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ACDI draws together a network of researchers at UCT and beyond to engage with ACDI in various ways, from teaching and student project supervision, to research and knowledge influencing.
ACDI’s core team acts as a hub, which aims to provide the services that enable the network to be more than the sum of its parts. The team comprises the Director and Deputy Director, administrative support staff, a research management team, an education and training management team, and a communications and networking team. Additionally, the HQ includes a number of students, Postdoctoral researchers, and project managers who work on ACDI-led projects in collaboration with the ACDI network, as well as the ACDI Masters Convener, who coordinates all aspects of the flagship ACDI Masters in Climate Change and Sustainable Development.
Institutional membership involves both recognised research groupings, academic departments and other university entities whose area of work intersects strongly with ACDI, and who have a history of active membership of ACDI.
Individual members are known as Associates, and are people at UCT who actively engage with ACDI through research, teaching, student supervision or other activities. Associates may or may not be jointly-affiliated to an institutional member. Associates will have research and teaching interests that overlap substantially with the ACDI intellectual domains.
Student members are Honours, Masters and PhD students whose research or courses fit within the broad ACDI research domain. Often, they are supervised by ACDI members, but they may also choose to self-affiliate.
Mark New, Director
Expertise: Climate monitoring; extreme events; climate scenarios; impacts; adaptation; water; land use; policy
Mark New was appointed Pro-VC for Climate Change and Director of the ACDI in July 2011. He holds a joint appointment as Professor of of International Development at the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom. His research focuses on climate change detection, processes, scenarios, impacts and adaptation. He sits on the SA Global Change Science Committee, the Africa Future Earth Science Committee, is on the editorial board of Environmental Research Letters, and has served on various other science committees and reference groups. Mark is also the AXA Research Fund Chair in African Climate Risk. Read more.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2920 · Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheona Shackleton, Deputy Director
Expertise: Rural development, livelihoods and natural resource use and management
Sheona Shackleton joined the ACDI as Deputy Director in January 2018. She also holds an Honorary Professorship with the Department of Environmental Science at Rhodes University. Sheona has worked at the interface between rural development, livelihoods and natural resource use and management for the past 35 years. Her research and postgraduate supervision has covered a diversity of areas within this broad theme such as community conservation, rural livelihoods and vulnerability, ecosystem services and human well-being, forest product use and commercialisation, natural resource governance and climate change adaptation. Her current research focusses on livelihood and landscape (social-ecological) change, with a particular interest in climate change as a driver and how it interacts with other shocks and stressors to influence adaptation, transformation and future livelihood trajectories. Sheona has been engaged in interdisciplinary, participatory and transdisciplinary research for most of her career after being part of the startup team for a University of the Witwatersrand interdisciplinary unit in the late 1980s (Wits Rural Facility). Her interest in engaged scholarship and knowledge co-production arises from both a practical research and ethical perspective (where she has experiences of social learning approaches to knowledge co-production), but also an academic one in terms of how best to integrate knowledge co-production processes into our teaching and learning and to support such an approach in our postgraduate research. Sheona and her project team were awarded the VC’s Distinguished Community Engagement Award for their social leaning work on climate change, HIV/AIDs and vulnerability in 2015. Sheona is on the board of the journals World Development and Land, is a member of ASSAF and has reviewed proposals for a wide range of organisations including NRF, VW Foundation, DFID, Belmont Foundation, SPACES and others. She has served on several national government and non-government committees in areas related to her expertise. She has experience coordinating large projects and a well-established network of international partners and collaborators. She has published her work extensively both in academic books and journals, but also the more popular media, and has reviewed papers for some 30 different journal titles.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 4581 · Email: email@example.com
Leigh Cobban, Education and Capacity Development Portfolio Manager
Expertise: Climate change education, climate change graduate pathways, climate change vulnerability & adaptation, sustainable development, project coordination and development
Leigh is the Manager of the Education & Capacity Development Portfolio at ACDI at UCT. She holds an MSc in Environmental Science and is pursuing a PhD in Education.
