Tapiwa was raised by his grandfather “a self-taught naturalist” on a farm on the fringes of the Chimanimani National Park in the Eastern highlands of Zimbabwe where he encountered wildlife almost daily. Tapiwa was captivated by the explanations his grandfather gave about the origins of forms around us and the way they are linked to one another: those experiences stuck in his mind and he developed interests in animal behaviour and how they survive in natural ecosystems. After graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Wildlife and Safari management from Chinhoyi University of Technology, where his thesis focused on “Benthic macroinvertebrates assemblage response to hydromorphological alterations in tropical streams”, his interest in the understanding of the environment, conservation and sustainable utilisation of natural resources continued to grow. Tapiwa then worked for CNRS Hwange in Zimbabwe where he developed a project that addressed ecological linkages (energy flow) between benthic macroinvertebrates/macrophytes assemblages and waterbirds found around waterpans in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Tapiwa then had an opportunity to work at VulPro (South Africa) where he was involved in several vulture conservation projects which piqued an interest in ornithology and social ecology. His long term goals include working in conjunction with government bodies, environmental agencies and policy makers to develop ways to best manage and ensuring sustainable utilisation wildlife resources (both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems).
Survival rates of African White-backed vultures and Cape Vultures in Southern Africa. (Supervisors: Robert Thomson, Arjun Amar)