Casper Morch

Casper was born in the Netherlands, but shortly afterwards moved to Pretoria. After four years, he moved on to Kenya, followed by Vietnam, and then Mozambique. His international upbringing and exposure to the unique natural characteristics of each of these countries lay the foundation for what was to become a strong passion for the environment.

After finishing high school, Casper travelled across southern Africa and South-East Asia as a SCUBA diving professional. He worked in conjunction with organisations such as the Marine Megafauna Foundation, where he was first introduced to citizen science. He also learned about the intricate connections between coastal ecosystems and human wellbeing. During one of his dives, as a pair of oceanic manta rays sailed calmly over his head, Casper realised his future was to be a steward of the ocean.

He obtained a BSc at Leiden University College in the Hague, Netherlands in “Earth, Energy, and Sustainability”. His honours thesis involved developing a systematic review to assess plastic ingestion rates in sharks and rays.

Casper has joined the MSc Conservation Biology course at the FitzPatrick Institute with the intention of gaining further knowledge and skills in the field of conservation. He intends to use these tools to enhance marine ecosystem resilience and empower marginalised coastal communities.

Thesis: Between a bass and a hard place: the fragmented distribution of an endangered redfin in the Heuningnes river system of the Cape Fold ecoregion. (Supervisors: Charles Griffiths, Jeremy Shelton).