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The SRU would like to welcome Peter Novellie and Herve Fritz to our dynamic research team!

Peter Novellie

Novellie started his career at the University of Stellenbosch, Faculty of Forestry, which entailed mainly research and teaching. His research was predominantly focused on animal behaviour, particularly olfactory communication; control of mammal damage to forestry plantations. He taught mammalogy and co-supervised various Honours and Masters students.

He joined SANParks in 1983 and worked there for 32 years, initially as a researcher focusing on ungulate herbivory, later in research management and coordination, then finally in the interface between national and international biodiversity conservation policy and science.

The latter part of his work gave him an in-practice insight into the critical importance of governance in managing protected areas as complex social ecological systems. He is now retired and enjoying an academic exploration of adaptive management and adaptive governance with SRU colleagues.


Herve Fritz

Fritz current research theme is: “Coupling behavioral and community ecology to understand the role of trophic relationships in the functioning of conservation orientated socio-ecological systems." Within which specific themes range from sources of variation in foraging strategies to socio-ecological systems dynamics, through predator-prey interactions, the dynamics of community abundance and structure, as well as influence of human activities and land use on biodiversity.

Most of his research is at the interface between theoretical and applied science, with a strong emphasis on wildlife management.

Since 1999, he developed an integrated research programme on ungulate ecology and savanna functioning, the Hwange Environmental Research Development (HERD), in collaboration with the CIRAD. This helped to promote Hwange National Park to a long term ecological site by re-establishing regular ecological monitoring as well as launching topical research projects. Today, the HERD programme has received the LTER label from the CNRS: the Zone Atelier Hwange, which he currently runs.

He has supervised or co-supervised 25 PhD and 28 Master students, and has developed a strong collaboration network with several universities from France, Europe, Canada, China, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

These appointments, together with existing Research Associates Prof Dirk Roux and Dr Jeanne Nel, add significant new skills and capacity to the SRU.