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Conservation Biology MSc Lecturers (2015)

Prof David Cumming

Professor David H. M. Cumming
PhD (Rhodes University)

Email: cummingdhm@gmail.com

I graduated from Rhodes University with a B.Sc. in zoology and entomology and a B.Sc. (Hons) in zoology and have worked in wildlife research and conservation in southern Africa since the early 1960s. After an initial spell in freshwater fisheries in Zimbabwe I moved to wildlife and was posted to the remote Sengwa Gorge in the Zambezi Valley to work on game-tsetse fly relationships.  The planned18-month posting lasted 12 years and provided the opportunity to complete a Ph.D. on the ecology and behaviour of warthogs (the primary host of tsetse fly) and to establish the Sengwa Wildlife Research Area and Institute.  From Sengwa I moved to Harare in 1976 where I was Chief Ecologist and Head of the Branch of Terrestrial Ecology and later Deputy Director for Zimbabwe’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management. From there I moved, in 1988, to the post of Project Leader for WWF’s Multispecies Animal Production Systems Project. The project eventually grew into WWF’s Southern Africa Regional Programme during the 1990s.  Since 2002 I have been working as a consultant to conservation and development NGOs, as a Research Associate in the Tropical Resource Ecology Programme at the University of Zimbabwe, and, since 2006, as an honorary professor here at UCT. Current ecological research interests include large herbivore impacts on savanna systems and the interaction between elephants and termites and how they influence biodiversity and ecosystem processes in miombo woodlands. Large-scale conservation and the management, resilience, and sustainability of transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) in southern Africa are also areas of interest. I am involved in the Wildlife Conservation Society’s AHEAD (Animal and Human Health for the Environment and Development) programme (http://wcs-ahead.org) and in advising on wildlife research and conservation issues in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in the region.

Research Programmes

Spatial resilience of protected areas

Current students

MPhil
Thandiwe Sibanda: Investigating the factors that influence fluctuations in populations of key medium-sized herbivores on Cawston Ranch (in Dept. Forestry and Wildlife, National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo - Co-supervisor)

Graduated students

 

Doctoral

Grant Joseph (2012); Alexandre Caron (2011 - U.Pretoria, co-supervisor)

MSc Conservation Biology, UCT (Thesis component)

Zanne Labuschagne (2014); Ben Heermans (2010); Alison Skidmore (2010); Grant Joseph (2008); Glynis Humphrey (2008)

MSc Tropical Resource Ecology, Biological Sciences, University of Zimbabwe

Lenin Chari (2011); Milton Makumbe (2008); Justice Murengweni (2007); Hilton Ndagurwa (2007); Anthony Kaschula (2004)

Publications

2015

Cumming, D.H.M. (In press) Seal Range State Policy and Management Review. Occasional Paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission No 55.  Gland, Switzerland. 106pp.

Cumming, D.H.M. and Cumming, G.S. (2015) One Health - An ecological and conservation perspective. Pages 38-52, In: Zinsstag, J., Schelling, E., Waltner-Toews, D., Whittaker, M. and Tanner, M.(eds.) One health: The theory and practice of integrated health approaches. CABI International.

Cumming, D.H.M., Osofsky, S.A., Atkinson, S.J. and Atkinson, M.W. (2015) Beyond Fences: Wildlife, livestock and land use in southern Africa. Pages 243-257, In:  Zinsstag, J., Schelling, E., Waltner-Toews, D., Whittaker, M. and Tanner, M . (eds) One health: The theory and practice of integrated health approaches. CABI International.

Cumming, D.H.M. (2015) Wildlife, livestock, people and ‘pests’ in southern African transfrontier conservation areas: problems and prospects for multispecies systems. Invited Plenary Address, 10th European Vertebrate Pest Management Conference, 21-25 September, 2015, University of Seville, Seville, Spain. (Abstract)

De Vos, A., Cumming, G.S., Cumming, D.H.M., Ament, J,, Baum, J., Clements, H., Grewar, J., Maciejewski, K. and Moore, C. (In press) Pathogens, disease and social-ecological resilience of protected areas, Ecology and Society

Joseph, G.S., Makumbe, M., Seymour, C.L., Cumming, G.S., Mahlangu, Z., and Cumming, D.H.M. (in press). Termite mounds mitigate against 50 years of herbivore-induced reduction of functional diversity of savanna woody plants. Landscape Ecology

Seymour, C.L., Joseph, G.S., Makumbe, M., Cumming, G.S., Mahlangu, Z. and Cumming, D.H.M. (In press) Comparing the influence of termites and fifty years of ungulate herbivory on the composition of woody plant assemblages in an African savanna.  Journal of Vegetation Science.
 

