Prof Gladman Thondhlana

Associate professor

Contact Details:

Tel: +27-046-603-7007
Fax: +27-046-603-7574


Gladman is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Science, where he teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate students. He completed his PhD in Environmental Science in 2011 at Rhodes University, South Africa. He was previously a PhD fellow in the Department of International Environment and Development Studies (NORAGRIC), at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Glad’s career and research focus on improving human well-being. His broader research interests are centred on understanding (a) the links between wild resource use, rural livelihoods and household welfare issues and (b) pro-environmental behaviour (energy, water, recycling), within the context of sustainable natural resource management. He has a growing field research experience with indigenous and local communities in rural parts of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Beyond his environmental science-related research, Glad has a growing research interest in higher education studies. He has a key research interest on how group work, in an increasingly relationally diverse environment, can be more expansively viewed and crafted as ‘terrains of learning’ for students. Glad is an avid educator and a recipient of the 2016 Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

Glad is an author of more than 20 publications on issues around wild resource use and rural livelihoods, conservation conflicts, energy use behaviour and group-work and learning. Glad’s research and practice has been supported by the National Research Foundation (South Africa), Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (South Africa), Economic Research Southern Africa (South Africa), International Foundation for Science (Sweden), the Social Science Research Council (USA) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (Canada).

Recent Publications

Thondhlana, G., Yose, P., Cockburn, J. & Shackleton, C. 2022. Livestock ecosystem services and disservices in a medium-sized South African town. Ecosystems & People, 18(1): 31-43.

Ruwanza, S. & Thondhlana, G. 2022. People's perceptions and uses of invasive plant Psidium guajava in Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, Limpopo province of South Africa. Ecosystems & People, 18(1): 64-75.

Ruwanza, S., Thondhlana, G. & Falayi, M. 2022. Research progress and conceptual insights on drought impacts and responses among smallholder farmers in South Africa: a review. Land, 11, 159.

Williams, S.P., Thondhlana, G. & Wei Kua, H. 2021. Behavioural interventions yield electricity savings among high-income households in Johannesburg, South Africa. Engery & Environment, 1-16.

Mutumbi, U., Thondhlana, G. & Ruwanza, S. 2021. The distribution of selected woody invasive alien species in small towns in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Southern African Journal of Botany, 141: 290-295.

Pullanikkatil, D., Thondhlana, G. & Shackleton, C.M. 2021. The cultural significance of plant-fibre crafts in southern Africa: A comparative study of Eswatini, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Forests, Trees & Livelihoods, DOI: 10.1080/14728028.2021.1998797.

Thondhlana, G., Mubaya, C.P., McClure, A., Amaka-Otchere, A.B.K. & Ruwanza, S. 2021. Facilitating urban sustainability through transdisciplinary (TD) research: Lessons from Ghana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Sustainability, 13, 6205.

Pamla, A., Thondhlana, G. & Ruwanza, S. 2021. Persistent droughts and water scarcity: Households' perceptions and practices in Makhanda, South Africa. Land, 10, 593.

Belluigi, D.Z. & Thondhlana, G. 2020. Your skin has to be elastic: The politics of belonging as a selected black academic at a ‘transforming’ South African university. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education

Cockburn, J., M. Schoon, G. Cundill, C. Robinson, J. A. Aburto, S. M. Alexander, J. A. Baggio, C. Barnaud, M. Chapman, M. Garcia Llorente, G. A. García-López, R. Hill, C. Ifejika Speranza, J. Lee, C. L. Meek, E. Rosenberg, L. Schultz & Thondhlana, G. 2020. Understanding the context of multifaceted collaborations for social-ecological sustainability: A methodology for cross-case analysis. Ecology and Society, 25 (3): 7

Du-Point, T., Vilakazi, M., Thondhlana, G. & Vedeld, P. 2020. Livestock income and household welfare for communities adjacent to the Great Fish River Nature Reserve, South Africa. Environmental Development, 33: 100508.

Thondhlana, G., Redpath, S., Vedeld, P., van Eeden, L., Pascual, U., Sherren, K. & Murata, C. 2020. Non-material costs of wildlife conservation to local communities and implications for conservation interventions. Biological Conservation, 246: 108578.

Thondhlana, G., Shackleton, C & Pullanikkatil, D. 2020. Plant fibre-products production, trade and income in Eswatini, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Forests11, 832. https://doi:10.3390/f11080832

Williams, S.P., Thondhlana, G. & Kua, H.W. 2020. Electricity use behaviour in a high-income neighbourhood in Johannesburg, South Africa. Sustainability, 12, 4571. https://doi:10.3390/su12114571

O’Brien, J. & Thondhlana, G. 2019. Plastic bag use in South Africa: Perceptions, practices and potential intervention strategies. Waste Management, 84: 320.328.

Olagunju, A., Thondhlana, G., Chilima, J.S., Sene-Harper, A., Compaore, W.R. & Ohiozebau, E. 2019. Water governance research in Africa: progress, challenges and an agenda for research and action. Water International,

Belluigi, D. & Thondhlana, G. 2019. ‘Why mouth all the pieties?’ Black and women academics’ revelations about discourses of ‘transformation’ at an historically white South African University. Higher Education,

Thondhlana, G. & Ruwanza, S. 2019. Homestead tree holdings: Composition, uses and challenges in Checheche Growth Point, South East lowveld, Zimbabwe. African Journal of Ecology, 10.1111/aje.12691.

Thondhlana, G. and Hlatshwayo T.N. 2018. Pro-environmental behaviour in student residences at Rhodes University, South Africa. Sustainability, 10 (8): 2746

Bulunga, A.A.L. & Thondhlana, G. 2018. Action for increasing energy-saving behaviour in student residences at Rhodes University, South Africa. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 

Thondhlana, G. & Cundill, G. 2017. Local people and conservation officials’ perceptions on relationships and conflicts in South African protected areas. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, 13 (1): 204-215.

Thondhlana, G. & Nott, M. 2017. Fuelwood preferences, use and availability in the Khomani San resettlement farms, southern Kalahari, South Africa. Forests, Trees & Livelihoods.




Last Modified: Fri, 11 Mar 2022 14:30:50 SAST