The research currently being conducted in the department covers a wide range of topics and generally follows the research interests of the current members of staff. If you would like further information on the areas of research, please follow the links to individual staff members. If you would like to apply for postgraduate studies, please complete the appropriate application form and return the completed form to The Registrar, PO Box 94, Grahamstown, 6140.
For those interested in pursuing a PhD within the Department of Environmental Science at Rhodes University,
the following will be required of you (in addition to the application form):
For those interested in pursuing a Masters in Environmental Science at Rhodes University, the following
will be required of you (in addition to the application form):
Honours in Environmental Science
In enrolling for an Honours degree in Environmental Science at Rhodes University you will be signing up for a stimulating experience. A solid co-operative relationship and team spirit will be the cornerstone of the Honours year, within the class, as well as between staff and students. Selection criteria will include academic merit, group diversity and previous experience and therefore we expect and encourage our Honours students to learn not only from the lecturing staff, research supervisors, piles of library materials, but also from one another.
Should you have any queries regarding the Honours curriculum, please contact the course co-ordinator, Dr James Gambiza at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow the link to access the2013 Honours handbook.
Honours in Biodiversity and Conservation. A joint Honours degree in Biodiversity and Conservation is being offered with the Botany dept. Candidates will have to complete three compulsory modules, an optional module selected from the other Honours level offerings in either of the two departments and a research project.Course information
Honours in Environmental Water Management. This degree in Environmental Water Management aims to produce graduates who are well equipped to contribute to meeting the challenge of managing the nations' water resources in a sustainable manner. Understanding issues around water management requires an interdisciplinary approach. Environmental Water Management Honours is offered collaboratively by the departments of Geography and Environmental Science, with input from the Institute for Water Research at Rhodes University. Course Information
Meggan Spires: Planned climate change adaptation at the local level: overcoming barriers in the South African context.
Claire Ntshane: Land use change scenarios for two biosphere reserves in the Limpopo province.
Gosia Bryja: Challenges and opportunities for promoting adaptive co-management within Waodani territory in Ecuadorian Amazon.
Timothy Mtekwa: Forest governance and use: reconciling conservation goals and livelihoods needs - the case of Mapfungautsi state forest and forest-adjacent communities in Gokwe, Zimbabwe.
Rhoda Kachali: Edible caterpillars: a tool for forest conservation.
Ramesh Kannan: Seeking development and conservation outcomes through the use of the invasive plant Lantana camara in southern India.
Jim Saunders: Application of methods for imputing economic value to ecological factors at a microeconomic scale: A case study of the Knysna River.
Daniel Angweni: Biodiversity conservation and rural livelihoods in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Rebecca Joubert: Exploring cross-scale geomorphic dynamics within the Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape.
Manyewu Mutamba: Influence of distance to markets on Non Timber Forest Product (NTFP) commercialisation.
Omar Makame: Vulnerability of Zanzibar coastal communities to climate change and variability and the dynamism of their livelihood strategies.
Megan Kelly: Formal and informal rules governing acess to and use of natural resources in the upper Keiskammahoek catchment.
Nosiseko Mtati: Importance of NTFP livelihoods in Guquka and Koloni: household use, trade and LEK.
Jan Coetzee: Developing a detailed, evidence-based understanding of the current and future institutional extension capacity needs for the conservation of biodiversity in Gouritz Corridor as a model for improving the implementation of the Cape Nature stewardship programme.
Stephen Bennett: Quantification of the nutritional contribution of edible NTFP's to the diet.
Lara Molony: Water security amongst impoverished households in the Sundays river valley: the realities of access, use and conflicts.
Lilian Goredema: CBNRM Forums as social networks -adaptability and contribution to social ecological systems resilience in southern Africa.
Warwick Midlane: Can kraals be used as indicators of local forest conditions?
Tracey Steyn: Biodiversity Stewardship as a mechanism for large-scale land-use change in the Baviaanskloof.
Judith Leslie: The origin of endorheic pans on the African erosion surface north of Grahamstown, South Africa.
Nancy Job: The origin and dynamics of the Goukou Wetland, Southern Cape.
Debbie Bekker: The geomorphic origin, evolution and collapse of a peatland dominated by Prionium serratum - a case study of the Tierkloof Wetland, Western Cape.
Kyle Langley: Smallscale renewable energy generation in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Dumisani Bokveldt: The role and quality of EIA’s for developments with the potential of affecting wetlands.
Craig Weideman: Distributed land surface evaporation estimation based on MODIS leaf area index and the Penman Monteith energy balance equation.
Khulekani Mpofu: Evaluating the effectiveness of community-based natural resource management along an aridity gradient in Botswana.
