Kevin C. K. Ma
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Rhodes Univ. (2019 – present)
PhD in Oceanography, Univ. Laval (2019)
MSc in Biology, Memorial Univ. of Nfld. (2012)
BSc in Ecology and Environmental Biology, UBC (2008)
— Google Scholar
Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University
Life Sciences Building
Barrett Complex, African Street
Grahamstown, 6139, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Current and past affiliations and major sources of support:
Kevin is a marine ecologist with interests in larval settlement of benthic species, early detection of marine invasive species, and ascidian taxonomy. He received his BSc degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC) where he was mentored by Kai Chan and worked in his lab, his MSc degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) under the co‑supervision of Don Deibel and Cynthia McKenzie, and his PhD degree from Université Laval under the co‑supervision of Ladd Johnson and Chris McKindsey. Presently, he is a postdoctoral research fellow at Rhodes University where he is supervised by Christopher McQuaid.
From 2009 to 2012, research was primarily focused on the ecology and management of invasive ascidians, which included studies on the best practices to eradicate invasive ascidians (Deibel et al. 2014), the species richness and zoogeography of native and non‑native ascidians in eastern Canada (Ma et al. 2017a), and the population dynamics of an invasive ascidian in a subarctic harbour (Ma et al. 2017b). From 2012 to 2017, collaborative monitoring and research efforts resulted in the discovery of several new records of marine invasive species in the Canadian Maritimes (Moore et al. 2014, Ma et al. 2016, Ma et al. 2018, Ma et al. 2019, Ma et al. 2020) and in understanding large-scale biogeographical patterns of invasive ascidians (Carman et al. 2019). More recently, between 2013 and 2019, his doctoral research aimed to develop optimal sampling strategies for the early detection of marine invasive species by evaluating different spatial and temporal scales in the field (several manuscripts are currently in preparation). Starting in 2019, Kevin has been investigating the spatial structure of invertebrate abundance and incidence of epibiosis across multiple spatial scales in South Africa.
Kevin was previously involved in marine invasive species outreach efforts in the Canadian Arctic in 2015. In 2017, he received training in ascidian taxonomy at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama. Also, Kevin has been involved in the organizing committees of scientific conferences (namely the 2015 Benthic Ecology Meeting and the 2018 World Conference on Marine Biodiversity), with a particular interest in coordinating social media for these events. Since 2019, Kevin serves as an associate editor for Aquatic Invasions (AI), BioInvasions Records (BIR), and Management of Biological Invasions (MBI).