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The Department of Ecology and Resource Management was established as an anchor for the diverse academic programmes in the School of Environmental Sciences. It offers core modules that all students in the School have to take and pass irrespective of the type of degree being pursued.

Its teaching and research activities are geared towards integrating the geographical, geological, hydrological, planning and ecological perspectives on the environment and its management. Through its teaching and research activities, the Department seeks to impart knowledge and skills, and to develop sound strategies for restoring, sustaining and enhancing environmental quality for sustainable development.


The Department will pursue excellence in ecology and resource management by being a community of critical and imaginative thinkers, well versed in established principles and sound research practices, and up-to-date with the latest developments in our field.


To take centre stage in up-to-date, socially relevant ecological research and to equip its students with all the knowledge and skills they require to be leaders in the field of environmental science and its applications.

The following is a list of academic programmes offered by the department. Click on the programme listed below to read more about it:

Qualifications offered

Bachelor of Environmental Sciences (BEnvSc)
Bachelor of Environmental Sciences Honours (BEHERM)
Master of Environmental Sciences by Research and Thesis (MEnvSc)
Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Sciences (PhD - EnvSc)

Admission requirements

The minimum admission requirement for the above-mentioned degree programme is as follows:

A Matriculation Certificate or Senior Certificate endorsed for university admission.
Mathematics, Physical Science and English– 50% on NSC level. Matric passes at D=50% (HG) or C=60% (SG).
Life Sciences or Geography- 50% on NSC level. Matric passes at D=50% (HG) or C=60% (SG).
There is a limited number of places and therefore meeting the minimum entry requirement does not guarantee a place. Selection will be based on a student’s M score (the sum of the points) obtained on the basis of results achieved in the matriculation examination. Points are awarded for the six best symbols of the matriculation examination results (including English, Mathematics, Physical Science, Life Science but excluding Life Orientation).
ERM 1541 The Natural Environment as System  
ERM 1641 Ecology Principles for environmental Management  
ERM 2541 Principles of Resource Management ERM 1541
ERM 2641 Pollution and Environmental Quality ERM 1641
ERM 3541 Resource Evaluation and Information Systems ERM 2541
ERM 3641 Environmental Impact Assessment and Modelling ERM 2641
ERM 5740 Research Methods and Mini-Dissertation ERM 3541
ERM 5541 Land Information Technology ERM 3541
ERM 5542 Pollution Modelling and Control ERM 3541
ERM 5543 Resource and Environmental Economics ERM 3541
ERM 5544 Rangeland Management ERM 3541
ERM 5641 Habitat and Biodiversity Management ERM 3641
ERM 5642 Ecotoxicology ERM 3641
ERM 5643 Energy Resource Management ERM 3641
ERM 5644 Wildlife Management ERM 3641
ERM 6740 Research and Mini-Dissertation  
ERM 6990 Research and Dissertation: ERM 6990  
ERM 7990 Research and Thesis  

Dr Eduart M. Stam [M.Sc.(Armsterdam); PhD (Free University, Armsterdam)]

Research Interests

I am interested in patterns of biodiversity and the underlying processes that cause the observed patterns to be as they are. Through improvement of our understanding of the processes behind biodiversity patterns I hope to contribute to the development of more effective management strategies. To give a concrete example: I am currently working on a project which aims to examine the effect of elephant damage on biodiversity in order to determine what would be the optimum density of elephants in a given landscape in the Kruger National Park. I am also interested in the question how to measure and compare biodiversity between areas, given that it is impossible to determine an area's total biodiversity. With regard to this I will attempt to develop surrogate measures, such as the diversity of particular taxa that are relatively easy to sample and identify. Furthermore, I am interested in the effect that the predicted climate change will have on the species conserved in our parks.

Selected Publications
  • Dawood, A. & Stam, E.M. 2005 The taxonomic status of the monotypic frog genus Anhydrophryne Hewitt from South Africa: a molecular perspective. Submitted to South African Journal of Science

  • Smit, C. Els, Stam, Ed M ., Baas, Nicolette, Hollander, Ronald & Van Gestel, Cornelis A.M. 2004 Effects of dietary zinc exposure on the life history of the parthenogenetic springtail Folsomia candida (Collembola: Isotomidae). Env. Tox. Chem. 23, pp. 1719–1724

  • Stam, E. 2002 Does imbalance in phylogenies reflect only bias? Evolution 56: 1292 - 1295

  • Stam, E. , Isaaks, A. & Ernsting, G. 2002 Distant lovers. Indirect sperm transfer and maximisation of reproductive success by male springtails. J. Insect Behav. 15: 253-268

  • Stam, E. & Hoogendoorn, G. 1999 Indirect sperm transfer and male mating strategies in soil invertebrates. J.Invertebr. Repr. Dev. , 36: 187-189

  • Stam, E. , Isaaks, A. & Ernsting, G. 1998 Negative maternal effect revisited: a test on two populations of Orchesella cincta L. (Collembola: Entomobryidae). Evolution , 52: 1839-1843

  • Stam E. 1996 Temperature responses and physiological time: A comparison of three European populations of Orchesella cincta. Pedobiologia , 41: 88-93

  • Stam E.M. , van de Leemkule, M.A. & Ernsting, G. 1996 Trade-offs in the life history and energy budget of the parthenogenetic collembolan Folsomia candida (Willem). Oecologia , 107: 283-292

Dr. Chris Munyati

Research Interests

Application of Remote Sensing in environmental change detection, particularly use of high spatial resolution satellite imagery in rangeland and wetland habitat change detection.

