MSc Zoology (cum laude) from Nelson Mandela University (2020)
BSc Honours Zoology from Nelson Mandela University (2017)
Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences (majors: zoology and botany) from Nelson Mandela University (2016)
Facilitator course from Assessment College (2023)
Research Ethics course from TRREEE (2022)


Tayla started her professional journey as a seabird rehabilitator. Her master's thesis investigated ways to involve commercial fishermen in the conservation of the endangered African penguin. During her honours, she explored parental care in endangered seabird species like the Cape gannet and the African penguin. Tayla joined SST in 2020 as a researcher for the Operation Clean Spot project and transitioned to a project coordinator role for the Sea-Based Sources of Waste project in 2023. She has been instrumental in maintaining a stakeholder database and developing a Data Collectors database that gathers information on discarded fishing gear across South Africa's coast.

Skills & Expertise

Areas of Knowledge

Marine conservation
Marine Protected Areas
African penguins
Plastic pollution
Sea-based sources of waste (including abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear)


Scientific and report writing
Data management
Data analyses (quantitative and qualitative)
Public speaking
Project coordination
Seabird handling and care
Seabird haematology
Volunteer training and coordination
Workshop facilitation

Impact at SST

Tayla was part of the original Operation Clean Spot team where she was the researcher from 2020 – 2022. During that time, the project logged 142 clean-ups with over 9 000 kg of litter removed from environment in Gqeberha. The project hosted a workshop series across Nelson Mandela Bay and a ten-part radio series on the popular Algoa FM. Tayla developed monthly newsletters to stakeholders, created a media footprint and assisted in developing a scientific study on the trends in plastic pollution following public interventions.

She coordinated the Sea-based Sources of Waste project from 2022 – 2023. The project hosted various workshops including an international expert multi-day workshop, multi-day port management workshop and several volunteer training workshops. Tayla also developed and conducted data collection on sea-based sources of waste through regular field work, engaged with stakeholders and presented on the topic of sea-based sources of waste at several event and was instrumental in several publications related to the work of the project.


Lombard Amanda T., Dorrington Rosemary A., Reed Jodie Romay, Ortega-Cisneros Kelly, Penry Gwenith Susan, Pichegru Lorien, Smit Kaylee Pam, Vermeulen Estee Ann, Witteveen Minke, Sink Kerry J., McInnes Alistair M., Ginsburg Tayla, Key Challenges in Advancing an Ecosystem-Based Approach to Marine Spatial Planning Under Economic Growth Imperatives, Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 2019,

Involving fishermen in seabird conservation: bridging the gap between the socioeconomic needs of industry and the needs of seabirds

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