Leigh's role entails overseeing the existing program of formal and professional courses, student programs, supporting new curriculum development, helping to conceptualise and develop new programs, and building ACDI’s understanding of best practice in climate change education in Africa.
During her four years at ACDI, she has worked on or developed over a dozen projects in these areas, including a scientific capacity development study to inform capacity development in the Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) project, and the development of an innovative Masters curriculum in Climate Change and Sustainable Development for Southern Africa. In the ARUA-CD, Leigh is leading the Curriculum Working Group in 2019.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 3846 · Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Cronin, Research Coordinator
Kate works on the International Fund for Agricultural Development-led project “Multi-country climate risk analysis” under the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme. Prior to joining ACDI, Kate worked in the NGO-sector managing various multi-national climate change projects. The projects ranged in focus from providing support to southern African countries to access climate finance, to managing research on livestock and dairy value chain resilience and providing training on mainstreaming gender in climate change programmes. Kate holds an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Cape Town.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2915 · Email: email@example.com
Jiksa De Groot, Senior Researcher
Expertise: Energy, poverty and development
Jiska de Groot is an Energy and Development Geographer with a keen interest in providing access to energy in a sustainable and equitable manner. Jiska joined the University of Cape Town in 2015 after completing a PhD in Human Geography at Plymouth University. She is currently employed at the Energy Research Centre, where she leads the Energy, Poverty and Development research group. She further holds an AXA Future Research Leader Fellowship on Energy Transitions and a Joint Senior Research Fellowship in the ACDI Chair Programme on the inequalities of climate change mitigation, sustainable energy and poverty. Her work focuses on the social processes surrounding changes in energy use, access to clean and reliable energy technologies and energy transitions, as well as considerations of fairness and justice in energy systems. Jiska has experience with the design, management, implementation and dissemination of a range of Sub Saharan African research projects, including as team leader for South Africa on the UK’s ESRC/NRF’s Newton Fund Programme on Urban Transformation, and the British Academy project on Energy Innovation in Low Income Housing in Cape Town and Bangalore. She further leads the South African team at UCT for a research project within the UK DfID’s Energy and Gender research programme, which investigates gender and energy for productive uses, and delivers training and assistance to countries under UNFCCC’s Technology Needs Assessment. She currently is component lead for Skills and Expertise Development in Sub Saharan Africa under DfID’s Transforming Energy Access, and also functions as research uptake manager for this same region. Jiska regularly publishes in acclaimed academic journals, presents at (international) academic conferences and has contributed to several edited books in the field of energy and development.
Johan Peçanha Enqvist, Postdoctoral Researcher, AXA Chair Programme
Expertise: Civic engagement, environmental stewardship, human–nature relationships, inter- and transdisciplinary research, natural resource management, network analysis, sense of place, urban social-ecological systems, water governance
Johan joined ACDI in February 2018, working as postdoctoral fellow in the AXA-funded project ‘Urban governance for resilience in the global South’. The aim of this project is to explore the governance of urban resilience and water security in Cape Town, and characterize what priorities the City and various other actors and stakeholders have regarding resilience-building and social justice.
Johan is interested in how people living in cities relate to nature and the ecosystems that support them, especially understanding what enables and encourages more sustainable behaviour. He completed his PhD in Sustainability Science in 2017 at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden. His doctoral project focused on the notion of stewardship, as expressed through civic engagement for protecting urban ecosystems. This was explored using mixed quantitative and qualitative methods and a social–ecological systems lens. Johan has collaborated with colleagues at the US Forest Service’s New York City Urban Field Station, at Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resources, and the Ashoka Trust for Research on Ecology and the Environment.
Johan holds an MSc in Ecosystems, Governance, and Resilience from Stockholm University and a BSc in Environment and Development from Södertörn University. Throughout his training, he has focused on people's efforts collaborate to manage and protect green (and blue) areas close to where they live. He has conducted field work in New York, USA (2016), in Bangalore, India (2011-2012 and in 2013), in Zanzibar, Tanzania (2011), and in Babati, Tanzania (2010).
