Dr Gamuchirai Chakona

Email: matarutseg@yahoo.com; g.chakona@ru.ac.za

I obtained a PhD in Environmental Science from Rhodes University under the supervision of Prof Charlie Shackleton. My PhD focused on household food security, women’s dietary diversity, nutritional status of children under the age of five, use of wild foods as a dietary supplement and food waste generation along an agro-ecological gradient and rural-urban continuum in mid-sized towns in South Africa. I got a post-doctoral funding from the Center of Excellence in Human Development hosted by Wits University to continue with my research. Luckily, my funders agreed to sponsor me whilst I work from Rhodes University (where my family is) and Prof Charlie Shackleton continue as my mentor. I am interested in human-environment related projects, particularly working on the nexus of food systems, natural resource use as well as intricate social dynamics relating to food security and nutrition. My research focuses on understanding the local and global challenges in food security and nutrition, and also to fully understand the effects of food insecurity on human livelihoods, especially the vulnerable groups in the societies, particularly women of reproductive age (15-49 years) and children (≤5 years) as these are mostly at great risk. Food and nutrition security is currently renowned global development priority and nutritional status is internationally recognized as an indicator of national development because a well-nourished, healthy population is essential for successful economic and social development.


Chakona, G. & Shackleton, C.M. 2019. Food insecurity in South Africa: to what extent can social grants and consumption of wild foods eradicate hunger? World Development Perspectives,13:87-94.

Taylor, P.J., Kearney, T., Dalton, D., Chakona, G., Kelly, C. & Barker, N.P. 2019. Biomes, geology and past climate drive speciation of laminate-toothed rates on South African mountains (Murinae: Otomys). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 1-21. Doi/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlz134/5641518

Chakona, G. & Shackleton, C.M. 2019. Food taboos and cultural beliefs influence food choice and dietary preferences among pregnant women in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Nutrients, 11, 2668. DOI: 10.3390/nu11112668.

Chakona, G. and Shackleton, C.M., 2018. Household Food Insecurity along an Agro-Ecological Gradient Influences Children’s Nutritional Status in South Africa. Frontiers in Nutrition, 4:72. DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2017.00072

Chakona, G. and Shackleton, C.M., 2017. Voices of the hungry: a qualitative measure of household food access and food insecurity in South Africa. Agriculture and Food Security, 6(1), p.66.

Chakona, G. and Shackleton, C.M., 2017. Local setting influences the quantity of household food waste in mid-sized South African towns. PloS One, 12(12), p.e0189407.

Chakona, G., Swartz, E.R. and Chakona, A. 2017. The status and distribution of a newly identified endemic galaxiid in the eastern Cape Fold Ecoregion of South Africa. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 2017:1-13. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2850

Chakona, G. and Shackleton, C., 2017. Minimum dietary diversity scores for women indicate micronutrient adequacy and food insecurity status in South African towns. Nutrients, 9(8), p.812.

Chakona, G., Swartz, E.R. and Chakona, A., 2015. Historical abiotic events or human?aided dispersal: inferring the evolutionary history of a newly discovered galaxiid fish. Ecology and evolution, 5(7), pp.1369-1380.






Last Modified: Thu, 12 Dec 2019 09:22:20 SAST