Shirley Parker-Nance

Ascidian Taxonomist

About me

I completed my graduate studies at Pretoria University, my post graduate studies at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and my in post-doctoral research at Rhodes University.

I’m married to Tim and have two lovely daughters Kayra and Jorja.

I’m privileged to live in Port Elizabeth, a small town on the edge of Algoa Bay on the Eastern Cape coast of South Africa, Indian Ocean.

Although the marine habitats of South Africa incorporate a coastline from the Orange River (bordering Namibia) on the west coast to the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal (just south of Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique), it is the temperate waters of the east coast that grab my attention. The diving is marginal, the water temperature cool and the visibility highly variable but when the wind calms down the bay reveals an unequalled abundance and diversity of ascidians.

Currently busy with South African Biosystematics Initiative - National Research Foundation (SABI) Post Doc at Centre for African Conservation Ecology, Zoology Department, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa.

Research Associate - Ascidian curator - South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Grahamstown, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.

My info

Full name
Shirley Parker-Nance
I am
a professional scientist
Curator level
Full Curator


66 objects curated
1 taxon curated
0 images set as exemplar
0 articles selected for Overview
2 preferred classifications selected

2 common names added
0 common names removed
0 common names curated

1 taxon commented
1 comment submitted
1 article added
0 data records added
*counts are refreshed daily

Curator qualifications


Motivation for position of Full Curator with EOL

As EOL assistant curator my ability to add information to EOL pages is severely limiting. This is understandable as one would like the data entered to be of reliable and of high standard, very reasonable. I would however hereby like to request to be upgraded to full curator. I would like to and know I am able to contribute metadata for more than 100 ascidian species describe from southern African waters (entries for 2014). I’m the only ascidian taxonomist in southern Africa and the curator of the ascidian collection at our national collection facility, the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity SAIAB - please feel free to contact the collection manager Mr. Roger Bills). Pertinent to this request I will mention that I’m part of a large collaborative team of scientist, taxonomist and researcher tasked to digitise the marine biodiversity of South Africa. EOL provide an excellent avenue to do so. This research collaboration known as SeaKeys is a Nation Research Foundation funded initiative coordinated by Dr. Kerry Sink of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). I would like to share my data and knowledge and make it available to EOL.  I hope that EOL would grant me the ability to do so. For information on my work ethic, ability and capabilities feel free to contact any of the references below.

Prof. Rosemary Dorrington SA Research Chair in Marine Natural Products Research
Dept Biochemistry and Microbiology

Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
Tel: +27-46-603 8442

Fax +27-46-6037576

Dr. Tommie Bornman Manager SAEON Elwandle Node

Physical address: 18 Somerset Street, Grahamstown, South Africa

Postal address: Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa

Tel: +27 (46) 622 9899

Fax: + 27 (46) 622 9899


Prof. Mike Davies-Coleman Dean of Science

Department of Medical BioScience

Faculty of Natural Science

Tel:         021 959 2255

Fax:         021 959-2266


Mr. Roger Bills SAIAB Collections Manager

Somerset Street

Private Bag 1015

Grahamstown, 6140 Fax: +27 46 622 2403

Tel: +27 46 603 5833


Dr Kerry Sink Marine Program Manager

South African National Biodiversity Institute

Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, Rhodes Avenue, Kirstenbosch

Private Bag X7, Claremont, 7735

Tel 021 7998855 or 0828310536


Bromley, C.L., Parker-Nance, S., De La Mare J., Edkins A.L., Beukes, D.R. & Davies-Coleman, M.T. 2013. Halogenated oxindole and indoles from the South African marine ascidian Distaplia skoogi. South African Journal of Chemistry. 66: 64-68.

Sikorska, J., Parker-Nance, S., Davies-Coleman, M.T., Vining, O. B., Sikora, A. E., & McPhail, K. L. 2012. Antimicrobial rubrolides P-S from a South African species of Synoicum Tunicate. Journal Natural Products. 75: 1824-1827.

Sikorska, J., Hau, A. M., Anklin, C., Parker-Nance, S., Davies-Coleman, M. T., Ishmael, J. E., & McPhail, K. L. 2012. Mandelalides A-D, Cytotoxic Macrolides from New Lissoclinum species of South African Tunicate. The Journal of Organic Chemistry. 77: 6050-6075.

Dicken, M. L., Parker-Nance, S., &  Smale, M. J 2011. Sessile biofouling on tags from recaptured raggedtooth shark (Carcharias taurus) and their effects on tagging studies. Marine and Freshwater Research. 62: 359-364.

Contributions to other publications

Ellis, G. A., Wyche, T. P., Fry, C. G., Braun, D. R. And Bugni, T. S.* 2014 Solwaric Acid A and B, Antibacterial Aromatic Acid from a marine Solwaraspora sp. Mar. Drugs. 12(2), 1013-1022. doi:10.3390/md12021013(contribution: ascidian identification – Trididemnum orbiculatum from Florida, USA).

Walsley, T. A.,* Matcher, G. F., Zhang, F., Hill, R.T., Davies-Coleman, M. T. and Dorrington, R. A. 2012. Diversity of Bacterial Communities Associated with the Indian Ocean Sponge Tsitsikamma favus That Contains the Bioactive Pyrroloiminiquinones Tsitsikammamine A and B. Mar. Biotechnol. 14:681-691. doi:10.1007/s10126-012-9430-y. (contribution: sponge identification - Tsitsikamma favus from South Africa).

Wyche, T. P., Hou, Y. Vazquez-Rivera, Braun, D. and Bugni, T. S. 2012. Peptidolipins B-F, Antibacterial Lipopeptides from an Ascidian-Derived Nocardia sp. Journal of Natural Products. 75: 735-740 (Ascidian taxonomy).

Olbers, J. M., Celliers, L. and Schleyer, M. H. 2009 Zonation of benthic communities on the subtropical Aliwal Shoal, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. African Zoology 44(1):8-23 (Ascidian identification).

Moreno, T. R. and Rocha, R. M. 2008. Phylogeny of the Aplousobranchia (Tunicata: Ascidiacea). Revista Brasileira de Zoologia. 25(2):269-298 (Ascidian identification).

Past and Present Research collaborations

Rhodes University, Department Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology – SARChI Prof. R Dorington       

Oregon State University, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences - Prof. K. McPhail .       

University of the Western Cape, Department of Biotechnology - SARChI Prof. Marla Tuffin.

SANBI South African Biodiversity Institute – Dr. K. Sink.

Rhodes University, Chemistry Department: Marine Natural Product Research - Prof M. Davies-Coleman.

Mudd Collage – Cnidarian Tree of Life Project - Prof. C. McFadden.

Scripps Institute of Oceanography – Dr. Catharine Sincich.

Coral reef research Foundation, NCI – Dr. P. Colin.

Curation scope
Ascidians of Southern Africa