The Two Oceans Aquarium was filled with incredible young people on the evening of 9 October 2019, with 49 passionate grade 10 learners, and their families and friends supporting them, as they gathered to celebrate their completion of the Young Biologist programme. This graduation ceremony was to recognise and acknowledge the efforts of these youths in discovering what the natural world has to offer and how to protect it, through a series of courses, volunteer activities and an environmental education camp.

Thanks to the generosity of I&J, this course was offered free to these young people. I&J has been a long-time supporter of the Two Oceans Aquarium and the education mission carried out by the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation. We are very pleased that we have been able to welcome another class of future marine scientists, biologists, conservationists and just generally amazing learners to our pool Young Biologist graduates thanks to I&J.

What was the course about?

The Young Biologist course was held over the March 2019 school holidays and, thanks to I&J, 49 grade 10 learners with a passion for the marine environment were able to have the full experience of our Marine Sciences Academy. Learners got to explore a wide range of practical and theoretical lessons. From the anatomy of anemones and echinoderms to the scientific investigation of the Cape's rockpool ecosystems there was little time for rest - and lots of time for excitement! The Young Biologist programme is an excellent opportunity for children with a keen interest in the ocean to develop their skills and be exposed to careers in marine science.


We haven't set the date's for next year's Young Biologist courses - but sign up for our monthly newsletter to find out out about other free courses your child can apply for.


The graduation

This month, 49 youths graduated from the Young Biologist programme - 26 attaining Diamond Certificates, 12 Gold, 5 Silver and 6 Bronze. These kids were a wonderful class, attaining an average of 82% for their final assessments - special congratulations to the top achiever, Joey Nel, who reached 92%!

Although it is not a requirement, 31 of these Young Biologists chose to volunteer their time at the Aquarium, amassing 2 977 manhours since March 2019. Special thanks to Yaasier Ryland, our most active new volunteer with 370 hours given.

And of course - special thanks to our past Young Biologists who chose to return to help teach this year's course!

The Young Biologist graduation ceremony was opened by the course director, Two Oceans Aquarium Educator Kirshia Govender Koumbatis, who welcomed the award recipients, their parents, school principals and the Aquarium's education partner I&J, who made this all possible. 

Award recipients

Education Award

The Education Award is awarded for excellent presentation skills and commitment to educating visitors, young and old of the Aquarium. 

Jacob Courtney

CEO Award

The CEO's Award is awarded at the prerogative of the Aquarium CEO to a Young Biologist who has been a hard-working and enthusiastic volunteer both behind-the-scenes and on the Aquarium floor, who has been reliable and who has excelled at educating the public.

Yaasier Ryland

Dive courses

The Dive Challenge is awarded to the previous year's Young Biologists who had completed the most volunteer hours to date.

Hannah Subjee & Sage Seef

Charl Vogt Award

This award is for a post-course Young Biologist who, over a 2 year period, remained an active volunteer and assisted in various departments of the Aquarium. An all-rounder volunteer!

Deléne Very

This trophy was donated to the Aquarium by the parents of the late Charl Vogt, a volunteer who spent a lot of his time volunteering and found the Aquarium to be his safe place in times of need. 

UCT Ma-Re TOA Bursary

The UCT Marine Research Institute bursary is awarded to graduates of the Young Biologist programme who have continued to be active volunteers and have shown academic progress in the pursuit of careers in marine studies.

Clare Roberts & Ivana Schäfer


Diamond Certificate

The Diamond Certificate is awarded to Young Biologist graduates who start or actively participate in an eco-club, organise an environmental or beach cleanup and score 80% or over in their course assessments.

  • La-eeqa Aziz
  • Kerryn Bosch
  • Hannah Cloete
  • Adiela Cornelius
  • Jacob Courtney
  • Wardah Davids
  • Hubert Esterhuyse
  • Oliver Faure
  • Kiera Hailwood
  • Naidine Haricombe
  • Zoë Hurryjith
  • Nieka Ireland
  • Neve Johnson
  • Francois Joubert
  • Sara Khan
  • Christopher Koen
  • Cherise Lamb
  • Joshua Levitan
  • Robyn Liversage
  • Aakifah Magmoet
  • Imtithaal Manuel
  • Mihlali Matrose
  • Kim Reinecke
  • Yaseen Syed
  • Alana Theron
  • Nicholas van Rooy

Gold Certificate

A Gold Certificate is awarded to Young Biologist graduates who start or actively participate in an eco-club or organise an environmental or beach cleanup, and who score 75% or over in their course assessments.

  • Matthew Arendse
  • Matt Ashwell
  • Summer Dreyden
  • Jenna-Lee Ewers
  • Daniella Failé
  • Prisha Govan
  • Daiyaan Joseph
  • Imrana Khan
  • Imaan Mohidin
  • Vuyisanani Ngalo
  • Taryn Paulsen
  • Mariella Ross

Silver Certificate

Silver Certificates are awarded to Young Biologist graduates who attain 70% or more in their final assessment and who start or are active in an eco-club or organisation or organise an environmental cleanup.

  • Asavela Mpotula
  • Yaasier Ryland
  • Madeegha Samaai
  • Erin van Neil
  • Elonke Wolfaardt

Bronze Certificate

A Bronze Certificate is awarded to Young Biologist graduates who complete the course and score 65% or over in their course assessments.

  • Josh Dwyer-Theim
  • Kauthar February
  • Miriam Grindley
  • Liam Lawrie
  • Joey Nel
  • Ofentse Rakhomo

What other educational activities are on offer?

There are many ways your children can get involved in environmental education opportunities at the Aquarium. Here are a few of the most popular options:

If you would like to make a booking for your class, get involved in one of the above courses or are an adult looking for training opportunities or to take part in our job shadowing programme, please visit our Environmental Education Centre portal for more information and the relevant contact details.

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