Rated Reseachers

Home > Research and Innovation > Rated Researchers

UMP currently has 13 NRF Rated Researchers: One C1 rated researcher, seven C2 rated researchers, two C3 rated researchers and three Y2 rated researcher. “For more information on the NRF ratings, visit the NRF website”.

Prof Victor Mlambo Programme Leader: Diploma in Animal Sciences C1 Rated Researcher (2021 - 2026), C3 Rated Researcher(2015 – 2020)()

Card image
Prof Victor Mlambo, Professor in the School of Agricultural Sciences is an Animal Scientist specializing in Animal Nutrition and related disciplines such as nutritional physiology, meat science and animal welfare. He has carried out such investigations on cattle, sheep, goats, broilers, layers, indigenous chickens, Japanese quails and fish. He is an Editor of Animal Feed Science and Technology journal published by Elsevier; an Associate Editor for the South African Journal of Animal Science and Associate Editor for the Botswana Journal of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. 

Dr Mduduzi Ndlovu Programme Leader: Diploma in Nature Conservation and Advanced Diploma in Nature Conservation C2 Rated Researcher(2020 - 2025, Y2: 2015 - 2019)

Card image
Dr Mduduzi Ndlovu is a NRF C2 Rated Researcher, Senior lecturer at the School of Biology and Environmental
Sciences was recognised for his research on adaptability in Afrotropical animals.

Prof Tarombera Mwabvu Programme Leader: Bachelor of Science Degree C2 Rated Researcher(2018 - 2023)

Card image
Prof Tarombera Mwabvu, an Associate Professor at the School of Biology and Environmental Sciences, focuses on taxonomy, faunistics and phylogenetics of flightless soil macroinvertebrates, and their response to habitat transformation. He has had research attachments at other institutions, including the Zoological Museum at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), the Royal Museum of Central Africa (Belgium), the Natural History Museum (Zimbabwe) and the University of Yaounde 1 (Cameroon). Besides his interest in research, he is passionate about mentoring younger people and reminding them that “it is not impossible


Dr Liaan Minnie Lecturer in Ecology Y2 Rated Researcher(2022 - 2027)

Card image
Dr Liaan Minnie is a Lecturer in Ecology at the University of Mpumalanga and a research associate with the Centre for African Conservation Ecology, Nelson Mandela University (NMU). He holds a PhD (Zoology) from NMU and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Higher Education from Rhodes University. As a terrestrial ecologist, his research focuses on carnivore ecology, human-wildlife conflict and predator-prey interactions. He is broadly interested in the drivers of both predator and prey communities in terrestrial ecosystems. Specifically, he is interested in the top-down (e.g., predation, diseases, human impacts) and bottom-up (e.g., rainfall, nutrients, habitat characteristics) mechanisms structuring carnivore and prey communities and variation in these processes between nature reserves and anthropogenically modified systems.
Google Scholar profile: http://scholar.google.co.za/citations?user=pmM-D50AAAAJ&hl=en
ResearchGate Profile: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Liaan_Minnie

Prof Gordon O'Brien Research Associate, School of Biology and Environmental Sciences C2 Rated Researcher(2020-2025)

Card image

Prof Vusi Gumede Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Development and Business Sciences C2 Rated Researcher(2022 - 2027)

Card image

Dr Mazanai Musara , Senior Lecturer: Entrepreneurship and Business Management Y2 Rated Researcher(2023 - 2028)

Card image
Dr Mazanai is a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Business Management at the University of Mpumalanga(UMP). He has been an academic since 2011. Prior to joining UMP, he held the positions of a Lecturer and Programme Coordinator in the Department of Management, School of Business and Economics at Monash University, South Africa Campus, from the year 2014 to 2018. In addition, he held the position of lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Limpopo from the year 2011 to 2013.  

His extensive teaching and research publication experience is in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship Education and SME Management. He is an accredited Research Supervisor with Monash Institute of Graduate Research (MIGR) and a registered Human Resources Practitioner (HRP-Learning and Development) with the South African Board for People Practices (SABPP). In 2015, he received the Early Career Researcher Award in recognition of his contribution towards research and supervision of postgraduate students at Monash University, South Africa Campus.

His community engagement and academic citizenship activities include mentorship of student entrepreneurs and nGAP lecturers, peer review of journal articles for various journals as well as external moderation of postgraduate research projects for various universities in South Africa, among others.  In addition to his experience as an academic, he has briefly served as a business consultant and high school educator on a part-time basis during the period from 2009 to 2010, whilst pursuing his Masters studies.