Karen Fosseus, Administrative Manager
Expertise: Operational and administrative management
Karen is responsible for the management of the ACDI administrative processes and systems and supports the Director in strategic planning for the ACDI. She has oversight of all ACDI research projects with regards to financial management and reporting, organisational and human resource management, information and general office management.
Karen has a degree in Nursing from UCT and many years of experience in grant and office management in the health sector. She has worked as a veterinary nurse, research assistant, grant and office manager for a variety of non-profit organisations in Cape Town including the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation and Red Cross Children's Hospital. She is interested in the dynamics of information and business process management.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2890 · Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adiela Floris, Assistant Administrator
For the past 29 years, Adiela has been using her excellent organizational and communications skills to enhance daily operations at firms and businesses.
She is a passionate person, and thrives to work in an energetic and challenging environment. Her attention to detail and business acumen allows her to function professionally, with the ability to work under pressure while demonstrating effectiveness and reliability as an administrative support. She is a team player but is able to work independently when required. Adiela's extensive work experience not only reflects her desire to always learn and grow, but has provided her with a host of key competencies to support her in her role at the ACDI.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 5598 · Email: email@example.com
Tali Hoffman, Communications
Tali is a science communicator specialising in developing and implementing communications strategies that target key audiences, and boost the impact, use, and value of research. She is currently working on ACDI communications in a part-time capacity.
Tali was a full-time staff member at the ACDI from 2014-2019, working as a science communicator for ASSAR. Her role was to shape the project’s research findings in ways that could maximise ASSAR’s impact into policy and practice within its regional and global spheres of influence. To this end, Tali was responsible for all aspects of communication, including: strategy development and implementation, content creation (writing, editing), product generation (e.g., information briefs, videos, infographics), quality control and assurance, product dissemination, and maximising the uptake of research outputs.
Petra Holden, Postdoctoral Researcher; AXA Research Chair Programme
Expertise: Inter- and transdisciplinary research, GIS, hydrological modelling, climate change adaptation, remote sensing
Petra joined the ACDI in December 2017 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow under the AXA Research Chair Programme in African Climate Risk. Her research investigates the contribution of climate change and landscape management on the impacts of climate extremes. The initial focus is on impacts and responses in water systems in the southwestern Cape.
For Petra’s PhD, she used inter- and transdisciplinary research methods to understand the influence of conservation over the past 50 years on land use, vegetation, fire and streamflow in the Groot Winterhoek mountains, a strategic water source area in the Western Cape.
Prior to her PhD, Petra worked on developing climate change adaptation projects in several African and Asian countries, under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Adaptation Fund and for the Department of Environment Affairs. Petra has a ND and B-Tech in Nature Conservation (Cape Peninsula University of Technology), and a BSc (Hons) in Zoology and MSc in Conservation Biology (University of Cape Town).
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2909 · Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roland Hunter, Chief Scientific Officer
Roland Hunter joined the ACDI in 2016 to act as a technical project manager and climate change expert for the projects entitled “Problems and Solutions for Climate Change resilience and Adaptation in Mozambique” and “Enhancing the Capacity of African Countries to Use Climate Information to Inform Decision-Making”, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme and the African Development Bank, respectively.
Prior to joining the ACDI, Roland worked as an environmental consultant with over five years of experience in the sectors of climate change adaptation and mitigation, with a strong emphasis on sectors including agriculture, forestry, land use, and small-scale renewable energy applications. He has led or supported the development of dozens of projects in Africa and Asia, including in-country experience in Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Nepal, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Roland’s academic background includes a BSc. (Hons) in Agriculture (2006) and a MSc. in Botany (2010). His Master's research focused on the physiological adaptation of Proteaceae to nutrient-poor soils, with a focus on developing updated guidelines for fertilisation of commercially-grown Protea cut-flowers.
