About Amanda Austin

  • Academic Level Master’s Degree
  • Age 33 - 37 Years

About me

Amanda is a professionally registered natural scientist in the field of aquatic science and holds a MSc degree in aquatic health from the University of Johannesburg. During her studies, she published two articles and presented her work at many colloquiums and conferences. She is an accredited SASS5 practitioner, since 2012, and has her skipper’s certificate. She has gained experience in project management and fieldwork for numerous aquatic assessment projects throughout South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zambia. During these assessments, she determined the ecological health of the rivers with the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) protocols i.e. South African Scoring System (SASS5), Index of Habitat Integrity (IHI), Invertebrate Habitat Assessment system (IHAS), Macro-Invertebrate Response Assessment Index (MIRAI), Fish Response Assessment Index (FRAI), Fish Health Assessment Index (HAI), Water Quality, Diatom and Sediment assessments. She assisted in the overall compilation of biodiversity, terrestrial and wetland reports, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), Environmental Management Plans (EMPs), Biodiversity Management & Action Plans (BMAPs) and Demarcation Permit Applications for Category 2 Alien Invasive Plants (AIPs) in accordance with NEM:BA (Act 10 of 2004) and CARA (Act 43 of 1983).

Education

Experience

  • 2006 - 2009
    University of Johannesburg

    Researcher

    The major rivers I’ve worked on during this project include the Assegaai, Elands, Komati, Pongolo rivers as well as Ngwana Dam in Mpumalanga (South Africa). Field work, laboratory analysis and writing of report/dissertation for the project: Aspects of the morphology, parasite host specificity and genetics of selected Labeobarbus polylepis populations.

  • 2005 - 2008
    University of Johannesburg (UJ)

    Field & Laboratory Assistant

    1) Laboratory assistant/demonstrator to Zoology and Physiology undergraduate students 2) Laboratory assistance for the MSc dissertation: The characterisation of an intracellular protozoan parasite infecting the digestive gland of abalone, Haliotis midae. 3)Assist with the fieldwork for the PhD thesis: Aspects of the Anatomy of the Digestive Systems and of the Brain of selected species of the Branchiura (Crustacea) 4)Assistant with the field work for the MSc dissertation: Aspects of the biology of the Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish (Labeobarbus polylepis): Feeding biology and metal bioaccumulation in five populations.

  • 2009 - 2009
    Econ@UJ & Centre for Aquatic Research (CAR)

    Research Assistant

    Monitoring contamination levels in freshwater fish with the Fish Health Assessment Index (FHI) in the Vaal River, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

  • 2010 - 2010
    Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environmental & Tourism (LEDET)

    Research Assistant

    Determine the ecological health of the Nyl and Magalakwena Rivers in Limpopo, South Africa with the DWS indices.

  • 2010 - 2011
    Warmbad Grassnyerdienste

    Secretary

    General Administration

  • 2010 - 2011
    Excelsior Learning Centre

    Teacher

    Teaching Cambridge International (A and O levels) for the subjects Afrikaans, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Travel and Tourism

  • 2011 - 2019
    Natural Scientific Services CC (NSS)

    Aquatic Scientist

    The International rivers, I've worked on, include: o A tributary of the Mpetsana River in Lesotho, o The Mkhuzi and Lunsemfwa rivers in Central Zambia, as well as o The wetland, estuarine and mangrove systems in Northern Mozambique. The National rivers, I've worked on, include: o The Groot Letaba River and the Sandloop (ephemeral), a tributary of the Mokolo River in Limpopo Province; o The Klein-Wesrietspruit, Leeuspruit (ephemeral), a tributary of the Klipspruit, Rietspruit, Elands and Pienaars rivers in Gauteng Province; o The Bosmanspruit (seasonal), Coetzerspruit, Dwars-in-die-Wegspruit, Holspruit, Klipfonteinspruit, Rietspruit, Steenkoolspruit, Vaalbankspruit, Witpuntspruit, Zevenfonteinspruit, Groot-Dwars River, Mkuzase and Mawadlana rivers (tribitaries of the Assegaai River) as well as the Klein Olifants, Vaal, Wilge, Woest-Alleen rivers in Mpumalanga Province; o Kromelmboogspruit (ephemeral) and tributaries of the Elandspruit and Klip River in the Free State Province; o The Klipgatspruit, Wilgespruit (ephemeral), Bofule River (ephemeral) and an unnamed tributary of the Hex River in North West Province. I've determined the ecological health of these rivers with the DWS indices namely: o IHI, IHAS, SASS5, MIRAI and FRAI. o I've done the collection and interpretation of the water quality, diatom and sediment assessments (excluding laboratory analysis). I've assisted with: o Biodiversity/terrestrial/wetland reports; o Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs); o Environmental Management Programme Report (EMPRs); o Aquatic inputs into Biodiversity Management and Action Plans (BMAPs); and o Demarcation Permit Applications for Category 2 Invasive Alien Plants (IAPs) in accordance with NEM:BA and CARA.

  • 2016 - 2018
    JG Afrika (Pty) Ltd

    Senior Aquatic Scientist

    The National rivers, during this period, include: o The Bierspruit, Crocodile and Rooikuil rivers in Limpopo Province; o The Wilge River and Klipfonteinspruit as well as their tributaries in Mpumalanga Province; and o The Klipdrift River and associated wetlands in the Eastern Cape Province. I've determined the ecological health of these rivers with the DWS indices namely: o IHI, IHAS, SASS5, MIRAI and FRAI. o I've done the collection and interpretation of the water quality, diatom and sediment assessments (excluding laboratory analysis).

  • 2019
    Amanzi Aquatics (Pty) Ltd

    Senior Aquatic Ecologist / Scientist

    *I do all the Planning, Organising, Executing & Project Management of the Aquatic Projects and Field Sampling Trips; *Undertake Water Quality, Diatom & Sediment Assessment; *Determined the Ecological Integrity of the sampled rivers by means of the Department of Water & Sanitation (DWS) indices i.e. Index of Habitat Integrity (IHI), Invertebrate Habitat Assessment System Version 2 (IHAS2), South African Scoring System Version 5 (SASS5), Macro-invertebrate Response Assessments (MIRAI), Fish Response Assessment Index (FRAI) and Fish Health Assessment Index (HAI). *Compile Aquatic Reports, with solid interpretation of results; * Impacts and Risk Assessments related to the Project; *Compile Biomonitoring Programmes; *I write the compliance reports for the existing Water Use Licence (WUL) of clients as well assist with Water Use Licence Applications (WULA); *I assist in the overall compilation of other reports namely aquatic specialist studies for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), Environmental Management Programme Report (EMPRs); and Biodiversity Management & Action Plans (BMAPs); *Demarcation Permit Applications for Category 2 Invasive Alien Plants (IAPs) in accordance with NEM:BA (Act 10 of 2004) and CARA (Act 43 of 1983).

Expertise

PrSciNat - Registered in Aquatic Science