal analysis, compliance to resource quality objectives and target water quality guidelines and classification and quantification of toxicological data.
Watercourse Management Services:
SAS is known as an industry leader in wetland and riparian resource mapping (delineation) and assessment across Africa.
SAS has undertaken numerous wetland assessments as far back as 2005 and over time has refined technique and presentation in such a way as to ensure the highest level of expertise which in turn leads to improved integration in the EIA process and easier decision making by both the proponent, the project professional team and the relevant decision making authorities with specific mention of the Department of Water and Sanitation. The following assessment spheres are highlighted with examples of clients.
- Commercial and residential development (M&T Development) (Val De Vie Estate).
- Linear developments such as pipe (Drakenstein Municipality) and powerlines (Private developers, mining, IPP’s and Eskom), roads (SANRAL).
- Mining across all sub sectors and all regions of South Africa, Southern, East and West Africa from junior mining companies and small quarry operators to the biggest diversified mining Companies.
- Industrial developments and facilities including the paper and pulp industry (Enstra Papers), chemical manufacturers (AEL) and cement production (Dangote).
- Wetland offsets for projects in the commercial property, mining (Canyon Coal) and industrial sector (ACSA).
Freshwater resource reporting focuses on concisely presenting all data gathered by desktop methods, and databases along with the definition of the PES, EIS, Ecoservices, and other relevant aspects of freshwater systems using the most appropriate and industry recognised assessment tools.
VISUAL IMPACT ASSESSMENTS:
STS have developed specialised VIA techniques which combine high-resolution field data with expert GIS analysis, utilising the latest software and technology, to provide accurate and scientifically sound deliverables, which comply with all relevant national, provincial and local legal requirements.
STS has undertaken numerous VIA’s and has developed unique technique and presentation methods to ensure the highest level of expertise, which in turn leads to improved integration in the EIA process and easier decision making by both the proponent, the project professional team and the relevant decision making authorities. The following assessment spheres are highlighted with examples of clients:
- Sustainable energy developments such as Wind Energy Facilities and Solar Energy Facilities (Private developers and IPP’s).
- Linear developments such as powerlines (Private developers, mining, IPP’s and Eskom).
- Mining across all sub sectors and all regions of South Africa, Southern, East and West Africa from junior mining companies and small quarry operators to the biggest diversified mining companies.
- Landfill facilities, waste facilities and waste treatment facilities (local government and private institutions).
SAS has undertaken numerous VIA’s and has developed unique techniques and presentation methods to the best transfer of information using graphic media including, Global Mapper and ArcMap which in turn leads to improved integration in the EIA process and easier decision making by both the proponent, the project professional team and the relevant decision making authorities
Aquatic ecological assessments and Water Quality Studies
- Habitat assessment indices (IHAS) (HCR) (IHIA) (RHAM)
- Aquatic macro-Invertebrates (SASS5 and MIRAI)
- Fish Assemblage Integrity Index (FRAI)
- Fish Health assessments
- Riparian vegetation integrity (VEGRAI)
- Watercourse Geomorphology
- Riverine rehabilitation plans
- Diatom assessments and application of the SPI Index
- Water quality monitoring
- Annual water monitoring reports for DWA & DMR
- Environmental Water Requirement Studies
- Toxicological Analyses
- Screening tests, Definitive and DEEEP analyses and calculation of dilution factors
- Application of the PAI Model
- Mass and Salt Balance studies
Watercourse Management Services
- Watercourse riparian zone delineations
- Watercourse Eco services assessments
- Watercourse rehabilitation & management plans
- Watercourse Eco status determinations
- Watercourse resource landscape maintenance, management and planting plans
- Development of ecological design criteria and objectives and engineering design support
- Watercourse resource management and monitoring
- Watercourse Offsets
- Hydropedological assessments
- Wetland resource management and monitoring
Visual Impact Assessmets
- View shed analyses
- Visual modelling
- Visual baseline studies
- Impact assessments
- Landscaping and planting plans
MEET OUR TEAM
SACNASP REG.NO: 151566/22
Anrich Kock obtained his PhD at the NWU (North-West University) with his research focus on diatom ecology and ecotoxicology in both river and wetland ecosystems. After completion of his degree he joined the NWU as a post doctorate. Anrich has attended and presented at numerous conferences both nationally and internationally, as well as participate in a wide range of courses on numerous aspects of the aquatic ecosystem.
In 2022 he joined the Scientific Aquatic Services team as an Aquatic Ecologist with particular focus on aquatic biomonitoring and toxicity testing. Since joining the team he has worked on numerous projects in a wide range of industries both nationally and international. He has expanded his skill set into various different aspects of aquatic monitoring and ecology and is currently leading the diatom monitoring section within the company.
