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Susi Vetter

BSc. Hons., PhD (U.C.T.)

My research interests include rangeland ecology, vegetation ecology and the social and cultural aspects of resource management and biodiversity conservation. Recent research projects include: Does holistic grazing work in the grasslands? (Read Meat Development SA / CapeWool funded), Understanding people’s valuation of landscapes, vegetation types and vegetation condition in relation to use value, biodiversity and aesthetic qualities (SANPAD funded) and Bush encroachment: processes and feedbacks (NRF funded).

At undergraduate and Honours level I teach a range of theoretical and applied ecological topics, including the biomes of South Africa, plant-herbivore interactions, plant life histories, competition and coexistence in plant communities, savanna ecology and ecological tools.


Cocks, ML, Alexander, J, Mogano, LL and Vetter, S. (in press) Ways of belonging: Meanings of “nature” among Xhosa-speaking township residents in South Africa. Journal of Ethnobiology

Palmer, AR, Samuels, Cupido, C, Finca, A, Kangombe, F, Yunusa, I, Vetter, S, Mapaure, I, 2015. Aboveground biomass production of the semi-arid southern African savanna: towards a new model. African Journal of Range & Forage Science (early online: DOI: 10.2989/10220119.2015.1043647)

Wheeler, A, Knight, AT, Vetter, S. (2015) Examining the evidence for ecologically sustainable ostrich breeding practices on natural veld in the Little Karoo, South Africa. African Journal of Range & Forage Science 32: 233-241

Hempson, G, Illius, AW, Hendricks HH, Bond, WJ, Vetter, S. (2015) Herbivore population regulation and resource heterogeneity in a stochastic environment. Ecology 96: 2170–2180

Vetter, S. (2013) Development and sustainable management of rangeland commons – aligning policy with the realities of South Africa’s rural landscape. African Journal of Range & Forage Science 30: 1-9 

Cocks, ML, Dold, T, Vetter, S. (2012) ‘God is my forest’ – Xhosa cultural values provide untapped opportunities for conservation. South African Journal of Science 108(5/6), Art. #880, 8 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajs.v108i5/6.880

Vetter, S and Bond, WJ. (2012) Changing predictors of spatial and temporal variability in stocking rates in a severely degraded communal rangeland. Land Degradation & Development 23: 190–199

Vetter S. 2009. Drought, change and resilience in South Africa’s arid and semiarid rangelands. South African Journal of Science 29-33.

Behenna M, Vetter S and Fourie S (2008) Viability of alien and native seed banks after slash and burn: effects of soil moisture, depth of burial and fuel load. South African Journal of Botany 74: 454-462.

Vetter S (2007) Soil erosion in the Herschel District of South Africa: changes over time, physical correlates and people’s perceptions. African Journal of Range and Forage Science 24: 77-86.

Campbell B, Gordon I, Luckert M, Petheram L and Vetter S (2006) In search of optimal stocking regimes in semi-arid grazing lands: one size does not fit all. Ecological Economics 60: 75-85.

Vetter, S., Goqwana, W.M., Bond, W.J. and Trollope, W.S.W. 2006. Effects of land tenure, geology and topography on vegetation and soils of two grassland types in South Africa. African Journal of Range and Forage Science 23:13-27.

Vetter, S. 2005. Rangelands at equilibrium and non-equilibrium: Recent developments in the debate. Journal of Arid Environments 62: 321-241.

Pauw, A., Van Bael, S.A., Peters, H.A., Allison, S.D., Camargo, J.L.C., Cifuentes-Jara, M., Conserva, A., Garcia Restom, T., Heartsill-Scalley, T., Mangan, S.A., Nunez-Iturri, G., Rivera-Ocasio, E., Rountree, M., Vetter, S. and Volkmer de Castilho, C.2004. Physical damage in relation to carbon allocation strategies of tropical forest tree saplings. Biotropica 36(3):410-413.

Scogings, P.F., de Bruyn, T.D. and Vetter, S. 1999. Grazing into the future: Policy-making for South African communal rangelands. Development Southern Africa 16:403-414.

Last Modified: Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:56:26 SAST