2014

Cumming, G.S., Allen, C.R., Ban, N.C., Biggs, D., Biggs, H.C., Cumming, D.H.M., De Vos, A., Epstein, G., Etienne, M., Maciejewski, K., Mathevet, R., Moore, C., Nenadovic, M., and Schoon, M. (2014). Understanding protected area resilience: a multi-scale, social-ecological approach. Ecological Applications, 25:299-319.

Joseph, G.S., Seymour, C., Cumming, G.S., Cumming, D.H.M., and Mahlangu, Z. 2014. Termite mounds increase functional diversity of woody plants in African savannas. Ecosystems, 17:808-819.

Seymour, C.L., Milewski, A.V., Mills, A.J., Joseph, G.S., Cumming, G.S., Cumming, D.H.M. & Mahlangu, Z. 2014. Do the large termite mounds of Macrotermes concentrate micronutrients in addition to macronutrients in nutrient-poor African savannas? Soil Biology and Biochemistry 68:95-105.

2013

Andersson, J., de Garine-Wichatitsky, M., Cumming, D.H.M,. Dzingirai, V. & Giller, K. (Eds). 2013. Transfrontier conservation areas: people living on the edge. Earthscan, London. ISBN-13: 978-1849712088.

Andersson, J,, de Garine-Wichatitsky, M., Cumming, D.H.M., Dzingirai, V. Giller, K.E. 2013. People at wildlife frontiers in Southern Africa. In: Transfrontier conservation areas: people living on the edge. Andersson, J., de Garine-Wichatitsky, M., Cumming, D.H.M., Dzingirai, V. & Giller, K. (Eds). Earthscan, London. ISBN-13: 978-1849712088. Pp. 1-11.

Andersson, J,, Dzingirai, V. & Cumming, D.H.M. 2013. TFCAs and the invisible peoples. In: Transfrontier conservation areas: people living on the edge. Andersson, J., de Garine-Wichatitsky, M., Cumming, D.H.M., Dzingirai, V. & Giller, K. (Eds). Earthscan, London. ISBN-13: 978-1849712088. Pp. 12-24.

Andersson, J, & Cumming, D.H.M. 2013. Defining the edge: boundary formation in TFCAs in southern Africa. In: Transfrontier conservation areas: people living on the edge. Andersson, J., de Garine-Wichatitsky, M., Cumming, D.H.M., Dzingirai, V. & Giller, K. (Eds). Earthscan, London. ISBN-13: 978-1849712088. Pp 25-61.

Cumming, D.H.M., Andersson, J.A., de Garine-Wichatitsky, M., Dizingirai, V. and Giller, K.E. 2013. Wither TFCAs and people on the edge in southern Africa. In: Transfrontier conservation areas: people living on the edge. Andersson, J., de Garine-Wichatitsky, M., Cumming, D.H.M., Dzingirai, V. & Giller, K. (Eds). Earthscan, London. ISBN-13: 978-1849712088. Pp 192-203.

Cumming, D.H.M., de Garine-Wichatitsky, M. and Dzingirai, V. 2013. Land and natural resource based livelihood opportunities in TFCAs. In: Transfrontier conservation areas: people living on the edge. Andersson, J., de Garine-Wichatitsky, M., Cumming, D.H.M., Dzingirai, V. & Giller, K. (Eds). Earthscan, London. ISBN-13: 978-1849712088. Pp 163-191.

Cumming, D.H.M. 2013. Phacochoerus africanus  Common Warthog. In: Kingdon, J. and Hoffmann, M (eds.) The Mammals of Africa - Vol.6.  Hippopotamuses, Pigs, Deer, Giraffe and Bovids.  Bloomsbury Publishing, London, UK. Pp 54-60.

Joseph, G.S., Seymour, C., Cumming, G.S., Mahlangu, Z. & Cumming, D.H M. 2013. Escaping the flames: large termitaria as refugia from fire in miombo woodland. Landscape Ecology (doi:10.1007/s10980-013-9897-6)

Seymour, C., Milewski, A.V., Mills, A.J., Joseph, G.S., Cumming, G.S., Cumming, D.H.M. and Mahlangu, Z. 2013. Do the large termite mounts of Macrotermes concentrate both micro- and macronutrients in nutrient-poor African savannas? Soil Biology and Biochemistry (68) 105-105.