Zoe Palmer: Assessing the potential of using biomass from IAPs in the Kouga catchment as a solution to alternative energy supply.
Chabala Mbao: The hydrological and geomorphological factors contributing to the collapse of the N2 highway west of Grahmstown: implications for road design in small catchments.
Megan Grewcock: An investigation of the impacts of roads on wetlands using the Fairview Wetland as a case study: implications for design, mitigation and rehabilitation.
Nanamhla Gwedla: Municipal parks managers' visions, perceptions and attitudes regarding urban forestry relative to tree abundance in Eastern Cape towns.
Leah Sloman: Coastal dune beach dynamics along the Mpekweni coastline with an emphasis on dune plant vegetation: implications for coastal zone management.
Tim Brown: Maize yields in smallholder systems: a comparison of conventional and agroforestry agricultural systems.
Tui Jevon: The effect of Lantana camara on forest regeneration in Mazeppa Bay, Wild Coast.
Emma Richardson: The causes and consequences of street tree damage in two towns in the Eastern Cape.
Noster Mugwagwa: Trees in schools and learner appreciation.
Ruth Kruger: the social and ecological opportunities and trade-offs of deproclamation and the provision of alternative conservation land as an outcome of land claims on protected areas: a case study from Vaalbos, South Africa.
Alain Jesse: Effects of invasive species Pteronia incana on soil seed reserves.
Past Postgraduates & Projects
Saskia Fourie: 2013. The impacts of clearing alien invasive plants on water-linked ecosystems: guidelines for rehabilitation.
Matt McConnachie: 2013. Cost-effectiveness in Restoration Ecology: the case of Working for Water.
Gladman Thondlana: 2011. Dryland conservation areas, indigenous people, livelihoods and resource values in South Africa: the case of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Rob Jones: 2010. A risk-based corrective action strategy for remediation of asbestos contaminated villages in South Africa.
Georgina Cundill: 2008. Monitoring of community-based natural resource management projects.
Sarah Kaschula: 2008. Wild edible resources and food security in HIV/AIDS households.
Sheona Shackleton 2005: The significance of the local trade in natural resource products for
livelihoods and poverty alleviation in South Africa. Phd thesis, Rhodes University, Grahamstown.
Caryn Clarke: Coping strategies employed by vulnerable rural households in response to multiple stresses, with particular emphasis on the role of natural resources as a safety net.
Abby Chinyimba: Intangible uses and appreciation of trees in urban livelihoods.
Mwale Chishaleshale: Governance structures for urban forestry in South Africa.
Humphrey Kaoma: Use and role of trees and tree products in urban livelihoods.
Caroline Evans:The impact of alien freshwater fish on local livelihoods.
Keitometsi Abu-Basutu: Contribution of wild foods to individual and household food security in the context of increasing vulnerability due to HIV/AIDS and climate change.
Leigh Stadler:Assessing household assets and livelihoods to understand vulnerability in the context of HIV/Aids and climate change.
Catherine Ward: Use of natural resources with particular focus on edible crops along the rural-urban continuum in South Africa.
Michelle Evans: Livelihood and coping strategy changes along a rural-urban continua in South Africa
Patrick Curran: Research and development of a voluntary carbon emissions reduction certificate for the subtropical thicket biome.
Dylan Weyer: Assessing linkages between local ecological knowledge, HIV/AIDS and the commercialisation of natural resources across southern Africa.
Amanda Gosling: Investigation into a community-based natural resource management initiative: Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, Uganda.
Joclyn Fearon: Population assessments of priority plant species used by local communities in and around four Wild Coast Reserves, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Kagiso Mangwale: The estimation of the carbon stocks of the Matiwane Forest in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Alice McClure: Mapping social factors of proactive conservation action for a conservation corridor design for the Eden to Addo initiative.
Taryn Pereira: Towards best practice in protecting bio-cultural heritage
Cosman Bolus: Monitoring and Evaluation of Natural Resources in Community Based Natural Resource
Management (CBNRM) – Testing and adapting methods to incorporate into CBNRM
Mercedes Stickler: A comparison of ecosystem health and services provided by subtropical thicket in and around the Bathurst commonage.
Sandy Collings: Economic consequences of ecological change: restoration options for the Mfolozi floodplain
Claire Martens: The governance and management of commonages in three small towns in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Mike Powell: Towards the restoration of Spekboomveld, spekboom thickets and subtropical thickets.
Nicholas Davenport: The contribution of municipal commonage to local peoples' livelihoods in small South African towns
Matt McConnaghie: A comparison of restoration alternatives in terms of cost-effectiveness for invaded riparian zones
Jim Saunders: Economic valuations and a model of certain ecological functions provided by the Knysna River.
Melita Steele: The ecological costs of resource harvesting across a dependency gradient.
Henning de Klerk: The role of indigenous knowledge systems in managing forests: case studies from the Transkei.
Collins Nsor: Threats, degradation and biodiversity impacts on wetlands.
Fiona Paumgarten: The use of natural resources as rural safety-nets - prevalence, importance, and substitutability.
Dylan McGarry: Contribution of wild bushmeat to rural protein supply within the context of HIV/AIDS.
Juliana Keirungi: The design and feasibility of a central integrated waste beneficiation facility.
Shafick Hoossein: Environmental aspects of water and sanitation planning in Buffalo City.
Tracey Cumming: Conservation incentives for private commercial farmers in the Eastern Cape’s subtropical thicket biome.
Cecilia Gyan 2006: An evaluation of the environmental policies of South African tertiary education
institutes.M.Sc thesis, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 118 pp.
Kelly Stroebel. 2012. Water use and conservation by households of different economic status in the Amatola Water System.
Hugo Retief. 2012. Modelling the hydrological flooding regime, for effective wetland management: a case study of the Stutterheim town wetland.
Brett Sutherland. 2012. Water resource economics: exploring models that incorporate different value systems allowing for fair and sustainable water resource allocation planning.
Ross Shackleton. 2012. Field use, abandonment and forest regrowth over the last 70 years in Willowvale, South Africa.
Kyra Lunderstedt. 2012. Quantifying the rate of natural vegetation recovery, changes in species composition and vegetation structure on old abandoned lands for a small private nature reserve, Bathurst, Eastern Cape.
Thina Mgweba. 2012. The perceptions of climate variability and change as well as the associated risks and vulnerabilities amongst the rural community of Hamburg in the Eastern Cape.
Apelele Nkonki. 2012. An assessment of social learning in the context of climate change and HIV/AIDS.
Peter de Lacy. 2012. the comparative growth rates of street and non-street trees of the same species.
Sean Swanepoel. the use of live-fences in two small towns in the Eastern Cape, South Africa and the use of Euphorbia tirucalli L. as a live-fence: socio-ecological impacts.
Samantha Munro. 2012. Evaluating the local ecological knowledge of Spekboom (Portuclaria afra).
Wesley Walton. 2012. User's perceptions on the importance values of attributes in public urban green spaces in King William's Town, Eastern Cape.
Landiwe Zondi. 2012. Challenges in fodder production in Macubeni, Eastern Cape.
Megan Blore. 2012. Measuring the cost of co-management in Mkambathi Nature Reserve, Eastern Cape.
Claudette Muller. 2012. Perceptions of climate change and barriers to adaptation amongst farmers in the Eastern Cape Karoo.
Craig Sholto-Douglas. 2012. the effects of indigenous invasive shrubs on plant species richness; ecological friends or foe?
Rebone Modipa. 2012. Impacts of Invasive Alien Plant (IAP) management on biodiversity.
Bryson, L. 2011. Stream variability in space and time: an analysis of the erosion and floodouts on the Cranemere Plain.
Gardiner, M. 2011. The origin and evolution of the Karoo Plains: the Cranmere Plain as a case study.
Junkhun, K. 2011. Impact of landuse on plant diversity and composition in the Great Fish River reserve.
Bonstein, O. 2011. The potential for landfill gas to energy development in South Africa.
Green, A. 2011. Land reform, livelihoods and natural resources: a case study of Gallawater A farm.
Siwundla, S. 2011. Guidelines to improve the effectiveness of community gardens in addressing urban food security and contribute towards local economic development.
Wegener, J. 2011. Assessing the ecological sustainability of rural home gardens.
Sutton-Price, A. 2011. The influence of invasion by Pteronica incana on the provision of ecosystem services and local perceptions on invasion.
Bennett, S. 2011. Investigating the responses of selected indigenous invertebrates to suspended sediment: implications for water quality quidelines in South Africa.
Berriman, S. 2010. Determining the effect of herbivory on survivorship and growth rate following restoration plantings for subtropical thicket species.
Clarke, C. 2010. Perceptions of climate variability and change and adaptation strategies amongst communal and commercial farmers in the Makana District, Eastern Cape.
Makhuvha, K. 2010. Perceptions of climate change and associated risks and vulnerabilities amongst poor rural communities in two sites in the Eastern Cape.
Mballa, T. 2010. Perceptions of climate change and associated risks and vulnerabilities amongst poor rural communities in two sites in the Eastern Cape.