He holds a PhD in Business Management from the University of Johannesburg. In addition, he has a Mcom in Business Management, a Bcom (Honours) in Business Management, a Bcom in Business Economics and Industrial Psychology(Cum Laude) from the University of Fort Hare as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education (with distinction) from the University of Johannesburg.  He is a Y2 rated Researcher by the National Research Foundation in South Africa

Dr Tim Forssman Senior Lecturer: Cultural and Heritage Studies C2 Rated Researcher(2023 - 2028)

Card image
Dr Tim Forssman, Senior lecturer, runs the Hunter-Gatherer Archaeological Research Project, through which he and his team investigate forager innovations, technologies, and indigenous knowledges in central southern Africa and Mpumalanga. His research interests include forager-farmer interactions, forager economies, trade dynamics, and landscape archaeology. His books include Bushman Rock Art: An Interpretive Guide (2012), Beyond the Dripline: Later Stone Age Changes on the Greater Mapungubwe landscape (2013), and Foragers in the middle Limpopo Valley: Trade, Place-Making, and Complexity (2020). He is currently writing his fourth book, titled Archaeology in Africa: Why it Matters. Dr Forssman is passionate about up-skilling students through experiential learning activities and teaching them the necessary skills required to be successful scientists or heritage practitioners. He is also active within his local community, sitting on the Mpumalanga Heritage Society executive board, as well as on international editorial teams and boards. Dr Forssman regularly publishes on online platforms, is often interviewed in the media, and has developed a travelling museum initiative that brings heritage to people.

Prof Billy Mathias Kalema Associate Professor in ICT, School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences C3 (2018-2022)()

Card image
Billy Mathias Kalema holds a Doctor of Technology Computer Science and Data Processing from Tshwane University of Technology, a Master of Science in Computer Science, Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Science with Education from Makerere University Uganda. Prior to joining the University of Mpumalanga, Billy was an Associate Professor at Durban University of Technology  where he joined after serving as a Senior Lecturer and Head of department of Informatics at Tshwane University of Technology. He is an experienced researcher and mentor.  Prof Kalema has supervised 10 PhDs and 40 masters and has examined 50 postgraduate studies at both masters and doctoral levels in several Universities in Africa.

Prof Kalema has spoken at various international conferences, Doctoral symposiums, seminars and workshops.  He is a National Research Fund (NRF) South Africa C 3 - Rated researcher and a member of the Association of Information Systems (AIS), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); Information Society for Africa (IST-Africa), the International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology (IACSIT) and the Asian Council of Science Editors (ACSE).

He serves on several technical committees as an Editorial board member and peer reviewer for both journals and conferences. Prof Kalema has published 30 accredited journals and over 50 international peer reviewed conferences in areas of socio-cognitive aspects of human response to information technology including acceptance, use, utilization and evaluation of technology for decision-making, ERPs, E-learning, ICT4Education, ICT4Business Enhancement, MOOCs, Big Data, Mobile Computing, Cloud-based integrated systems, and the Statistical Methods for Data Analysis. He is widely recognised by international research bodies and scholars with Science and Scientometrics measures of 727 citations, h-index of 13 and i10-index of 18.

His current and future research plans revolve around the practical application of research in daily life by putting IT to use especially in the economically and technologically disadvantaged developing countries. In this respect, Prof Kalema’s currently running 3 year project on Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) that sought to to help learners in South African areas of low bandwidth to upgrade their Matric exams. The project’s first two years were funded by the National Electronic Media of South African (NEMISA) at a tune of R700,000.  

Prof Ndiko Ludidi Dean: Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, Professor in Biotechnology C2 Rated Researcher(2020 - 2025)

Card image
Prof Ludidi’s research is on plant-environment interactions, with a focus on abiotic stress in plants and beneficial plant-microbe interactions together with regenerative agriculture. He investigates the physiological and molecular mechanisms regulating drought, heat and salinity responses in plants. Furthermore, his research expands to the influence of rhizospheric microbes on crop performance, the effects of cropping systems on soil health, and the interaction between plants and insects. He merges these diverse fields of study towards establishment of climate-smart regenerative agriculture systems to produce climate change resilient crops and crop production systems that promote environmental sustainability to ensure food security.

