Institution: Rhodes University
Unit & faculty: Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science
Research field: Rangeland ecology
Supervisors: Prof Charlie Shackleton, Rhodes University (main supervisor); Dr David le Maitre, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (co-supervisor); Dr Luthando Dziba, South African National Parks (co-supervisor)
Thozamile comes from King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape. He completed his undergraduate degree (BSc Livestock and Pasture Sciences) at the University of Fort Hare, and in 2013 his MSc in Conservation Ecology at Stellenbosch University. His master’s study contributed to a better understanding of the ecological impacts of invasive alien plants on natural rangelands and subsequent conditions following clearing. Findings from this study were published in the International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services and Management. Previously a candidate researcher at CSIR, Stellenbosch, Thozamile’s PhD will focus on enhancing the understanding of the social-ecological drivers, impacts and benefits associated with Australian invasive Acacia trees on communal and commercial rangeland ecosystems. This research has the potential, he says, to provide decision makers and local land users with new insights, transformative knowledge and opportunities regarding management of social-ecological systems where there are conflicts of interest over invasive alien plants.