Anrich is registered by the SA RHP as an accredited biomonitoring specialist and is SACNASP registered in aquatic science. Anrich is a member and council member (2020-2023) of the International Diatom Society (IDS) as well as a member of the Southern African Society of Aquatic Scientists (SASAqS).
SACNASP REG.NO: 400146/14
Dionne Crafford completed an undergraduate BSc degree in Ecology in 1996, as well as an honours degree in Zoology in 1997. In 1999 he commenced with his MSc in Zoology on the use of fish health and parasite fauna as an indicator of water quality, and obtained the degree in 2000.
From 2001 he was employed as a parasitologist (veterinary researcher and later specialist veterinary researcher) at an animal health company, after which he moved to an animal health contract research organisation (CRO) in 2006. Here he was employed as researcher and later study investigator. In 2009 he started his part-time Zoology PhD studies on the monogenean parasite fauna of fishes in the Vaal Dam, which included description of a number of new species.
He obtained his PhD degree in 2013. From 2013 he also started collaborating with SAS as a scientific writer, and has since contributed to several reports pertaining to baseline aquatic assessments, biomonitoring, and toxicity testing.
He remained active as a parasitologist and Scientific Writer in an Animal Health CRO setting up to July 2021, and started gaining experience as a Medical Writer thereafter (currently ongoing at a Data Management CRO). He continues to provide scientific writing services to SAS.
Dionne is registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with SACNASP in the field of biological science.
SACNASP REG.NO: 129757/20
Faith holds a BSc degree in Geology and Geography from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), an Honours degree in Geography, and a MSc degree in Geography and Environment Science both obtained through the University of the Western Cape (UWC). She has two years of experience in the field of GIS, having gained skills in the application of basic GIS functions for map production, projections, detail mapping and quality control to produce high-quality data and visuals.
Faith has worked on research focusing on controls on wetland vegetation communities and on investigating cut-and-fill cycles in channelled valley-bottom wetlands and has published papers with colleagues on these findings. She has also completed several short courses on wetland ecology, including Tools for Wetland Assessment (Rhodes University, 2020), Introduction to Wetland Health and Delineation (WCWF 2019) and continues to take on other skills courses as they become available.
Faith is a member of the South African Wetland Society (SAWS), the International Society of Wetland Scientists(ISWS), and the Western Cape Wetlands Forum (WCWF). She is registered with SACNASP as a Candidate Natural Scientist in the field of Environmental Science.
SACNASP REG.NO: 146386/23
Kristen Coertze has a master’s degree in Botany (University of the Free State, 2023) in the field of wetland ecology with a focus on determining wetland health using plant and soil indicators. Kristen completed an undergraduate degree in Geography and Environmental Science in 2018 followed by an Honours degree in Geography in 2019 both at the University of the Free State.
Kristen began her career at SAS in 2021 as a junior wetland ecologist. While at SAS, Kristen has been exposed to numerous projects in the urban development, renewable energy and mining sectors. She has experience in freshwater ecosystem delineation, rehabilitation and management plans, landscape plans and wetland offsets.
Kristen has also expanded her abilities within the environmental management field by conducting processes such as Water Use License Applications (WULA) and General Authorisation (GA) Applications.
Kristen is registered as a Candidate Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) and she is also a member of the Grassland Society of South Africa (GSSA).
SACNASP REG.NO: 126391/21
Leandra Jonker completed an undergraduate degree in Botany and Zoology at the North West University. This degree was completed in 2009. Leandra also completed her honours degree in Environmental Management at the University of South Africa with a mini thesis focussing on the eutrophication of the Vaal River. In 2011 Leandra undertook a master’s degree in Aquatic Health at the University of Johannesburg with a thesis focussing on the impact of small scale farming on the macro-invertebrate and diatom community structure of the Vhembe district, Limpopo.
As from 2012, Leandra has been employed by SAS as an Aquatic Ecologist. Leandra has participated in a number of projects relating to aquatic biomonitoring and toxicity testing. Her experience gained from her own projects and experience in the field gives her an understanding of the complexity of river health and management.
Leandra is registered by the SA RHP as an accredited aquatic biomonitoring specialist.
Monique Botha completed a Master’s Degree and PhD degree in Environmental Sciences at North-West University. Her work throughout her post-graduate career focused on a wide range of ecological aspects across South Africa’s grassy biomes, including biodiversity patterns in maize agro-ecosystems, plant-arthropod interactions and forest-grassland ecosystem dynamics.
Monique joined SAS in 2023 as a junior freshwater ecologist where she gained experience in freshwater ecology and has been exposed to numerous projects in the urban development, renewable resources and mining sectors. She has experience in freshwater ecosystem delineation, rehabilitation and management plans as well as landscape plans.
Paul Da Cruz
SACNASP REG.NO: 124271/21
Paul da Cruz joined Scientific Aquatic Services as a Senior Ecologist in June 2022. Paul completed an undergraduate degree in Geography followed by an Honours in Geography and Environmental Studies.