Selected Publications

  • Munyati, C ., 2004, Use of principal component analysis (PCA) of remote sensing images in
    wetland change detection on the Kafue Flats, Zambia, Geocarto International ,

  • Munyati, C ., 2000, Wetland change detection on the Kafue Flats, Zambia, by classification of a
    multitemporal remote sensing image dataset, International Journal of Remote Sensing , 21(9):1787–1806.

  • Munyati, C ., Kapungwe, E.M. and Singh, R.Y., 1999, The role of remote sensing in wetland
    habitat carrying capacity change studies for endemic lechwe ( Kobus leche kafuensis ) on the Kafue Flats, Zambia, Annals Nat. Assoc. Geog., India , XIX(1&2):126–133.

  • Munyati, C ., 1997, Extremes in climatic parameters as indicators of change on the Kafue basin, Zambia, University of Zambia Journal of Science and Technology , 1(2):59–66.

  • Munyati, C. , 1998, Evidence of environmental degradation on the Kafue Flats, Zambia, Kobus ,
    April – June 1998, pages 6 – 7.

  • Munyati, C. , Effects of climate change on forests, montane systems, savannas, protected areas
    and coastal systems: an analysis for Zambia and Southern Africa, Report Extracts In: Markham, A., Dudley, N. and Stolton, S., 1993, Some Like it Hot: Climate Change, Biodiversity and the Survival of Species , WWF International, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland, pages 104-105 & 121 [ISBN 2-88085-130-0].

Mr. N I Sinthumule

Research Interests

Global environmental problems; system approaches in environmental management; wetland ecology and management; and the ecology and control of alien species. Currently has a team of honours students researching on various aspects of wetland ecology and management.

Mr. Jacobus (Koos) N. Steyn

Research Interest

Research interest in the fields of agroecology, rangeland ecology and management and wildlife management. Main interest is in the field of agroecology with the emphasis on improving long-term sustainability in agricultural systems. Topics of special interest involve cultivation practises like polyculture, cover cropping and mulching, crop rotations and agroforestry systems, ecological strategies to manage weeds, pests and crop diseases and practises for the restoration of soil health.

Ms. LF Lefawane

Research Interests

Pollution monitoring and control.
Handles all practicals related to pollution and waste management.

The Department is in a continuous process of acquiring necessary facilities to support high quality teaching and research activities. At the moment, it has a 60-seater Pollution teaching laboratory and with Pollution research laboratory. These are being equipped. Already a Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry has been donated from Anglo platinum and a Gas chromatography with both flame ionisation detector and electron capture is being purchased. The teaching laboratory is equipped with 8 PCs for students.

Career Prospects

Graduates of Ecology and Resource Management have proved to be marketable. They have been absorbed by:

  • Government Departments of Environmental Affairs and Tourism; Agriculture, Conservation and Land Affairs; Forestry and Water Affairs; Local Government at both National and Provincial levels. Graduates have been employed as far as Springbok in Northern Cape and East London in Eastern Cape. Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province have so far absorbed the majority of ERM graduates.
  • Private sector and parastatals including mining companies, ESKOM and TELKOM

  • The National Parks Board
  • Local Councils and Municipal Councils
  • Academic and vocational institutions such as Technikons, Technical Colleges, Universities and Southern African Wildlife Colleges.
  • Environmental Consultancy Companies
  • Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) dealing with environmental issues
  • Research Institutions such as the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Agricultural Research Centre (ARC).

The following is a list of staff members in the Department of Ecology and Resource Management:

Dr. EM Stam - Senior Lecturer (HOD)

Qualification: MSc (Univeristy of Amsterdam), PhD (Free University, Amsterdam)
Specialization: Ecology, Population biology, Ecohydrology, Biodiversity

Tel: +27 15 962 8562
Prof. WM Gitari - Senior Lecturer

Qualification: Certificate in Project Management: University of Stellenbosch (South Africa), PhD : University of the Western Cape (South Africa), MSc (pure and applied chemistry): University of Nairobi (Kenya), Bed (Sc) (Maths and Chem): Kenyatta University (Kenya)

Specialization: Applied Environmental/Remediation Chemistry, Applied inorganic Chemistry/Analytical Chemistry, Applied geochemistry and Waste management.

Tel: +27 15 962 8572
Dr.NI Sinthumule - Senior Lecturer

Qualification: B.Envsc (Hons)(University of Venda), M.Envsc (Ecology and Resource Management) (University of Venda) and PhD (Conservation)(UCT)

Specialization: Transfrontier conservation areas, People-environment interactions, Land and resource rights, GIS and remote sensing

Tel: +27 15 962 8574
Mr JN Steyn - Lecturer

Qualification: B.Sc.Agric (UFS), Wildlife Management (Hons.)(UP) and Msc. Env.Management (UFS)

Specialization: Agroecology

Tel: +27 15 962 8594
Mr R Mulaudzi - Lecturer

Qualification: Benvsc (Hons) (University of Venda), BA development studies (Hons)(UNISA) and MEnvsc (University of Venda)

Specialization: Pollution and Waste Management, Environmental Rehabilitation, Environmental Management system and auditing.

Tel: +27 15 962 8074

Qualification: Bachelor of environmental management(univen), Bsc Honours in Biodiversity& Ecology (stellebosh University), Msc in Conservation Ecology (Stellebosh University)

Specialization: Conservation Ecology, Zoology , Entonology , Invasion Biology, Seed Science.

Tel: +27 15 962 8074
Office: G09, School of Environmental Sciences
Florance Murungweni - Lecturer

Qualification: Msc (University of Twente), GIS Diploma, Diploma (Cartography)(Harare), BAC (Geography and Environmental Studies).

Specialization: Conservation Ecology, Zoology, Entonology, Invasion Biology, Seed Science.

Tel: +27 15 962 8074
Office: G103, School of Environmental Sciences

Last updated 03 March 2017