Tel: +27(0)21 650 2915 · Email: email@example.com
Rabia Karriem, Administrative Assistant
Rabia joined ACDI as our Administrative Assistant in 2014. She is a personal assistant to the Director, manages the front office, and liaises between ACDI projects and outside organisations. With her 18 years administration experience, she is also responsible for general and office administration as well as financial administration.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 5598 · Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian King, Honourary Research Associate
Expertise: Coming soon.
Kamoru Abiodun Lawal, Postdoctoral Researcher
Kamoru obtained his PhD in Atmospheric Science (with a specialisation in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP), Seasonal Climate Prediction and Regional Climate Modeling) at the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, at the University of Cape Town. His PhD thesis used discrepancy in a large ensemble of climate simulations as a tool to investigate variability in dominant seasonal rainfall and temperature patterns (i.e. classes) over West and Southern Africa, to examine the capability of climate models in reproducing the variability, and to study the limits of predictability of the seasonal climates over South Africa.
Kamoru also studied meteorology (B. Tech and M. Tech) at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as an Aeronautical Meteorologist, Research Officer, and briefly as the Head of the Research and Training Directorate of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency. He has taught various meteorological courses at the Regional Meteorological Training Centre (RMTC), an affiliate of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), situated in Lagos.
Skillful and competent in computer programming languages and scripting in UNIX, Kamoru's passion is to impart knowledge to younger generations. He is presently investigating the interactions between teleconnection patterns and fire, as well as carrying out the performance evaluations of weather@home 2 models (HadAM3P and HadRm3P) over West African sub-region.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2909 · Email: email@example.com
Nomanesi Makhonco, Research Assistant
Along with being an ACDI research assistant, Nomanesi is a master’s degree candidate in environmental and water sciences. Her main research interests are vegetation interactions, mapping of alien vegetation, geomorphology and hydrology.
Nomanesi’s current research project at ACDI is focussed on invasive alien tree mapping in the Cape Peninsula from a variety satellite imagery using Google Earth Engine in combination with GIS.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2256 · Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Norman Mathebula, Postdoctoral Researcher
Norman Mathebula joined the ACDI as Post-doctoral research fellow in February 2018. He has a background in Environmental Management, Common-property resource systems, Resource Ecology, and Local resource governance in communal woodland areas, in the former homelands of South Africa. He completed his PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), on the topic of testing the feasibility of community-based coppice management in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces.
Norman is currently working with Dr Jiska De Groot and Dr Britta Rennkamp on social science aspects of the deployment of off-grid renewable energy technologies and clean energy access in developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia.
He also holds a Masters in Environmental Management from UCT (on the topic of the effectiveness of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and a degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Venda.
Nadine Methner, Research Officer
Nadine Methner is a Research Fellow at the ACDI. Nadine’s research interests focus on: strengthening the evidence base for ecosystem based adaptation in relation to climate risks and livelihoods resilience; analysis and advancement of the Water-Energy-Food-Biodiversity-Land Nexus in the context of sustainable livelihoods; identifying processes and patterns of interactions in complex governance systems; strengthening the adaptive capacity of local and regional organizations through joined knowledge integration, collective learning and collaboration; integrative systems thinking and cross-scale analyses; and democratisation of scientific knowledge and policy decision making processes.
Nadine is particularly interested in engaging in and advancing of transdisciplinary research aimed at societal transformation in the context of climate change and persistent levels of inequality.
Tel: +27(0)21 650 2915 · Email: email@example.com
Nondumiso Mginywa, Education and Capacity Development Portfolio Assistant Coordinato
Nondumiso studied Journalism and Media Studies and Anthropology at Rhodes University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Tertiary Education, from UNISA. In 2016 she did a Foundation course in Design Thinking offered by the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design Thinking at UCT. For four semesters she has coached four groups of postgraduate students at UCT in Design Thinking. She is currently finishing her Masters in Adult Education. Her broad interests are Design Thinking as a tool for social change and Professionalization of Adult Educators in South Africa.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2556 · Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marieke Norton, ACDI Masters Course Convener and Lecturer
Marieke Norton joined the ACDI as Masters Convener in January 2017. She has a background in Social Anthropology, with a focus on environmental anthropology. She completed her PhD at UCT in 2014, on the topic of marine resource law enforcement in the Western Cape, as a transdisciplinary project between Social Anthropology and the Ma-Re Institute.
