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Sheunesu Ruwanza

Professor of Environmental Science, Rhodes University
Prof Ruwanza holds a PhD in botany and MSc in conservation ecology from Stellenbosch University (graduated in 2012 and 2009, respectively). Prior to that, he graduated with an MSc in environmental policy and planning and a BSc Honours in geography from the University of Zimbabwe. He is a Y2 National Research Foundation (NRF) rated scientist and a DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (CIB) core team member.

His research career started with work in environmental policy and planning, where he researched the socio-economic contribution of urban agriculture to city dwellers in Zimbabwe. To develop a deeper understanding of environmental policy and planning, he embarked on a research project to examine the impact of land resettlement on vegetation cover and wildlife habitat in Zimbabwe. In 2007, he relocated to South Africa and joined the South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi), where his career in ecology started. His ecological restoration projects looked at old agricultural fields and riparian system restoration. The above-mentioned projects were funded by Biota Southern Africa Phase III and CIB, in collaboration with Working for Water (WfW). Results of the river restoration project have contributed to the development of alien clearing guidelines by WfW. Besides the above-mentioned research projects, Dr. Ruwanza has also examined alien plant responses to climate change and soil nutrient enrichment. After six years of conducting research in the field of ecological restoration, he decided to grow his understanding of plant ecology by researching ecological changes caused by non-timber forest products (NTFPs) harvesting. The above-mentioned research work was done in collaboration with the NRF-SARCHI chair in Interdisciplinary Science in Land and Natural Resource Use for Sustainable Livelihoods at Rhodes University. At a policy level, he has worked on mainstreaming environmental issues in integrated development plans (IDPs) and development of invasive species control plans. Recently, he has been awarded an NRF-Thuthuka grant to examine social and ecological effects of Lantana camara invasion in Vhembe Biosphere, Limpopo province of South Africa.

His broader future vision is to make progress in research and teaching in the field of ecology. His specific research aims are to carry out projects in ecological systems, producing results that positively improve people’s lives as well as contributing to environmental conservation. He believes that research should change local people’s lives. Besides publishing and communicating his research in scientific journals, he also intends to train young South Africans and graduate more students.

Publications
Mthethwa, K. & Ruwanza, S. 2023. Topsoil & vegetation dynamics 14 years after Eucalyptus grandis removal in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Plants, 12(17). doi.org/10.3390/plants12173047

Thondhlana, G., Amaka-Otchere, A.B.K. & Ruwanza, S. 2023. Encouraging household energy conservation through transdisciplinary approaches in Ghana and South Africa: Assumptions, challenges, and guidelines. International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, 15(1): 201-214. doi.org/10.1080/19463138.2023.2223531

Ruwanza, S. & Thondhlana, G. 2022. People's perceptions and uses of invasive plant Psidium guajava in Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, Limpopo province of South Africa. Ecosystems & People, 18(1): 64-75.

Ruwanza, S., Thondhlana, G. & Falayi, M. 2022. Research progress and conceptual insights on drought impacts and responses among smallholder farmers in South Africa: a review. Land, 11, 159.

Ruwanza, S. 2021. Effects of Solanum mauritianum Scopoli (bugweed) invasion on soil and vegetation in Vhembe Biosphere reserve, South Africa. Austral Ecology, 46, 342-348.

Ruwanza, S. 2021. Vegetation and soil recovery following Eucalyptus grandis removal in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Journal of African Ecology, 59(1): 241-252.

Pamla, A., Thondhlana, G. & Ruwanza, S. 2021. Persistent droughts and water scarcity: Households' perceptions and practices in Makhanda, South Africa. Land, 10, 593.

Thondhlana, G., Mubaya, C.P, McClure, A., Amaka-Otchere, A.B.K. & Ruwanza, S. 2021. Facilitating urban sustainability through Transdisciplinary (TD) Research: Lessons from Ghana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Sustainability, 13, 6205.

Holmes, P.M., Esler, K.J., Gaertner, M., Geerts, S., Hall, S.A., Nsikani, M.M., Richardson, D.M., & Ruwanza S. 2020. Biological invasions and ecological restoration in South Africa. In. van Wilgen, B.W., Measey, J., Richardson, D.M., Wilson, J.R., Zengeya, T.A (eds.). Biological Invasions in South Africa, Invading Nature - Springer Series in Invasion Ecology, 14, pp 665-700.

Nsikani, M.M., Geerts, S., Ruwanza, S. & Richardson, D.M. 2020. Secondary invasion and weedy native species dominance after clearing invasive alien plants in South Africa: status quo and prognosis. South African Journal of Botany, 132, 338-345.

Ruwanza, S. & Mhlongo, E.S. 2020. Lantana camara invasion along road-river interchanges and roadsides in Soutpansberg, Vhembe Biosphere Reserve in South Africa. South African Journal of Science,116(9/10), Art. #8302, 5 pages. https://doi.org/10.17159/ sajs.2020/8302.

Ruwanza, S. 2020. Potential of soil seed bank and ungulate-mediated endozoochory in old field restoration. Ecological Restoration, 38, 9-12.

Ruwanza, S. 2020. Vegetation and soil recovery following Eucalyptus grandis removal in Limpopo province, South Africa. Journal of African Ecology, doi.org/10.1111/aje.12822.

