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Welcome to the University of Seychelles

Dr. Murray Duncan

Department of Environment

Contact Us

Dr. Nuette Gordon 

Head of the Department of Environment


+248 438 1220

Focus areas: Fisheries science, marine biology, marine ecology, conservation physiology, biological responses to climate change, marine protected areas

 BERI focal point: Fisheries science

Murray joined the University of Seychelles (UniSey) in September 2022 as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environment and a research member of BERI. He holds a PhD in Fisheries Science from Rhodes University, South Africa and worked as a postdoc at Stanford and University, USA prior to joining UniSey. His research domain is the marine realm with a focus on fish and fisheries and how they respond to environmental change. Under this broad research theme, he is particularly interested in lines of enquiry that can lead to tangible management solutions that improve the sustainability of Seychelles’ blue economy.

Dr. Duncan has experience running multiple scientific research projects throughout sub–Saharan Africa and supervising numerous post graduate students.

At UniSey, he plans to build from this experience and run a dynamic research laboratory that equips the next generation of Seychellois marine scientists with the tools to succeed.



Peer reviewed scholarship 

  • Duncan MI, Micheli F, Boag TH, Marquez JA, Deres H, Deutsch CA, Sperling EA. 20223. Oxygen availability and body mass modulate organismal responses to ocean warming. Nature Communications, 14. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-39438-w


  • Pringle BA, Duncan MI, et al. 2023. Ocean warming favours a northern Argyrosomus species over its southern congener, whereas preliminary metabolic evidence suggests that hybridization may promote their adaptation. Conservation Physiology, 11(1). DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coad026 


  • Edworthy C, Potts WM, Dupont S, Duncan MI… et al. 2022. A baseline assessment of coastal pH variability in a temperate South African embayment: implications for biological ocean acidification research. African Journal of Marine Science, 44. DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2022.2147999 


  • Woods HA, Moran AL, Atkinson D, … Duncan MI, et al. 2022. Integrative approaches to understanding organismal responses to deoxygenation. Biological Bulletin, 243. DOI: 10.1086/722899 


  • Sperling EA, Boag TH, Duncan MI, et al. 2022. Breathless through time: oxygen and animals across Earth’s history. Biological Bulletin, 243. DOI: 10.1086/721754:  


  • Glass JR, Belle K, Berke G, Bodin N, Burt AJ, Duncan MI, Morgan SK, Pillay P, Talma S. 2022. Evaluating the feasibility of sustainable seafood labelling programmes in Small Island Developing States: A case study in Seychelles. Frontiers in Marine Science, DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2022.931407


  • van der Walt K, Potts WM, Porri F, Winkler AC, Duncan MI, Skeeles MR, James NC. 2021. Marine Heatwaves Exceed Cardiac Thermal Limits of Adult Sparid Fish (Diplodus capensis, Smith 1884). Frontiers in Marine Science, 8. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2021.702463


  • van der Walt K, Porri F, Potts WM, Duncan MI, James NC. 2021. Thermal tolerance, safety margins and vulnerability of coastal species: Projected impact of climate change induced cold water variability in a temperate African region. Marine Environmental Research, 169. DOI: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2021.105346


  • Butler EC, Childs AR, Milner MV, Farthing MW, Duncan MI, Winkler AC, Potts WM. 2021. Do contemporary age-growth models overlook life-history complexities in protandrous fishes? A case study on the large protandrous polynemid, the giant African threadfin Polydactylus quadrifilis. Fisheries Research, 233. DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2020.105770


  • Duncan MI, James N, Potts WM, Bates AE. 2020. Different drivers, common mechanism; The distribution of a reef fish is restricted by local scale oxygen and temperature limits on aerobic metabolism. Conservation Physiology. DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coaa090


  • Potts WM, Attwood CG, Cowley PD, Childs AR, Winkler AC, Duncan MI, Murray TS, Mann BQ, Mann-Lang JB. 2020. Editorial overview: recommendations for the promotion of a resilient linefishery in the Anthropocene. African Journal of Marine Science, 42(3): 255-267, DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2020.1824738


  • Arkert NK, Childs A-R, Duncan MI, Farthing M, Potts WM. 2020. Physiological stress response and recovery of an important estuarine fishery species, dusky kob Argyrosomus japonicus, after a simulated catch-and-release event. African Journal of Marine Science, 42(3): 229-345, DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2020.1801505. 


