Marine biodiversity and systematics, marine alien species, coastal ecology 
Phone: 064 530 6443






Recent books

Two Oceans New Cover

Branch, G.M., C.L. Griffiths, M.L. Branch & L Beckley 2022. Two Oceans: A Guide to the Marine Life of Southern Africa.  (Completely revised and greatly expanded edition with new publisher) Randomhouse/Struik, Cape Town, 464pp. (5th edition).

Moths of SA
Stauder H, Picker M, Griffiths C, 2023. Moths of southern Africa and their caterpillars. Random House/ Struik (South Africa), also co-published by Pelagic Publishing (UK).


Griffiths, C.L, Day J.A. & Picker, M.D. 2015. Freshwater Life. A Field Guide to the Plants and Animals of southern Africa. Randomhouse/Struik, Cape Town, 368pp

Picker, M.D., C.L. Griffiths 2011. Alien and Invasive Animals – A South African Perspective. Randomhouse/Struik Cape Town  240pp



Picker, M.D., C.L. Griffiths & A. Weaving   2002. Field Guide to Insects of South Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town 440 pp. (currently in 9th printing 2011)

Recent publications:

230 Robbins A, Griffiths CL 2023. Unusual composition and vertical zonation patterns among the biota of pebble and cobble shores. Estuarine Coastal Shelf Science 282: 108255.

231 Carpenter M, Parker D, Dicken M, Griffiths, C.L. 2023  Multi-decade catch study of manta rays (Mobula alfredi, M. birostris) from South Africa reveals significant decline. Frontiers of Marine Science, 10:1128819

232 Carpenter M,   Griffiths  C 2023 . ‘Flash Mobula ’: first observations of courtship behaviour of the shortfin devil ray Mobula kuhlii , African Journal of Marine Science 45(1): 51-56.

233 Brokensha, R, Griffiths CL, Lanschoff J. 2023. Additions to the stomatopod fauna of Mozambique. European Journal of Taxonomy 900:148-179.

234  Kajee M , Dallas HF, Griffiths CL, Kleynhans C J, Shelton JM 2023. The status of South Africa’s freshwater fish fauna: A spatial analysis of diversity, threat, invasion, and protection. Fishes 8, 571

235 Santamaria C, Griffiths CL 2023. Cryptic biodiversity and phylogeographic patterns of Deto echinata (Isopoda: Detonidae) in southern Africa.  Peer J 16529

236 Cerrilla C, Flemming L, Griffiths CL, Impson D, Jordaan M, Kajee M, Paxton B, van der Walt JA, Whitehead TO, Shelton J 2023. Using a Head-start conservation intervention to boost spawning numbers of the endangered Clanwilliam sandfish. Conservation Science and Practice.  DOI: 10.1111/csp2.13065

237 Kajee M, Dallas HF, Swanepoel A, Griffiths CL, Shelton JM 2023. The Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS) Fish Data: A georeferenced dataset of freshwater fishes occurring in South Africa. Journal of Limnology 82(S1)

238 Kajee, M., Henry, D. A. W., Dallas, H. F., Griffiths, C. L., Pegg, J., Van der Colff, D., Impson, D., Chakona, A., Raimondo, D. C., Job, N. M., Paxton, B. R., Jordaan, M. S., Bills, R., Roux, F., Zengeya, T. A., Hoffman, A., Rivers-Moore, N., & Shelton, J. M. (2023a). How the Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS) is supporting national freshwater fish conservation decisions in South Africa. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 11.


Emer. Prof. Charles Griffiths

Abbreviated CV (updated October 2023 )

Charles Griffiths was born in Kenya and educated at Blundell’s Public School in Devon, UK, then at Southampton University (UK), where he was awarded a BSc(Hons) in 1970. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cape Town in 1974. He joined the University of Cape Town staff at the age of 22, rising through the ranks from Research Assistant to Full Professor and was Director of the UCT Marine Biology Research Centre for 17 years up to his retirement in 2013. He is currently an Emeritus Professor and Senior Scholar in the Department of Biological Sciences. He married Dr Roberta Griffiths in 1974 (deceased 2022) and they have two adult children, Melinda (b 1980) and Matthew (b 1986).

His main current research interests are the documentation of marine biodiversity, coastal ecology and the impacts of marine alien species. He is an author of papers describing well over 100 species new to science and recording more than 200 additional species in South Africa for the first time. Six new species have also been named (by other researchers) in his honour. He is author of nine guide books to the South African fauna, including three best-selling field guides: ‘Two Oceans – a Guide to the Marine Life of South Africa’ (now in its 5th edition), ‘Field Guide to the Insects of South Africa’ (now in its 3rd edition) and the recent ‘Freshwater Life’, as well as the just released “ Moths of southern Africa and their caterpillars”.   He has published 17 book chapters, 232 research articles and over 84 semi-popular scientific articles. He is also author of over 200 conference presentations and has convened four conferences.  His ‘H- Index’ is 59 and his work has been cited over 11 500 times.

A total of 61 masters and 28 PhD students have graduated under his supervision,with a further 3 MSc and 4 PhD students currently under supervision. He is a recipient of the UCT book award, is a Life Fellow of the University of Cape Town, a Distinguished Fellow of the International Biogeography Society, a Core Team Member of the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Invasion Biology and winner of the Gold Medal of the Zoological Society of South Africa. He is a former editor of the journal African Zoology and a current or former member of the editorial boards of the journals Marine Biology, Koedoe, Smithiana, Animals, and African Natural History and has acted as a reviewer for over 90 different journals. In his recreation time he is a serious natural history photographer and well over 2000 of his images have been published in textbooks, magazines, advertisements and calendars around the world, including over 20 featured as magazine or book covers.