Tafadzwa Shumba

MSc Conservation Ecology


Supervisors: Dr Hayley Clements, Prof Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs

Field of research

  • Ecology
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Landscape ecology
  • Interdisciplinary research



I am a conservation biologist, with a passion for the conservation of biodiversity and the associated ecosystem services. I have a background in research and conservation of African wild dogs in Zimbabwe, however I have broad interests in interdisciplinary research which directly translates to sustainable use and conservation of biological resources.

I am currently at the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition, studying for an MSc in Conservation Ecology at Stellenbosch University. My MSc research involves the use of GIS to quantify the effectiveness of private protected areas conserving biodiversity. My previous studies include a BSc in Forest Resources and Wildlife Management from the National University of Science and Technology (2013) and a Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation from the University of Oxford (2015).

Description of research project:

I am investigating the effectiveness of private land conservation areas (PLCAs) also known as private protected areas in biodiversity conservation. Given the socio-economic and political factors PLCAs are exposed to, it is essential to quantify how such factors influence the resilience of PLCAs as socio-ecological systems. The study uses remote sensing and GIS to quantify the effectiveness of PLCAs in preventing biodiversity loss, using land cover change and biodiversity intactness as proxies.