Rated Reseachers

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UMP currently has 7 NRF Rated Researchers: Three C2 rated researchers, three C3 rated researchers and a Y2 rated researcher. “For more information on the NRF ratings, visit the NRF website”.

Prof Victor Mlambo Programme Leader: Diploma in Animal Sciences C3 Rated Researcher(2015 – 2020)

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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)

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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.

Dr Julia Giddy Lecturer School of Biology and Environmental Sciences Y2 Rated Researcher(2015 - 2020)

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Dr Julia Giddy is a NRF Y2 Rated Researcher currently involved in teaching Geography and Conservation. Most
of her research focuses on human-environment interaction in the tourism sector.

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

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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 Gordon O'Brien Senior Lecturer School of Biology and Environmental Sciences C2 Rated Researcher(2020-2025)

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Dr. Gordon O’Brien obtained his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree from the University of Johannesburg and is a specialist C2-rated scientist from the South African National Research Foundation with an extensive local and international profile.

He has >50 peer-reviewed scientific publications with >900 citations.  He is a Senior lecturer of the School of Biology and Environmental Sciences and teaches undergraduate, post-graduate and mentors numerous Masters of Science and Doctor of Philosophy students. He is also heads the Rivers of Life Programme (www.riversoflife.co.za) and has managed- and/or led applied research projects from 2004, totalling ZAR35 million (US$2.5 million) in value. Being a South African registered Professional Scientist (SACNASP: Reg No: 400075/10), Dr. O’Brien provides principal investigator/manager services on international multi-disciplinary applied projects.

The scope of his expertise includes sustainable water resource management and protection research, ecological risk assessments of multiple stressors affecting water resources on multiple spatial scales, aquatic ecology studies, development of management and conservation plans, ichthyology and fisheries research, environmental flow assessments, and ecotoxicology studies. Gordon’s career vision is to carry out evidence-based research on water resources and their response to multiple stressors for a sustainable future. He has contributed to the development of national policies and legislation, water resource management, and mitigation plans for multiple stakeholders and the development of methods to establish targets and objectives for the Sustainable Development Goals and contributes to this field internationally.  

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

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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 Daniel Parker Head of School: School of Biology and Environmental Sciences C3 Rated Researcher(2017 - 2021)

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Professor Dan Parker, Head of School: Biology and Environmental Sciences is a wildlife biologist and his main research focus is terrestrial mammalian ecology, with particular interests in large carnivore biology and human-wildlife conflict. Professor Parker is an Associate Professor at the University of Mpumalanga and a Senior Research Associate of the Department of Zoology and Entomology at Rhodes University. Professor Parker is a passionate teacher who supervises a large and vibrant school of post-graduate students.