Dr Macdonald obtained his PhD in 2011 from UKZN and is a senior lecturer in the School of Life Sciences. Currently he is involved in; examining relative genetic connectivity between populations of marine organisms in the south west Indian Ocean, comparative phylogenetics, barcoding marine organisms in the SWIO region and, the applications of environmental DNA sampling. He has graduated 12 MSc candidates and 7 PhD candidates.
Dr Macdonald is interested in benthic organisms and their ecology and has been involved in a variety of studies both in the field and in the laboratory. He has previously studied benthic environments ranging from the Pondoland coast to northern Mozambique. He is experienced in the identification and classification of shallow reefal environments and benthos from this region. His postgraduate focus was on speciation and population genetics in hard corals from South Africa and he is consequently experienced in genetic research techniques. Molecular tools have wide application in ecology and evolution and can be used to help solve the complex challenges of the anthropocene and Dr Macdonald’s research is oriented towards these issues