Masemola, M.E. 2010. The hydrology of the Ngciyo Wetland, Kenton-on-sea: Understanding salinity in coastal wetlands.
Evans, C. 2010. Assessing the rate of degradation and deforestation of subtropical xeric thicket biome through goat and sheep farming in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Blair, A. 2010. The distribution, accessibility and residents perceptions of public green space in two towns of contrasting wealth
Chitepo, C.K. 2010. Species diversity and composition of street trees in selected towns of the Eastern Cape.
Caddick, J.W. 2010. A fuzzy concept map of rangeland degradation created from livestock managers perceptions of the commonage of Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Shapi, J. 2010. The role of nurse plants on the establishment of Aloe ferox, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Johnston, S. 2010. Assessing the differential growth rates and carbon stocks for Acacia longifolia as a function of Working for Water management.
Cassidy, K. 2009. Understanding the role of frugivorous birds in aiding rehabilitation of thicket and how this can be facilitated by management intervention.
Evans, M. 2009. An analysis of the groundwater behaviour in the Western Baviaanskloof: implications for floodplain rehabilitation.
Crous, L. 2009. Aluminium in Grahamstown's Municipal water supply: an analysis.
Johnson-Marshall, A. 2009. An investigation of human impacts on floodplain fluvial pattern and process: a case study of human intervention on Zandvlakte farm in the Western Baviaanskloof.
Bekker, D. 2009. The status and use of Aloe ferox in the Grahamstown commonage.
Langley, K. 2009. An analysis of the morphology of the alluvial fans along the northern side of the Western Baviaanskloof: implications for alluvial fan restoration.
Curran, P. 2009. Analyzing perceptions and potential willingness of businesses in the Makana/Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Areas to offset carbon emissions through local initiatives.
Kota, Z. 2008. Local perspectives of priority plant species in communal areas of Sub-tropical Thicket: implications for restoration
McClure, A. 2008. Assessing the sustainability of hunting concessions in the thicket Biomes of the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
McGregor, E. 2008. The benefits and constraints associated with urban and rural school-based food gardening in the Makana and Ndlambe districts
Parker, C. 2008. The use and appreciation of urban green spaces: an example of botanical gardens in South Africa. (with C. Ward)
Rickerts, A. 2008. Investigation of the common use of Acacia mearnsii and alternative value added schemes in three small towns of the Makana District
Simak, G. 2008. Densification and green space appreciation: a case study of New Redruth, Alberton
Sinchembe, M. 2008. Wetland impacts and benefits from public use of fresh water spring outside Grahamstown for domestic water supply
Turk, B. 2008. A comparative survey of sustainability reporting of listed companies on the South African and other stock exchanges
Ward, C. 2008. The use and appreciation of urban green spaces: an example of botanical gardens in South Africa. (with C. Parker)
Weyer, D. 2008. Informing forest restoration: an appraisal of local knowledge from a community on the Wild Coast of South Africa
Amutenya, N. 2007. The benefits of environmental management to tertiary institutions: the case study of paper streams at Rhodes University. Honours dissertation, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 21 pp.
Blaine, C. 2007. Kimberly-Clark South Africa and ISO 14001: benefit or cost? Honours dissertation, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 32 pp.
Beaumont, M. 2007. Land Reform: asking the environmental question of land reform policy in post-Apartheid South Africa. Honours dissertation, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 36 pp.
Chesterman, S. 2007. Current status and quality of the Mcantsi Estuary as a basis for future environmental management. Honours dissertation, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 28 pp.
Collings, S. 2007. Ecological and economic consequences of rehabilitating the Umfolozi Flood Plain for the restoration of freshwater supplies to Lake St Lucia. Honours dissertation, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 37 pp.
Earle, S. 2007. The ecological condition of municipal commonage, Eastern Cape: users’ perceptions. Honours dissertation, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 38 pp.
Elkington, L. 2007. The impact of South African national Parks on the well-being of neighbouring communities to the Addo Elephant National Park. Honours dissertation, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 25 pp.
Hajat, A. 2007. Matching alternative energy systems to the needs of their users: a case study of small-scale solar business systems in Kwazulu-Natal. Honours dissertation, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 30 pp.
Iiyambo, I. 2007. Water demand and supply to Kleinmonde, Eastern Cape. Honours dissertation, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 46 pp.
Kruger, M. 2007. Assessment of the water quality of the East Kleinmonde Estuary: implications for complex systems monitoring. Honours dissertation, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 35 pp.
Padima, T. 2007. The effectiveness of social responsibility projects on local livelihoods: Macubeni, Eastern Cape. Honours dissertation, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 30 pp.