Tonderai Mandizvidza

Institution: Stellenbosch University (SU)

Unit & faculty: Department of Agronomy, Faculty of AgriSciences,

Research Field: Soil science

Supervisors: Dr Marcellous le Roux, SU (main supervisor); Dr Ethel E Phiri, SU (co-supervisor)



Tonderai is originally from Harare, Zimbabwe. He completed his undergraduate degree in agribusiness from Solusi University, and his master’s in agronomy at Stellenbosch University. In his master’s studies, he focused on hydroponic crop production systems and their influence on vegetable quality. For his PhD at Stellenbosch University, he is investigating functional bacterial species composition, a common denominator in the ecological and socio-economic nexus in agro-ecosystems functioning. The study will contribute towards characterising the structure of the functional soil bacteria species in a wheat agro-ecosystem. Tonderai will do so by identifying and describing the parameters that explain the distribution of the microbial communities in relation to agro-ecosystem functioning and services. He will also apply a systems dynamics approach to show the effects or overlap of functional bacteria composition and distribution as influenced by farming practices on the socio-economic and ecological systems. Clive, as Tonderai is commonly called, enjoys playing tennis and singing.