  • Butler EC, Childs A-R, Duncan MI, Potts WM. 2020. Understanding the effects of recreational catch-and-release angling on an increasingly important foreign fishing tourism species, the giant African threadfin Polydactylus quadrifilis (Cuvier). Fisheries Management and Ecology, 27: 603-614. DOI: 10.1111/fme.12451. 


  • Hollander J, Linden O, Gudka M, Duncan MI et al. 2020. Marine organisms’ response to climate change effects in the Western Indian Ocean. Journal of Indian Ocean Rim Studies, 3(1): 33 – 59. 


  • Pringle BA, Childs A-R, Butler EC, Winkler AC, Duncan MI, Teta C, Potts WM. 2020. Time course of the physiological stress response in bronze bream Pachymetopon grande following a simulated catch-and-release angling event. African Journal of Marine Science, 42(3): 375-380, DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2020.1745278. 


  • Muller CM, Childs A-R, Duncan MI et al. 2020. Implantation, orientation and validation of a commercially produced heart-rate logger in a typical Perciform fish. Conservation Physiology, 8. DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coaa035.Top of Form 


  • Skeeles MR, Winkler AC, Duncan MI et al. 2020. The use of internal heart rate loggers in determining cardiac breakpoints of fish. Journal of Thermal Biology, 89: 102524. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2020.102524.


  • Duncan MI, Bates AE, James N, Potts WM. 2019. Exploitation may influence the climate resilience of fish populations through removing high performance metabolic phenotypes. Scientific Reports, 9: 11437. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-47395-y. 


  • Duncan MI, James N, Bates AE, Goschen WS, Potts WM. 2019. Localised intermittent upwelling intensity has increased along South Africa’s south coast due to El Niño-Southern Oscillation phase state. African Journal of Marine Science, 41(3): 326 – 330. DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2019.1656105. 


  • Bates AE, Cooke RSC, Duncan MI et al. 2019. Climate resilience in marine protected areas and the ‘protection paradox’. Biological Conservation, 236: 305 – 314. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.05.005. 


  • Winkler AC, Farthing W, Duncan MI, Potts WM. 2019. Sectioned or whole otoliths? A global review of hard structure preparation techniques used in ageing sparid fishes. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, DOI: 10.1007/s11160-019-09571-1


  • Bates AE, Helmuth B, Burrows MT, Duncan MI et al. 2018. Biologists ignore ocean weather at their peril.Nature, 560: 299 – 301. DOI: 10.1038/d41586-018-05869-5. 


  • Duncan MI, James N, Fennessy ST, Mutombene RJ, Mwale M. 2015. Genetic structure and consequences of stock exploitation of Chrysoblephus puniceus, a commercially important sparid in the South West Indian Ocean. Fisheries Research, 164: 64-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2014.10.019. 


Authored reports and proceedings. 

  • Murray TS, Duncan MI, Winkler AC, Childs A-R, Mann BQ, Potts, WM (eds). 2019. Linefish resilience in the Anthropocene: The Proceedings of the 5th Southern African Marine Linefish Symposium. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3959749. 


  • Mwale M, James N, Guissamulo A, Erasmus B, Halafo J, Duncan MI, Coppinger C, Isemonger D. 2012. Modelling the effects of climate change on the distribution of shared fishery species in the subtropical Western Indian Ocean. WIOMSA/MASMA Technical Research Report. 43pp. 


Contributions to reports and proceedings. 

  • Sink KJ, van der Bank MG, Majiedt PA, Harris LR, Atkinson LJ, Kirkman SP, Karenyi N (eds). 2019. South African National Biodiversity Assessment 2018 Technical Report Volume 4: Marine Realm. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. South Africa.  


  • Duncan MI, Mwale M, Fennessy S. 2013. The genetic stock structure of slinger (Chrysoblephus puniceus) in the South West Indian Ocean. In: Attwood C, Booth T, Kerwath S, Mann B, Marr S, Bonthuys J, Duncan J, Potts W (eds), A Decade After the Emergency: The Proceedings of the 4th Linefish Symposium, 16-20 April, Langebaan, South Africa. pp 207-211. 


Articles in popular press 


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