Her personal and research interests are on the interactions between humanity and the environment, and the relations between these spheres that sustain, shape and change each other. Her research and publications have been specifically geared towards re-thinking the relations between the natural and social sciences, in order to establish modes of collaboration that reframe the issues of climate change and sustainable development as interdisciplinary projects that support and innovate human and non-human well-being. Marieke also holds a Masters in Social Anthropology (on the topic of marine resource governance) and a degree in Media and Film Studies.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2838 · Email: marieke.norton @uct.ac.za
Romaric Odoulami, Postdoctoral Researcher, AXA Chair Programme
Romaric joined the AXA Research Chair Programme in African Climate Risk at ACDI as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in November 2017. He is part of a multi-disciplinary team, from University of Cape Town and University of Oxford, with an interest in climate, hydrological, ecological and socio-economic sciences. As part of the fellowship he is conducting advanced research on weather/climate event attribution in the Southern African context with a main focus on the Western Cape drought underlying the 2017 water crisis - mostly referred to as the “Day Zero” crisis - in Cape Town.
Romaric holds a PhD in Meteorology and Climate Science with a background in Agricultural science. His PhD research examined the potential impacts of large scale changes in land cover on climate extremes over West Africa based on a regional climate modelling approach. He also has experience in climate modelling and climate change analysis.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2909 · Email: email@example.com
Britta Rennkamp, Senior Researcher
Expertise: Climate policy, energy policy, sustainable development, energy transitions, political economy, science and technology studies, innovation policy
Britta's research focuses on climate policy and technology in developing countries and the links between poverty, inequality, energy and mitigation of climate change. In her previous work she analysed renewable energy and nuclear programmes, carbon taxation, green industrial and innovation policies. Britta has published various papers and book chapters on the overall question on integrating policies on emissions reductions, energy supply and development in Africa and Latin America.
Britta Rennkamp holds a PhD in Political Science, and a Diplom/MSc in Regional Sciences – Political Sciences, Economics, Latin American History, Spanish and Portuguese language and literature. She has ten years of international work experience in sustainable development research, consulting and teaching, which she acquired in Brazil, Germany and South Africa. Read more.
Likho Sikutswa, Research Portfolio Assistant Coordinator
Likho Sikutshwa is an Assistant Co-ordinator for the Research Portfolio, a unit that operationalises the research strategy of the ACDI through coordination, fundraising, and relationship development. Likho joined the ACDI in 2017 as a NRF-intern. She completed a BSc Biological Sciences and BSc Hons (Botany) at Walter Sisulu University, and holds an MSc Zoology from Rhodes University. Likho has broad interests in climate change and human-environmental interactions that drive adaptation and implementation of sustainable development.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2256 · Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher Trisos, Senior Researcher
Christopher's research focus is on the intersection of climate change, biodiversity and human well-being. He is a Co-ordinating Lead Author for climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability for the Africa region of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 6th Assessment Report. He has also consulted on climate change adaptation for the World Bank.
Before moving to ACDI, Christopher spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center at University of Maryland, where his research focused on biodiversity, climate change and geoengineering. He also co-led the interdisciplinary and actionable science training program for postdocs.
Christopher has a doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. His research at ACDI is funded by a Future Leader–African Independent Research (FLAIR) Fellowship from the Royal Society and the African Academy of Sciences.
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2918 · Email: email@example.com
Emily Tyler, Honourary Research Affiliate
Content coming soon.
