PhD (Entomology), Rhodes University, 2011
MSc (Marine biology), Rhodes University, 2007
BSc (Honours -Marine Biology), Rhodes University, 2004
BSc (Zoology and Legal Theory), Rhodes University, 2003
Facilitator course from Assessment College (2022)
Research Ethics course from TRREEE (2021)


Danica joined SST in May 2019 as a senior researcher and was tasked with writing a chapter on sea-based sources of waste in Africa. In October 2019 she travelled to Senegal to attend the FAO/GGGI Workshop on Best Practices to Prevent and Reduce Abandoned, Lost or Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG) which was instrumental in initiating the Sea-Based Sources of Waste project at SST. In November 2019 she attended a workshop in Mauritius on Marine Litter in Africa, where discussions focused on data and knowledge gaps, and defining Africa’s future research agenda. This assisted in shaping and focusing SST’s current research projects. Through attending national and international workshops, Danica has been able to set up collaborations across Africa.

Skills & Expertise

Leadership and team building
Team coordination
Stakeholder engagement
Workshop facilitation
Public speaking
Project management and coordination
Financial management and budget tracking
Writing academic peer-reviewed articles and non-academic works such as progress reports, funding applications and popular writing for social media
Broad knowledge on plastic pollution, in Africa and globally
Knowledge on biological invasions

Impact at SST

Danica oversees all scientific research projects at SST, and also assists on projects involving community work e.g. Operation Clean Spot. Through her work, STT’s research projects have contributed to baselines of plastic pollution in Algoa Bay, and their results can be used by municipalities to plan waste management in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (NMBM). Results from several research projects have been published in peer-reviewed journals and many projects have rolled out into other Africa countries. Methods For Litter Monitoring piloted in Nelson Mandela Bay, and together with African collaborators, SST has produced the African Marine Litter Monitoring Manual.

The Sample Preparation Manual for Analysis of Plastic-related Pollutants has been distributed to African researchers wishing to develop their own programmes for the monitoring of pollutants in marine environments. These are just some of the areas Danica has made a significant impact in as Head of Research, Development and Monitoring.


Toshka Barnardo, Tanna Mae van Niekerk, Lorien Pichegru, Danica Marlin, The first baseline estimation of marine litter in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 172, 2021,

Amarein J. Fourie, Ryan C. Uren, Danica Marlin, Hindrik Bouwman, Metals and co-presence of other pollutants in mussels (Perna perna) around Algoa Bay: Human consumption safety concerns, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 185, Part B, 2022,

Gabriela Castro, Amarein J. Fourie, Danica Marlin, Vishwesh Venkatraman, Susana V. González, Alexandros G. Asimakopoulos, Occurrence of bisphenols and benzophenone UV filters in wild brown mussels (Perna perna) from Algoa Bay in South Africa, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 813, 2022,

Marlin, D., & Ribbink, A. J. . (2020). The African Marine Waste Network and its aim to achieve ‘Zero Plastics to the Seas of Africa’. South African Journal of Science, 116(5/6).

Sample Preparation Manual for the Analysis Of Plastic-Related Pollutants

African Marine Littering Manual

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