Prof Graeme Cumming
Prof. Graeme Cumming
Activities and research interests
Landscape Ecology, Conservation Biology, Community Ecology, Resilience and Complex Systems Theory.
About me: I grew up (well, mostly) in Harare, Zimbabwe, where I went to Saint George’s College. I studied Zoology and Entomology to the honours level at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. I then moved to Oxford University, U.K., on a Rhodes Scholarship. While at New College, Oxford, I completed my doctorate on ‘The Evolutionary Ecology of African Ticks’ under the supervision of Drs. Sarah Randolph and David Rogers. From Oxford I moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, funded by a D. H. Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship from The Nature Conservancy (TNC). In Madison I worked with TNC and Professor Steve Carpenter at the Center for Limnology on applying species-based models to management and conservation-related problems in freshwater systems. After two years as a postdoc, I was hired as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida. I left UF at the end of 2005 and occupied the Pola Pasvolsky Chair in Conservation Biology at the University of Cape Town until end June 2015.
From the beginning July 2015, I am employed by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Ecology at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, as a research professor.
I have a wide range of interests, centering around understanding spatial aspects of ecology and the relevance of broad-scale pattern-process dynamics for ecosystem (and social-ecological system) function and resilience. I am also interested in the applications of landscape ecology and complexity theory to conservation and the sustainable management of natural resources.
My research at the Fitztitute focused on two programmatic areas: (1) the community ecology and movement ecology of wetland-associated birds, their parasites, and their pathogens; and (2) the spatial resilience of protected areas.
Advisor: John Heydinger (2014); Gregory Mutumi (2011); Ann George, Brian Spiesman (2006); Heidi Richter (2004)
Co-advisor: Matthew Bokach, Cerian Gibbes, Rebecca Hylton, Melissa Moyer, Cedric Worman (2004); Claudia Stickler (2003)
Conservation Biology MSc (thesis component)
Advisor: Jenna Bowker, Marcela Espinaze (2015); Jordan-Laine Calder, Zanne Labuschagne (2014); Jeremy Goss, Christine Moore (2012); Ben Heermans, Allison Skidmore (2010); Simon Dures (2009); Matt Child, Glynis Humphrey (2008); Lindy MacGregor (2007)
Co-advisor: Tsholofelo Dithlobolo (2009); Hannah Thomas (2007)
Advisor: Julia Baum, Hayley Clements, Dominic Henry, Chevonne Reynolds (2016); Mduduzi Ndlovu (2012); Sharon Okanga (2013), Grant Joseph (2012)
Co-advisor: Lin Cassidy (2007); Matt Marsik (2008); Arpat Ozgul, Jim Surdick (2005)
Advisor: Eleonor Hellard (2013-15); Alta de Vos (2013-14); Kristine Maciejewski (2013-14); Felix Nchu (2010-11); Xanic Rondon (2009-10); Leo Bruinzeel (2007-8)
Recent peer-reviewed publications
Baum, J., Cumming, G.S. and De Vos, A. 2017. Understanding spatial variation in the drivers of nature-based tourism and their influence on the sustainability of private land conservation. Ecological Economics 140: 225-234. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.05.005
Clements, H.S. and Cumming, G.S. 2017. Manager strategies and user demands: determinants of cultural ecosystem service bundles on private protected areas. Ecosystem Services 28: 228-232. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2017.02.026
Clements, H.S. and Cumming, G.S. 2017. Traps and transformations influencing the financial viability of tourism on private-land conservation areas. Conservation Biology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12999
Cumming, G.S. and Allen, C.R. 2017. Protected areas as social-ecological systems: perspectives from resilience and social-ecological systems theory. Ecological Applications 27: 1709-1717. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eap.1584
Cumming, G.S., Abolnik, C. Caron, A. Gaidet, N., Grewar, J., Hellard, E., Henry, D.A.W. and Reynolds, C. (2015). A social-ecological approach to landscape epidemiology: geographic variation and avian influenza. Landscape Ecology 30:963-985.
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. (2015). Understanding protected area resilience: a multi-scale, social-ecological approach. Ecological Applications 25:299-319.
Espinaze, M., Hellard, E. and Cumming, G.S. 2015. Analysis of large new South African data set using two host specificity indices shows generalism in both adult and larval ticks of mammals. Parasitology 143:366-373.
Joseph., G.S., Makumbe, M., Seymour, C.L., Cumming, G.S., Mahlangu, Z. and Cumming, D.H.M. 2015. Termite mounds mitigate against 50 years of herbivore-induced reduction of functional diversity of savannah woody plants. Landscape Ecology 30:2161-2174. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10980-015-0238-9
Moore, C., Grewar, J. and Cumming, G.S. 2015. Quantifying network resilience: comparison before and after a major perturbation shows strengths and limitations of network metrics. Journal of Applied Ecology http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12486
Palmer, C., Biggs, R. and Cumming, G.S. (2015). Applied research for enhancing human well-being and environmental stewardship: using complexity thinking in Southern Africa. Ecology and Society 20(1) 53. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol20/iss1/art53/
Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology
University of Cape Town
Private Bag X3
Cape Town South Africa
Phone: +27 (0)21 650-3291
Fax: +27 (0)21 650-3295