While the present research emphasis is on the estuary, there are myriads of stimulating research topics within the famous Knysna Afromontane forests and the freshwater streams that drain the Outeniqua Mountains, and in particular the Knysna River which forms the upper reaches of the Knysna embayment.
The research areas listed below are a sample of a more complex array:
- The distribution and biology of insect larvae and nymphs in the mountain streams of the Knysna forests. These streams are deeply peat stained and show low pH;
- The limnological features of the coastal lakes in the Garden Route;
- Phytoplankton abundance of community structure in the coastal lakes and estuary;
- Zooplankton diversity within the estuary and its seasonal variation;
- Primary productivity of the eelgrass Nanozostera capensis;
- Eelgrass meadows as refugia for juveniles of invertebrates and fish;
- The thermohaline character of the estuary under tidal and increased river flow conditions;
- The chemistry of the water column under the influence of tidal, sewage effluents and stormwater inflows;
- Metapopulation structure of the endangered marine pulmonate, Siphonaria compressa;
- The biology of the endemic and endangered sea horse Hippocampus capensis: A review of the distribution of the extant populations in the estuary is urgently needed;
- The macrobenthos of the intertidal mud and sandbankss with particular emphasis upon the bait organisms, mudprawn, Upogebia capensis, and the common sand prawn, Callianassa kraussi;
- The gastropod community of the estuary: its mud and sand flats, rush and salt marshes;
- There is an extensive data base of the wetland birds of the estuary covering some 15 years, this requires evaluation; and
- A new study on the distribution and biology of the highly endangered estuarine seahorse, Hippocampus capensis Boulenger 1900 in the Knysna estuary started in the summer of 2013.