Babatunde Abiodun, CSAG
Research focus: African climate variability and change; landcover-climate linkages
Position: Senior lecturer, Climate Systems Analysis Group
Department: Environmental and Geographical Science
Katye Altieri, MaRe
Research focus: Air pollution; global change; energy policy; economic development
Res Altwegg, SEEC
Research focus: Statistical ecology; climate change impacts on species
Position: Associate Professor, SEEC
Anton Cartwright, ACC
Research focus: Climate change economics; green economy
Position: Research Officer, African Centre for Cities
Department: Engineering and the Built Environment
Oliver Crespo, CSAG
Research focus: Climate change and agriculture
Position: Research Officer, African Centre for Cities
Department: CSAG, Environmental and Geographical Science
Lindsay Gilson, PCU
Research focus: Applied palaeoecology, conservation and ecosystem management
Position: Associate Professor, Plant Conservation Unit
Department: Biological Sciences
Jan Glazewski, IMEL
Research focus: Climate change and energy law
Ralph Hamann, GSB
Research focus: Business sustainability and responses to climate change
Bruce Hewitson, CSAG
Research focus: Regional climate science, climate information, climate services, ethics
Chris Jack, CSAG
Research focus: Climate services and communication
Astrid Jarre, MaRe
Research focus: Marine ecology and fisheries
Peter Johnston, CSAG
Research focus: Climate change and agriculture
Chris Lennard, CSAG
Research focus: Climate modelling and forecasting
Chris Reason, CSAG
Research focus: Southern Hemisphere climate variability and change
Hanna-Andrea Rother, CEOHR
Research focus: Environmental health (climate, pollution, children, chemicals)
Clifford Shearing, Centre for Criminology
Research focus: Environmental security
Anna Steynor, CSAG
Research focus: Environmental and behavioural ecnomics
Martine Visser, EPRU
Research focus: Environmental and behavioural ecnomics
Katinka Waagsaether, CSAG
Research focus: Climate change adaptation
Harald Winkler, ERC
Research focus: Energy and climate policy
Piotr Wolski, CSAG
Research focus: Climate change and hydrology
Gina Ziervogel, EGS
Research focus: Climate change adaptation, resilience, governance
Emillie Albert, Masters student (coursework)
Emillie’s interest to pursue a Master of Philosophy in Climate Change and Development at UCT is principally due to her experiences in working in sustainable development projects for vulnerable communities in Rodrigues Island. In this work, through years of empowering communities in green capacity building, Emillie developed a strong and heartfelt passion for this field. She is especially interested in developing green training toolkits, shifting fisher communitiesy to greener and more sustainable livelihoods, and empowering the entrepreneurs of her small island to greener consumption and production practices. Most of Emillie’s leisure time is mostly spent on the beach, hiking, Bungee jumping, in Trampoline parks and the Forest.
Alice Chilambwe, Masters student (coursework)
Alice Chilambwe is a Staff Development Fellow (SDF) in the school of natural resources at the Copperbelt University in Zambia. For a long time, her career objective has been to gain relevant knowledge in the climate field and understand how climate variability and change affect natural resources to serve her home country, Zambia, Africa and the world at large. Alice has a BSc degree in Agroforestry attained in 2015 from the Copperbelt University Zambia. During her time as a natural science student she became interested in understanding the relationship between traditional farming systems and modern practices, with a specific focus on how climate variability and change affect farming systems. She is specifically interested in understanding the resilience of smallholder production systems to climatic changes in the Zambia Miombo areas.
Khuthadzo Nemakononi, Masters student (coursework)
Khuthadzo comes from Tshitereke and graduated from the University of Venda with BSc and Honours degrees in Environmental Sciences. His Honours research focused on flood vulnerability, response and adaptation. He holds an academic excellence award from Thusanani Foundation for the Bachelors of Environmental sciences, obtained Blackboard training for e-tutoring and e-mentoring from the University of Venda, and served as a Tutor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Venda. He successfully completed the 4th ACCESS “Habitable Planet” Online Course. His research interest is on weather and climate extremes and their impacts on surface water resources and communities, as well as climate change and adaption. Khuthadzo enjoys travelling, singing, playing a guitar and Latin dance.