Ruwanza, S. 2020. Effects of Lantana camara invasion on vegetation diversity and composition in Vhembe Biosphere reserve, Limpopo province of South Africa. Scientific African 10; e00610; doi.org/10.1016/j.sciaf.2020.e00610.

Ruwanza, S. 2020. Top-soil transfer from natural renosterveld to degraded old fields facilitates native vegetation. Sustainability, 12, 3833; doi:10.3390/su12093833.

Panter, B., Ruwanza, S. 2019. Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) planting in degraded thickets improves soil properties and vegetation diversity. Ecological Restoration 37(2), 76-80. doi: 10.3368/er.37.2.76

Ruwanza, S., Dondofema, F. 2019. Effects of exotic guava (Psidium guajava L.) invasion on soil properties in Limpopo, South Africa. African Journal of Ecology, doi: 10.1111/aje.12675

Thondhlana, G. & Ruwanza, S. 2019. Homestead tree holdings: Composition, uses and challenges in Checheche Growth Point, South East lowveld, Zimbabwe. African Journal of Ecology, 10.1111/aje.12691.

Ruwanza, S., Tshililo, K. 2019. Short term soil and vegetation recovery after Acacia mearnsii removal in Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, South Africa. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 17(2), 1705-1716. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.15666/aeer/1702_17051716

Ruwanza, S. 2019. The edge effect on plant diversity and soil properties in abandoned fields targeted for ecological restoration. Sustainability 11(1), 140. doi.org/10.3390/su11010140

Hirsch, H., Allsopp, M.H., Canavan, S., Cheek, M., Geerts, S., Geldenhuys, C.J., Harding, G., Hurley, B.P., Jones, W., Keet, J-H., Klein, H., Ruwanza, S., van Wilgen, B.W., Wingfield, M.J., Richardson, D.M. 2019. Eucalyptus camaldulensis in South Africa – past, present, future. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa. doi: 10.1080/00359191x.2019.1669732

Vukeya, E.N., Ruwanza, S., 2018. Soil physical properties underneath Pine elliottii and Eucalyptus cloeziana plantations in Vhembe biosphere, Limpopo Province of South Africa. Journal of Forestry Research.

Ruwanza, S., 2018. Nurse plants have the potential to accelerate vegetation recovery in Lapalala Wilderness old fields, South Africa. African Journal of Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/aje.12536.

Ruwanza, S., Mulaudzi, D.,2018. Soil physico-chemical properties in Lapalala Wilderness old agricultural fields, Limpopo Province of South Africa.Applied Ecology and Environmental Research, 16(3), 2475-2486.

Ruwanza, S., 2017. Furrows as centers of restoration in old fields of Renosterveld, South Africa. Ecological Restoration, 35(4), 289-291.

Ruwanza, S. 2017. Towards an integrated ecological restoration approach for abandoned agricultural fields in renosterveld, South Africa. South African Journal of Science 113(9/10), Art. #a0228, 4 pages. http://dx.doi. org/10.17159/sajs.2017/a0228

Ruwanza, S., Shackleton, C., 2017. Ecosystem scale impacts of non-timber forest product harvesting: effects on soil nutrients. Journal of Applied Ecology, 54(5), 1515-1525.

Sholto-Douglas, C., Shackleton, C.M., Ruwanza, S., Dold, A., 2017. The effects of indigenous invasive shrubs on plant species richness and soils in semi-arid communal lands. Land degradation and development, 28(7), 2191-2206.

Ruwanza, S. 2017. Invasion of abandoned agricultural fields by Acacia mearnsii affect soil properties in Eastern Cape, South Africa. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 15(1): 127-139.

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Siân Beynon-Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology. She discovered sociology via an undergraduate degree in Molecular Genetics, during which she became frustrated with conversations that positioned proteins as the sole agents of social change. After graduating in 2003, she undertook a taught MSc in Science and Technology studies at the University of Edinburgh, which allowed her to pursue her interest in the sociology of scientific and medical knowledge-making. Following this degree she was awarded an ESRC PhD studentship at Edinburgh (2005-2009). Her doctoral research explored how expertise is constructed by Scottish health professionals who are involved in abortion provision, and considered the implications of this for women who seek to end their pregnancies.

Career
Siân first joined the department in 2009 as a Research Fellow, working with Nik Brown on an EU FP7 project concerning the dynamics of policy-making about xenotransplantation. In 2011 she was awarded a three year Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship at York to develop her research around experiences with abortion provision, focussing in particular on the meaning(s) of ‘time’ and ‘timing’ in this context. Siân took up a permanent post in the department in 2014 as an Anniversary Research Lecturer and has continued to explore temporality, law and reproduction through a range of funded research projects.

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Sian Moore

Sian Moore is Professor in Employment Relations and Human Resource Management and Director of the Centre for Research on Work and Employment (CREW) at the University of Greenwich. She is co-Editor in Chief of Work in the Global Economy published by Bristol University Press and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. Her work focusses upon gender and class.

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Sian Waters

Honorary Research Fellow, Durham University
I am a conservation social scientist with a focus on human-primate interactions.

I am also the Vice Chair of IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group Section for Human-Primate Interactions & Director of Barbary Macaque Awareness & Conservation.

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Siavash Farazmand

PhD student, Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering, Concordia University
I'm a PhD student specializing in recommendation systems and their pivotal role within on-demand transit systems, particularly in suburban regions.

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