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Sustainability Research Unit George Campus


Bianca Currie

Leader & Manco member

PhD (Nelson Mandela University)

Designing a participatory process to facilitate social learning in complex social ecological systems.

Study area: Sedgefield/Knysna (Swartvlei)

Promoter: Prof Christo Fabricius

Research interests: social learning, participatory processes, resilience, adaptive co management

Contact details:

Find me on Linked In…


Professor Christo Fabricius

Professor Emeritus

PhD (Cape Town)

Current Projects:

  • Communities of practice, adaptive co-management and social-ecological transformation in the Garden Route

  • Vulnerability, social learning and mal-adaptations to climate change

Research interests: resilience, transformations and adaptive co-management in disorderly social-ecological systems

Contact details:

Find me on Google Scholar… or Linked In…


Adjunct Professor Dirk Roux

Research Associate, Adjunct Professor & Manco member

PhD (UJ)

Research Interests:

  • Conservation of freshwater ecosystems, sharing the benefits derived from their services, and the role of Protected Areas in achieving this.

  • Processes of adaptive management, cooperation and trans disciplinary learning.

Contact details:

Find me on Google Scholar...


Professor Janine Adams

Manco member, Professor for Botany Department & Director of ICMR (Institute of Coastal and Marine Research).


Current Projects:

  • Estuary habitats and response to anthropogenic impacts and climate change.

  • Impacts of climate change on mangroves and adaptations to their environment.

  • Structure and function of temporarily open/closed estuaries.

  • Environmental water requirements of estuaries in the Gourtiz water management area.

  • Water quality management of the Swartkops Estuary.

Research interests: Environmental flow requirements of estuaries; response of mangroves and salt marshes to climate change; estuary health assessments, monitoring and management plans; ecophysiology of salt marsh plants

Contact Details:


Professor Lyn Snodgrass

Department of Political and Conflict Studies

DPhil (Nelson Mandela University)

Current Projects:

  • Trans-disciplinary research projects that interrogate deep-rooted, intractable conflict with an emphasis on Africa.

  • Current research focus is the role of collective emotion, communal memory and narrative in the manifestations of violence in post-conflict societies and communities.

  • Conflict resolution interventions and facilitation include conflict management systems design, conflict analysis and ‘mapping’, negotiation and mediation for inter alia civil society, government and non-governmental organisations and business.

Contact Details:




Luzanne Visagie

SRU Coordinator

BA(Hons) Psychology

Contact details:

Tel: (044) 801 5127





Jeanette Pauw



Contact details:


Dr Peter Novellie

Research Associate

DSc (Pretoria)

Current Projects: 

  • An evaluation of the legislation governing South Africa’s national parks: does it accord with the principles of adaptive governance?

Research interests: Adaptive management and adaptive governance of social-ecological systems; the impact of grazing on biodiversity and spatial heterogeneity.

Contact details:


Professor Robert Fincham

Research Associate

PhD (Rhodes)

Research interests: Landscape scale appreciation of African landscapes; Monitoring & Evaluation of development initiatives & food security.

Contact details:


Adjunct Professor Hervé Fritz

Research Associate, Adjunct Professor

PhD in Ecology (UPMC Paris)

Current Projects:

  • Coupling behavioral and community ecology to understand the role of trophic relationships in the functioning of conservation orientated socio-ecological systems

Research interests: Wildlife management; the interface between theoretical and applied sciences; social-ecological system dynamics.

Institutional websites:

Contact details:

Find me on Research Gate and Google Scholar.


Dr Jeanne Nel

Research Associate

PhD (Cape Town)

Current Projects: 

  • Specific place-based strategies for building resilient landscapes within risk hotspots

  • From National Freshwater Conservation targets to local action

Research interests: water management and policy within the fields of biodiversity, ecosystem services and human wellbeing and sustainability science.

Contact details:

Dr James Dabrowski

Research Associate


Research interests:

Ecological Risk Assessment, Aquatic Ecology, Water Quality, Ecotoxicology, Geographical Information Systems.

Contact Details:

Google Scholar Link:



Dr Jackie Dabrowski

Research Associate

PhD Veterinary Science (Onderstepoort, University of Pretoria)

Research interest:

Freshwater ecology, aquatic food webs, eutrophication, water quality, drought, ephemeral waterbodies, biodiversity, fish kill diagnosis and fish health, mine rehabilitation.

Contact details

Tel: 083 2563159


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Dr Chloé Guerbois

Post-doctoral fellow

PhD in Ecology (MNHN Paris)

My current projects focus on theoretical and applied interdisciplinary research on the dynamics of social-ecological systems including protected areas in Southern Africa:

Host: Prof Christo Fabricius

Research interests: Complex systems, protected areas, natural resources, biodiversity conservation, human-wildlife coexistence, vulnerability transfers, indigenous knowledge, ecosystem services, value systems, connectedness.

Study areas: Garden Route, Hwange National Park, Niassa Game Reserve

Partner institutions: CNRS, CIRAD, Hwange LTER, RP-PCP, ZPWMA, SANParks

Contact details:



Tatenda Mapeto

Doctoral Student

Title of current project:

Measuring and modelling water use in tree production systems: Perspectives from regulated and wild invasion plant communities. 

Study area: Southern Cape region

Promoters: Prof Jos Louw, Prof Christo Fabricius and Dr Mark Gush

Contact details:


Dr Lisa Heider

PhD (Nelson Mandela University) 

Title of current project:

Stewardship behaviours and the resilience of biodiversity commons- The case of South Africa’s Garden Route.

Study Area: Garden Route

Promoter: Prof Christo Fabricius

Contact details:


Current Masunungure

Doctoral student 

Title of research project: Development of a regional alien and invasive species management plan for Eden district and GIS Decision Support System (DSS)

Study area:  Eden District

Promotor:  Prof Christo Fabricius and Dr Anton de Wit

         Contact details: or

Samantha Mc Culloch

Doctoral student

Title: Promoting systemic and adaptive governance in conservation: a national protected area expansion project

Study area: Associated G.E.F 5 projects in Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape

Promotors: Peter Novellie, Dirk Roux and Bianca Currie

Contact details:

Find me on Linked In…


Zanele Hartmann

Doctoral Student

Title of current project:

Social-ecological systems approaches to integrated water management: The Swartkops Estuary as a laboratory

Aims and Objectives:

  • describe the current management system of the estuary;
  • assess the views of local stakeholders, and authorities (policy makers ) policy implementers about the management system; 
  • evaluate the consequences, for human well-being and ecosystem services, of the current management system;
  • and co-develop a novel, transformative management system with stakeholders;
  • and Evaluate its legitimacy acceptability and practicability.

Study Area: Swartkops Estuary, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape

Duration of project: 2017

Promoter: Prof Christo Fabricius and Dr Gavin Snow

Contact details:




Sibonokuhle Nontongana

Msc (Agriculture)

Title of current project:

Adapting to climate change in South Africa: Commercial and Emerging dairy farmers' perception of and response to changing climate.

Study Area:

         Tsitsikamma for commercial farmers, Peddie and Queenstown for emerging farmers.

Promoter: Prof Christo Fabricius

Contact details: