Dr Matt Hayward (featured here), who was previously a postdoctoral fellow with ACE and is now at the University of Newcastle (Australia), has been awarded a B rating by the South African National Research Foundation. This is Matt’s first rating by the NRF, and reflects his international recognition as a researcher. Congratulations to Matt on this significant achievement.


ACE PhD student, Kris Evaratt, has been awarded the 2019 William T. Hornaday Award by the American Society of Mammalogists. The Award recognizes students who have made a significant contribution to the conservation of mammals and their habitats, and in Kris’s case the award reflects both his publication record and his active engagement in and promotion of conservation-based policy. Kris is doing his PhD on lions and their relationships with people in the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which includes areas of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. He is pictured here with a collared lion. The award includes travel costs to the 2019 annual meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists where Kris will present an invited plenary talk on his research. This is a major honour.


Launch of PredSA

On Friday, 16 November 2018, ACE celebrated the launch of book “Livestock Predation and its Management in South Africa: a Scientific Assessment” (PredSA). Featured here are the editors (from left) Prof Graham Kerley, Dr Dave Balfour and Dr Sharon Wilson. PredSA has been an ongoing project since 2016, and includes collaborations with individuals from 22 organisations, universities and government bodies within South Africa. PredSA is a science-based assessment aimed at improving our understanding of livestock predation and its management in South Africa, and thereby assisting the government in creating a framework that will inform responsible decision-making. For more information and to download a copy of PredSA, please follow this link:




Siphesihle (Spheh) Mbongwa visited the Environmental Sciences group of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. This visit formed part of his MSc at Nelson Mandela University under the supervision Prof. Graham Kerley, Dr. Mariska te Beest, Prof. Joris Cromsigt and Dr. Dave Druce. This was the first educational exchange as part of a program funded under the “Pathways to Sustainable Development program” of Utrecht University, entitled ‘Sustainability across boundaries – bridging northern and southern hemisphere sciences’. Spheh spent a week at Utrecht University having a series of discussions with Mariska and Joris and he also lectured a class of BSc students in a course on Landscape Ecology and Nature Conservation as part of a series of guest lectures in ecology practice. “This was an amazing experience to see a different environment and interact with people from different parts of the world” says Spheh.


Journal Banner Image

The publishers, John Wiley & Son, announced today that the paper Drinking by aardvark Orycteropus afer published in African Journal of Ecology and authored by Graham Kerley and Isabelle Tompkins, was one of the journal’s top 20 most downloaded recent papers.



Restoring populations of large mammals in the wild may help in mitigating climate change, for example by increasing the capture of carbon by ecosystems. This is the conclusion of several members of ACE, in collaboration with scientists from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Utrecht University and the University of New Mexico, in a synthesis of existing studies. This synthesis was published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.




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The leading role of ACE staff and students in engaging with stakeholders was recognised at the Annual Awards Dinner of the Nelson Mandela University with the awarding of the Engagement Excellence award in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to Prof Graham Kerley. Featured here are (from left) Prof Graham Kerley and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) Prof Andrew Leitch.

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