Prof Thoko Mayekiso Vice-Chancellor C3 Rated Researcher(2013 – 2018 ; 2019-2024)

Card image
Prof Thoko Mayekiso, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Mpumalanga and Clinical Psychologist, is a C3 rated scientist. She was initially rated C3 from 2013-2018 and was re-rated for the period 2019-2024. Prof Mayekiso received her MA from the University of Fort Hare and a D Phil in Psychology from the Free University Berlin in Germany. Her research interests include adolescent adjustment problems, HIV and Aids and community development. She is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.

Prof Funso Raphael Kutu Head of Schools: Agricultural Sciences C2 Rated Researcher (2022 - 2027)

Card image
Prof. Funso Raphael Kutu is a trained agronomy-soil scientist with extensive research and teaching expertise. He currently serves as Head of School at the School of Agricultural Sciences. He earned a BSc. Honours in Agriculture, MSc in Agronomy (Soil Science) and a PhD from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. Prof. Kutu began his academic career as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Ibadan. He later joined Ahmadu Bello University's Division of Agricultural Colleges in Zaria, Nigeria, as a Lecturer II and was promoted to Lecturer I after three years. He also served as Head of the Agricultural Technology Programme and Coordinator of the 'Students' Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES)' program in the same university. He worked in various institutions in South Africa before joining the University of Mpumalanga in 2018. These include the University of Fort Hare as a postdoctoral researcher, Agricultural Research Council - Grain Crops Institute (ARC-GCI), Potchefstroom as a Senior Researcher, Soil Scientist-Plant Nutrition; University of Limpopo as a Senior Lecturer in Soil Science and Associate Professor (Soil Science) in 2012. He worked briefly as a Team Manager in the Soil Health and Remediation programme at the Agricultural Research Council, Institute for Soil, Climate and Water (ARC-ISCW), Pretoria before joining the North-West University (NWU), Mafikeng Campus in August 2014 as a Professor of Agronomy. He was the team leader for the Plant Production research sub-group in the Food Security and Safety Niche Area, and Programme Leader for the Crop Science Programme in the School of Agricultural Sciences.

The theme for his research is “Improving sustainability and agro-ecosystem resilience through innovative soil fertility and nutrients management practices, and improved soil health for food and nutrition security”. His research works encompass Soil fertility evaluation and management, improved agronomic practices, cropping systems, nutrient dynamics in soil-plant systems, soil-crop-microbes interaction, microbial inoculants, compost science and utilization for soil health and crop yield improvement, and Green Chemistry. He served as Associate Editor in Agronomy Journal (USA) and currently serves as Chairperson of the Mpumalanga Agricultural Research Committee (MARC) on behalf of the Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs (DARDLEA). He is a member of the Water Research Commission (WRC) project reference group. He equally serves as external examiner to many universities as well as assessor for promotion to professorship and associate professorship (readership) in several universities. He has published widely in accredited journals mostly internationally, and graduated Master and Doctoral students. He is a registered member of several professional bodies including the South African Council of Natural Scientific Profession (SACNASP), the Soil Science Society of South Africa, the Soil Science Society of Nigeria, the Soil Science Society of America and the Agronomy Society of America. He is a C2 rated scientist by the National Research Foundation of South Africa.

Prof Daniel Parker Full Professor School of Biology and Environmental Sciences C2 Rated Researcher(2023 - 2028)

Card image

Prof Andrew Maredza Associate Professor: Economics C2 Rated Researcher(2024 - 2029)

Card image
Andrew Maredza is a C2 NRF-rated Researcher and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Economics, Development and Business Sciences at the University of Mpumalanga in South Africa. Prior to joining UMP, he has held various positions between 2013 and 2018 as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor in the School of Economic and Decision Sciences at North-West University. Prof Maredza is a Research Fellow at INTI International University in Malaysia and is currently Guest Editor of the African Journal of Economic and Management Studies. He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Economics, Business and Politics and on the Scientific Advisory Committee of WindAc Africa.
He is co-editor of Research Methods for Economics a book publication by Van Schaik Publishers, and author of book chapters and peer-reviewed publications in international journals and conferences including working papers published by Economic Research Southern Africa. His research interests are primarily in the fields of monetary theory and policy, and financial economics with particular focus on banks, banking, and monetary policy. His other research interests include efficiency and productivity analysis, economic growth analysis, and interdisciplinary studies intersecting the discipline of economics and entrepreneurship. His publications have appeared among others in Review of Contemporary Business, Entrepreneurship and Economic Issues; Research in International Business and Finance; Journal of Economic Studies; Banks and Bank Systems; African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences; Review of Economics and Political Science; Economies; Global Business and Economics Review. Prof Maredza is a member of the Economic Society of South Africa.