Paul offers extensive experience in a variety of specialist disciplines, in particular freshwater (wetland) assessments, having conducted wetland and other freshwater assessments over a period of 17 years. He completed multiple avifaunal assessments, as well as undertaking numerous visual impact assessments. Paul is also proficient in environmental impact and environmental management assessments, having conducted EIAs and BAs on various large projects, especially linear infrastructure projects, and has gained experience in conducting Strategic Environmental Assessments, Environmental Management Frameworks and Environmental Screening Assessments.
Paul gained international experience, having been employed in government agencies in the early 2000’s in the United Kingdom, undertaking water abstraction licencing and technical assessment, water resources policy development and catchment management for both the Environment Agency and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). Paul also spent just under a year as an intern in the Natural Resources Division of the Gateway Natural Recreation Area in the USA.
Paul is registered with SACNASP in the field of ecological science. He is also a registered Environmental Assessment Practitioner with EAPASA and is a member of the South African Wetland Society.
SACNASP REG.NO: 124679/21
Nqobile holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) including an honours degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of KwaZulu – Natal (2011 – 2015) and a Master of Science (MSc) degree in GeoInformatics from Stellenbosch University. This degree was funded by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) through their Studentship programme, and it was awarded cum laude in 2019.
He joined SAS as a Junior Freshwater Ecologist in the first quarter of 2019 before moving to the SAS Durban office where he is currently based. His areas of focus mainly include: freshwater (wetland / riparian) delineation and assessment, freshwater Eco-service and status determination, toxicological analysis, water and sediment chemical analysis.
He has also been involved in the mass and salt balance determination study on the Groot Dwars River, a unique study assessing the salt load contribution from various mine entities operating on the Groot Dwars River valley. As part of his scientific professional development at SAS, Nqobile has undertaken the Tools for Wetland Assessments (WET-Health and Eco-Services ver. 2) and Advanced Grass Identification courses.
Nqobile is registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP). He is a member of the South African Wetland Society and former National Executive Committee (NEC) member at the International Association for Impact Assessment South Africa (IAIAsa).
Sanja Erwee completed an undergraduate degree in Zoology (University of Pretoria, 2013). Sanja volunteered for three weeks at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park on behalf of Wildlife Act, contributing to the research on the wild dogs in the park (2013).
Sanja joined Scientific Aquatic Services in January 2014 as a junior field ecologist, specializing in GIS and being involved with Wetland Rehabilitation and Management Plans, as well as Faunal, Floral and Wetland Ecological Assessments. Over the course of her career, Sanja completed two Global Mapper courses and a SANBI BGIS Course, enabling her to improve her GIS visual analyses. During her time at SAS, Sanja became a GIS technician as well as a Visual Impact Assessment (VIA) Specialist and was involved with various GIS visual analyses, VIAs and Rehabilitation Landscaping Plans for various sectors, such as mining, wind farms, urban development and waste water treatment facilities.
Stephen van Staden
SACNASP REG.NO: 400134/05
Stephen van Staden completed an undergraduate degree in Zoology, Geography and Environmental Management. He then undertook an honours course in Aquatic health. In 2002 he began a Master’s degree in environmental management, including his mini dissertation in the field of aquatic resource management. Stephen began building a career at a firm specialising in town planning developments, after which he moved to a larger firm in late 2002 where he managed the monitoring division and acted as a specialist consultant on water resource management issues and other environmental processes and applications.
In 2003, Stephen started consulting independently specialising in water resource management. In addition to aquatic ecological assessments, clients enquired about terrestrial ecological assessments and biodiversity assessments, which developed into a very significant part of the business.
Stephen started working in the wetland consulting arena and has become recognised as a national expert in this regard combining science (ecology and hydrology), engineering principles and an in-depth understanding of the legislative framework to provide turnkey advisory services. Stephen has launched soil and land capability assessment and visual impact assessment services with other specifically qualified specialists.
Stephen is registered by the SA RHP as an accredited aquatic biomonitoring specialist and is also registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with SACNASP in the field of ecology. Stephen is also a member of the Gauteng Wetland Forum, the South African Soil Surveyors Organisation (SASSO) and IAIA.
Zikhona is a junior freshwater ecologist and started at SAS in 2023. She completed an undergraduate degree, honours degree in Soil Science (University of the Free State). She completed her Master’s degree in Soil Science with a focus on identifying wetland soil properties aiding the dormancy of Rift Valley fever vectors in central South Africa.
Since Zikhona joined SAS in 2023, she has been exposed to numerous projects in the urban development, renewable resources and mining sectors.
Zikhona has experience in freshwater ecosystem delineation, rehabilitation and management plans.
Lucas is a field technician at the company and also attends to the maintenance and upkeep of field equipment and general maintenance.