Colton Rabenold, Masters student (coursework)
Colton Rabenold grew up in the remote southern highlands of Tanzania, where he was most recently managing two large commercial farming zones. With six years of experience in agriculture management, he was instrumental in building out a small holder farmer business model that has since spread throughout Tanzania. Before joining the Great African Food Company's management team, Colton worked for World Vision in both Tanzania and the United States. He was responsible for establishing new operations in the Southern Corridor, which contains the largest expanses of virgin farmland in Tanzania. Colton is fluent in Swahili and holds a B.A. in Political Science and Government from John Brown University where he graduated in 2012. He looks forward to researching and developing new agricultural methods to combat the devastating effect climate change has had on small scale farmers throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
Chipo Rusere, Masters student (coursework)
Chipo Rusere is a Junior Researcher at OneWorld Sustainable Investments, a Cape Town-based sustainable development consultancy with a focus on climate change. She provides research support for the company on a number of projects spanning a variety of themes, from urban resilience to inclusive green growth. She is also involved in business development, providing support for technical and financial proposal writing. Prior to this position, Chipo managed projects in the sphere of financial inclusion for small to medium enterprises as well as small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe and has experience in stakeholder engagement and delivering workshops and learning networks for small businesses. She is an Economics and Law graduate from Rhodes University and also holds a Masters degree from the University of Cape Town, specialising in Economic Development.
Isabella Trapani, Masters student (coursework)
Isabella Trapani (Germany/Italy) graduated with an International Management Double Degree from Lancaster University (UK) and ESB Business School (Germany) and is passionate about holistic solutions for sustainable development, combining social and environmental justice. After working with the global network for urban sustainability ICLEI, she conducted her undergraduate research on the impact of sustainable urban development on poverty alleviation in Brazil. Most recently, she worked in environmental policy within the field of development cooperation at GIZ.
Carina Wessels, Masters student (coursework)
Carina Wessels enjoyed her career as a professional photographer for nearly 10 years before she decided she wanted to achieve even more in life. Driven equally by a passion for the environment and a yearning to make a difference in the world, she returned to the books in 2013. Carina graduated from Stellenbosch University with a BSc Hons Biodiversity and Ecology degree. Her research focussed on ticks and fleas parasitizing the endangered African Penguin, and was published in the journal Parasitology Research. Carina is also a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. Carina worked and travelled around the world and she believes this contributed to her mature and open-minded perspective. She is self-disciplined, hardworking, dedicated and eager to learn. Her goal orientated mind-set enables her to perform optimally whether as a leader, in a team or on individual level.
Waarith Abrahams, Masters student (dissertation)
Sylvia Dorbor, Masters student (dissertation)
Sylvia Dorbor Diamond (Liberia) obtained her Bachelors of Science in Geology and Environmental Science and her BSc Honours in Environmental Science from Rhodes University. She is passionate about global sustainability and hopes to contribute immensely to Africa, and the world at large. Her Honours research focused on renewables energy in the form of biogas and she is interested in the use and adoption of renewable energy sources, so as to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
Vumande Mjanyelwa, Masters student (dissertation)
Vumande is a Masters student currently registered with the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences. She has a BSc in Geology and Honours in Geography from the University of Pretoria and University of the Witwatersrand, respectively. She joined ACDI as part of the “Exploring the Evidence of Water-Energy-Food Nexus Linkages to Sustainable Local Livelihoods and Wellbeing in South Africa” research project team in February 2018. She has a keen interest in climate change, particularly climate change adaptation, and its impact on the global and regional socio-economic landscape.
