Research Associates

Dr Kristine Maciejewski

   Dr Kristine Maciejewski

   MSc (Stellenbosch), PhD (NMMU)


Kristine grew up in the heart of Zululand where she developed a deep love for nature. After school, she decided to embark on her journey towards pursuing a career in Zoology and studied a BSc at the University of Stellenbosch. She then continued with an MSc in Conservation Ecology, studying the Nile crocodile in the Okavango Delta. This is where her interest in applied ecology developed, as she started focusing on global climate change and investigated the impact of increasing ambient temperatures on temperature-dependent sex determinant species such as crocodiles. After spending time in Botswana, Kristi’s love for nature had developed into a strong passion. She remained in Botswana and worked for Wilderness Safaris, managing lodges in the Savuti and Linyanti Consession. She then moved to Zambia where she managed a small exclusive lodge in the Kafue National Park.

After spending time in pristine wilderness, she decided to move back to South Africa to pursue her career in research and to do her doctorate. Kristi did her PhD at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University where she investigated the linkages between biodiversity conservation and protected areas in the Eastern Cape. The value of biodiversity was explored from the perspective of ecotourism in a hierarchical series of studies. She analysed the biome and landscape level of protection of protected areas to determine their contribution to national conservation targets. The value of different large mammal species was analysed to determine the role that extralimital species play in ecotourism. Kristi quantified the relationship between species abundance and tourist attraction and investigated how the use of contraception to control elephant populations would impact ecotourism.

After completing her PhD, Kristi moved to Cape Town to expand her research in protected areas and biodiversity and started a postdoc at the FitzPatrick Institute with Graeme Cumming.
During her postdoc she covered various social-ecological aspects, looking at ecosystem services, cross-scale feedbacks and the interaction between spatially congruent networks by viewing protected-areas as social-ecological systems.

Kristi now works for the Organisation for Tropical Studies (OTS) - the African Ecology Conservation in South Africa as a Resident Lecturer providing students with a hands-on experience in field ecology as well as conduct research projects to help inform management issues of Protected Area.

Recent peer-reviewed publications


Cumming, G.S. and Maciejewski, K. 2017. Reconciling community ecology and ecosystem services: cultural services and benefits from birds in South African National Parks. Ecosystem Services 28: 219-227.


De Vos, A., Cumming, G.S., Cumming, D., Ament, J.M., Baum, J., Clements, H., Grewar, J., Maciejewski, K. and Moore, C. 2016. Pathogens, disease, and the social-ecological resilience of protected areas. Ecology and Society 21: 20.

De Vos, A., Cumming, G.S., Moore, C.A., Maciejewski, K. and Duckworth, G. 2016. The relevance of spatial variation in ecotourism attributes for the economic sustainability of protected areas. Ecosphere 7: e01207. http://dx/

Maciejewski, K., Baum, J. and Cumming, G.S. 2016. Integration of private land conservation areas in a network of statutory protected areas: implications for sustainability. Biological Conservation 200: 200-206.


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.

Maciejewski, K. and Cumming, G.S. 2015. The relevance of socioeconomic interactions for the resilience of protected area networks. Ecological Society of America 6(9): 1 – 14.

Maciejewski, K. and Cumming, G.S. 2015. Multi-scale network analysis shows scale-dependency of significance of individual protected areas for connectivity. Landscape Ecology.

Maciejewski, K., De Vos, A., Cumming, G.S., Moore, C.A. and Biggs, D. 2015. Cross-scale feedbacks and scale mismatches as influences on cultural services and the resilience of protected areas. Ecological Applications 25:11-23.


Maciejewski, K. and Kerley, G.I.H. 2014. Determining tourist preferences for large mammal species: is there an ecotourist value in the stocking of extralimital species in private protected areas. PLoS One 9(2): e88192. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088192