Dr Nick Rivers-Moore


Aquatic Ecologist
CWRR Associate and UKZN Honorary Research Fellow


Nick is a consulting aquatic ecologist with 15 years of professional experience in this field. After completing a PhD in Hydrology at the University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg) in 2003, he went on to a post-doctorate at the Institute for Water Research (Rhodes University, Grahamstown) which ran until April 2006. He undertook pioneering research on linking water temperature regimes to fish distribution patterns on the Sabie River to complete my PhD. He continued to undertake research on water temperatures and flow patterns as drivers of habitat conditions to explain blackfly outbreaks in the Great Fish River (Eastern Cape) during the post-doctorate. He has considerable experience in fish and aquatic macroinvertebrate sampling, and collection and analysis of water temperature data, further facilitated through a suite of metrics he developed to assess such time series in terms of changes in magnitudes, frequency, duration and timing of thermal stress events. These skills are complemented by extensive experience in water temperature modelling, and development of ecological response models based on flow and water temperature inputs, both of which have been used in scenario analyses. Nick is also a published regional expert on freshwater conservation planning, and successfully developed the first provincial freshwater conservation plan for KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This work led into additional research on understanding turnover patterns of fish and aquatic macroinvertebrates, and how this relates to freshwater conservation targets.

Current Research Projects

  • Flow regime types for South African Rivers – Water Research Commission (18 months; began 1 April 2014)
  • Current and future impacts of alien plant infestations on water temperature and freshwater biodiversity – Water Research Commission (two years; April 2013 – March 2015)

Selected Recent Publications

  • Rivers-Moore, N.A. and Karssing, R.J. (2014) Water temperature affects life cycle duration of tadpoles of Natal cascade frogs in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. African Journal of Aquatic Science (in press).
  • Rivers-Moore, N.A., Dallas, H.F and Morris, C. (2013) Towards setting environmental water temperature guidelines: A South African example. Journal of Environmental Management 82:39-50.
  • Rivers-Moore, N.A., Dallas, H.F. and Ross-Gillespie, V. (2013) Life history does matter in assessing potential impacts of thermal changes on aquatic macroinvertebrates. River Research and Applications 29: 1100-1109.
  • Rivers-Moore, N.A., Fowles, B. and Karssing, R.J. (2013) Impacts of trout on aquatic macroinvertebrates in three Drakensberg rivers in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. African Journal of Aquatic Science 38:93-99.
  • Rivers-Moore, N.A. and Cowden, C. (2012) Regional prediction of wetland degradation in South Africa. Wetlands Ecology and Management 20: 491-502.

Contact Details

Tel:  +27 72 199 1472

Email: Dr Nick Rivers-Moore