Khuthadzo Nemakononi, Masters student (dissertation)
Andrew Hall, Masters student (dissertation), AXA Chair Programme
Andrew joined the ACDI’s AXA Research Programme in African Climate Risk in August 2017 as a Masters Research Student. Andrew's Master's research aims to determine the influence of anthropogenic climate change on the 2015-2017 south-western Cape hydrological drought through analysis of various components of the hydrological cycle under modelled factual and counterfactual climate scenarios. Andrew's academic background includes a BSc Hydrology and Geography (2013) and a BSc (Hons) in Hydrology (2015). His current research interests include the attribution of extreme hydro-climatic events in the context of anthropogenic climate change and the associated changing risk. Andrew has been trained as a Hydrologist and has experience in Water Resource Management, Hydrological Modelling and Geographic Information Systems.
Joyce Kimutai, Masters student (dissertation)
Joyce Kimutai joined ACDI as a Masters research student in July 2018 as part of the AXA Research Chair Programme in African Climate Risk. She is part of a multi-disciplinary team from the University of Cape Town and University of Oxford, spanning climate, hydrological, agricultural, ecological and economic and adaptation science. Her research focuses on Probabilistic Impact Attribution in Hydrological and Agricultural Systems in Southern Africa. Joyce has a Bsc in Meteorology from the University of Nairobi Kenya and has worked with the Climate Services division of the Kenya Meteorological Department. Her past research work focused on the attribution of extreme weather/climate events, particularly droughts and floods, in East Africa. Joyce is also a Lead Author for IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land, Chapter 3: Desertification.
Margaret Angula, PhD student
Prince Ansah, PhD student
Vhalinavho Khavhagali, PhD student
In his PhD, Vhalinavho focuses on climate change governance in South Africa, investigating the processes and approaches applied in the development of climate change policy and strategy, and to the extent to which the national adaptation strategy addresses these challenges.
Vhali attained his Master of Science degree in Botany and Ecology from the University of Cape Town. Then he joined the cooperate world where he served as the Director: Climate Change Adaptation at the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), Deputy Director for Biodiversity and Climate Change, and as Senior Scientist at the Department of Environment and Nature Conservation, Northern Cape. Vhali has led the Climate Change Adaptation work in and outside South Africa, holding various key positions, such as Climate Change Negotiator under UNFCCC and CBD, Project Manager for the Long-Term Adaptation Scenario, Provincial and Local Government Climate Change Support Programmes and the Cities Resilience Forum. He is currently serving as the Co-Chair of the Executive Committee Member of the Warsaw International Mechanism of Loss and Damage under the UNFCCC. In 2014, Vhali was nominated as one of the Climate Change Leaders by the Mail & Guardian.
Vhali is a bonafide member of the Zion Christian Church. He is passionate about youth development, writing, poetry, and leadership.
Tiro Nkemelang, PhD student, AXA Chair Programme
Tiro joined ACDI in July 2018 as a PhD student after being awarded the Doctorate Scholarship in the Attribution of Impacts of Climatic Extremes in Southern Africa under the AXA Research Chair Programme in African Climate Risk. He is working with a team of researchers from the University of Cape Town and University of Oxford that looks to locate the fingerprint of anthropogenic climate change on weather and climate extremes in agricultural and hydrological systems in Southern Africa. Tiro’s research focuses on impact attribution on agricultural and hydrological systems in Southern Africa. Tiro completed his MSc Climate Change and Development in 2018 from UCT’s Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences under the ACDI’s ASSAR scholarship. He holds a BSc (Hons) Meteorology degree from the University of Reading (UK). He has worked as an Associate Researcher in the Climate Change Division at the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) and as a Meteorologist with the Botswana Meteorological Services.
Kulthoum Omari, PhD student
Lavinia Perumal, PhD student
Lavinia completed her BSc undergraduate and Honours degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Environmental Science and Geography department. In 2014 Lavinia moved to Rhodes University in Grahamstown to complete her master’s degree at the Botany department. Her project focused on drivers of bush encroachment in a semi-arid savanna in the Eastern Cape. After completing her MSc degree, she started her PhD at the University of Cape Town’s Environmental and Geographical Science department. She is currently based at the African Climate and Development Initiative. Her PhD aims to understand the effects of road development on sub-Saharan African ecosystems.