2012

Cumming, D.H.M. and Atkinson, M.W. 2012. land use paradigms, Wildlife and Lifestock: Southern African challenges, choices and potential ways forward. In Karesh, W. (ed) Animal health and biodiversity - preparing for the future. Compendium of the OIE Global Conference on Wildlife, 23-25 Feb 2011, Paris, OiE (world Organisation for Animal Health), Paris, France.

Joseph, G.S., Seymour, C., Cumming, G.S., Cumming, D.H.M. & Mahlangu, Z. 2012. Termite mounds as islands: woody plant assemblages relative to termitarium size and soil properties. Journal of Vegetation Science 24(4) 702-711., 

2011

Joseph, G.S., Cumming, G.S., Cumming, D.H.M., Mahlangu, Z., Altwegg, R. and Seymour, C.L. 2011. Large termitaria act as refugia for tall trees, dead wood and cavity using birds. Landscape Ecology, 26:439–448.

Valeix, M., Fritz, H, Sabatier, R., Murindagomo, F. Cumming, D.H.M., Duncan, P. 2011. Elephant-induced structural changes in the vegetation and habitat selection by large herbivores in an African savanna.  Biological Conservation, 144: 902-912.

Cumming, D.H.M., Kock, M.D. and Osofsky, S.A. 2011 “One Health and the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA): Progress, Problems and Prospects,” CD-ROM Proceedings of the 30th World Veterinary Congress, October 10-14, 2011, Cape Town, South Africa. P. 232. (Abstract)

Atkinson, M.W., Kock, M.D., Cumming, D.H.M. and S.A. Osofsky. 2011 “Land-Use Paradigms, Wildlife and Livestock: Policy Options for Biodiversity, Livelihoods and Transboundary Disease Management in Southern Africa,”  CD-ROM Proceedings of the 30th World Veterinary Congress, October 10-14, 2011, Cape Town, South Africa. P. 274. (Abstract)

2010

Cumming, D.H.M.  2010. Single resource decisions with multiple resource consequences? In: Responses and reactions to Scoones et al “Foot and mouth disease and market access: challenges for the beef industry in southern Africa, Pastoralism 1(2): 165-166.  

2009

Booth, V.R. and Cumming, D.H.M. 2009. The development of a recreational hunting industry and its relationship with conservation in Southern Africa.  Pages 282-295, In:  Dickson, B., Hutton, J. and Adams, B. (eds.) Recreational Hunting, Conservation and Rural Livelihoods: Science and Practice, Blackwells, Oxford.

2008

Osofsky, S.A., Cumming, D.H.M. and Kock, M.D. (2008) Transboundary Management of Natural Resources and the Importance of a “One Health” Approach: Perspectives on Southern Africa.  Pages 89-106, In: Fearn, E and Redford, K.H. (eds.) 2008-2009 State of the Wild: A Global Portrait of Wildlife, Wildllands, and Oceans. Island Press, Washington.

2007

Cumming, D.H.M. 2007, Transfrontier conservation areas, animal diseases, and human livelihoods: issues of system health and sustainability.  Pages 160-170 In:  Redford, K. and Fearn, E. Protected areas and human livelihoods, Wildlife Conservation Society Working Paper No. 32.

Cumming, D. 2007. Of elephants, predators and plants: a case of classic trophic cascades?  Symposium paper in ‘Sharing the range: elephants, people and biological conservation in Africa’. Society for Conservation Biology, 21st Annual Meeting, 1-7 July, 2007. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Abstract)

Cumming, D., Kock, M. and Osofsky, S. 2007. Addressing wildlife, livestock and related human and ecosystem health issues in southern African transfrontier conservation areas. Society for Conservation Biology, 21st Annual Meeting, 1-7 July, 2007. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Abstract)

2006

Bond, I. and Cumming, D.H.M. 2006. Wildlife research and development. Pages 477-496, In: Rukuni, M.,Tawonezi, P., Eicher, C., Munyuki-Hungwe, M. and Matondi, P. (eds.)  Zimbabwe's Agricultural Revolution Revisited, 2nd Edition.  University of Zimbabwe Publications, Harare.

Abel, N., Cumming, D.H.M. and J.M. Anderies 2006. Collapse and Reorganization in Social-Ecological Systems: Questions, Some Ideas, and Policy Implications. Ecology and Society 11 (1): 17. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss1/art17/

Cumming, G.S., Cumming, D.H.M., and C.L. Redman 2006. Scale Mismatches in Social-Ecological Systems: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions . Ecology and Society, 11 (1): 14. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss1/art14/