Loyiso Dunga

AREA OF EXPERTISE: I am a marine biologist by training, a conservationist at heart. My work places me in the nexus of science-policy-society, where the hope is to build bridges that bring everyone together in order to co-develop strategies to safeguard our marine heritage.

AFFILIATION: I am currently an Executive Director for the Seas of Good Hope World Heritage Nomination project (South Africa). To carry out this legacy project my affiliation is Parley for the Oceans and the South African National Biodiversity Institute.  I am a IUCN Red List Authority Coordinator and I am also an Edinburgh Ocean Leader (UK).


‘I was deathly afraid of the sea — now I work to protect it’

Hub early-career researcher Loyiso Dunga (University of Cape Town, South Africa) writes about his aims to guard kelp, a crucial resource in the South African waters on Natureread here >>

Making waves

Loyiso stars in the documentary film ‘The Kelp Keeper.‘ The story follows marine biologist Loyiso Dunga on his mission to protect the kelp forests – watch here >>

Loyiso has co-scripted the documentary film ‘Deep Connections | The importance of Culturally Significant Areas in South Africa’s marine space’ – watch here >>

Recent publication

Introducing the Seaweed Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission – read here >>

Loyiso on leadership

In 2023, a team of emerging researchers was conducting an offshore multi-disciplinary research expedition in South Africa with the aim of fostering local and regional capacity and connections to understand and equitably manage southern Africa’s oceans. Loyiso Dunga was leading the work on Culturally Significant Areas and the team had privilege to experience one of the Eastern Cape’s most significant sites through his eyes. The objective was to explore and recognise the deeper connections of many South Africans to the Coastal and Ocean environment and the team led by Loyiso Dunga visited a site named Gompo Rock, also known as Cove Rock. This site was an example of many sites of intangible cultural connections to the Sea and a site of historic and cultural significance with a history conveyed through orature. Gompo’s Rock is a powerful site that tells a story of a great Xhosa prophet, visionary and leader for the Xhosa, Khoi Khoi and San people. See the fieldwork report – here >>

Artwork: Margherita Brunori