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Head of Department

Professor Bradley Rink - NRF C-rated Researcher (2022-2027)

Position: Associate Professor and Department Chairperson 2022-2024

Biography

Bradley is a human geographer, focusing his research and teaching on mobilities, urban place-making, identities, and tourism. His research foregrounds mundane and subaltern mobilities to make them visible in the everyday movements and circulations of African cities. Through his research, teaching and community engagement, he aims to better understand mobilities and the relationships they articulate between urban dwellers and the cities in which they live. 

Academic and Administrative Staff

Professor Shirley Brooks

Position: Associate Professor

Biography

Shirley is a human geographer focusing on human-environment relationships, in particular postcolonial landscapes of conservation and land in Southern Africa. She teaches in the fields of nature-society relations and the political geography of land. In addition to working within a political ecology framework, she is interested in the quintessentially geographical theme of landscape meanings and contestations. Together with her students, she has explored Human and Non-human Geographies, focusing on Wilderness and Wildness as well as Animal Geographies. 
 

Dr Mbulisi Sibanda

Position: Senior Lecturer

Biography

Mbulisi joined the Department in January 2021 as Senior Lecturer specialising in GIScience and Earth Observation Data Applications. He completed his PhD on Optical Remote Sensing of Grassland Biomass in Data Scarce Environments at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg) in 2016. He is an NRF-rated researcher with expertise in GIScience and Geospatial Data Applications in monitoring plant water use and productivity analysis, resource modelling as well as land-use change. 
 

Dr Mandy Carolissen

Position: Lecturer

Biography

Mandy is a physical geographer with teaching and research interests in integrated water resource management, catchment hydrology, ecosystem services, and the dynamic physical processes that shape our landscapes. Her current research focuses on understanding the spatial and temporal availability of water and storage of a depression wetland (using in-situ hydrological data and remote sensing), and to relate these to ecosystem services.
 

Dr Michael Dyssel

Position: Lecturer

Biography

Michael’s research and teaching interests include conservation and environmental management, urban-ecological challenges, the impacts of tourism, and mapwork. As a way of bridging (sub) disciplinary boundaries in Geography, transdisciplinary, multi-methods research and teaching approaches underpin his work.
 

Dr Erin Torkelson

Position: Lecturer

Biography

Erin is a human geographer interested in the collision between normative assumptions about cash transfers as public goods and the lived experience of cash transfers as private debts in the Global South. Her work sits at the intersection of political economy, development studies, critical race theory, feminist kinship studies, and postcolonial science and technology studies. Her current project, Bantustan Banking, explores how a preeminent, state-sponsored cash transfer programme has become a means of racialised and gendered dispossession in post-apartheid South Africa. She examines the everyday practices by which poor, black South African women navigate their entitlements to social assistance against the pressures of expropriation built into the payment system. 
 

Ms Mercia Southon

Position: Lecturer

Biography

Mercia is a Tourism Geographer who joined the department in February 2023 specialising in human geography and tourism development. Mercia is interested in analysing contemporary tourism development patterns with the use of different geographical components across the global South. Her current work focuses on how socio-political and economic changes in a post-apartheid South Africa contributes to rural change and the development of rural tourism. Research interests: rural tourism, land-use change and tourism, game farming and tourism, tourism planning and debates in global niche tourism.
 

Mr Lindokuhle Khumalo

Position: Associate Lecturer

Biography

Lindokuhle is a human geographer who joined the department in January 2023 focusing on society and nature relations. His research interests include human dimensions of conservation, environmental justice, land issues, the informal sector and decolonial geographies.  Lindokuhle has a project underway that studies land reform beneficiary communities in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal who have voluntarily committed large tracts of their land to nature conservation. Through the lens of political ecology, he investigates the impacts of conservation on their livelihoods and environmental behaviour. 
 

Mr David Frenchman

Position: Senior Officer

Biography

David is the IT administrator in the Department and part of the Academic Support Staff in the Faculty. His work relates primarily to managing both undergraduate and postgraduate computer laboratories. However, he also offers GIS support to staff and students. He is solely responsible for the installation and maintenance of GIS software in the laboratories. GIS support involves compiling and issuing datasets for research and publications. He is also an appointed Commissioner of Oaths in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and his other appointments include Health and Safety representative, First Aid and Fire safety representative as part of Risk and Compliance.
 

Mr Logan Plaatjies

Position: Administrative Officer

Biography

Logan was appointed as Administrator in the Department in 2020, having worked in the Recruitment Office, Afrikaans Dept, isiXhosa Dept and now at the Geography, Environmental and Tourism Studies Dept at UWC since 2015. Previously, he worked at UNISA and in the private sector at Shell Oil, but it is the academic environment that he has become attached to. His hobbies include reading and having endless conversations about the human being, following his interest in Psychology which is relentless.
 

Professor Jonathan Crush

Position: Extraordinary Professor

Biography

More details on Jonathan and his research can be found here:
https://www.balsillieschool.ca/jonathan-crush/
 

Professor Daniel Tevera - NRF C-rated Researcher (2021-2026)

Position: Extraordinary Professor

Biography

Daniel’s research is located at the interface of Human Geography and Development Studies with Southern Africa as the geographical focus. His early work focused on livelihoods and spatial strategies in the informal economy, migration geographies, and environmental security. However, it is the domain of food and the city that his recent work focuses on. He has served as an expert participant in policy debates around Temporary Labour Migration Schemes in small countries (Commonwealth), African migration (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa), and Migration Policy Framework for Africa (African Union). For three successive years, Daniel organised field trips for third-year and honours students to the hotly contested Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA).
 

Dr Mark Boekstein

Position: Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow

Biography

Mark’s main interest in both teaching and research is tourism, particularly tourism’s potential to contribute to economic development. While his teaching focuses on the planning, development, and marketing of sustainable, community-based tourism, his research interests include health and wellness tourism and the use of thermal springs for healing purposes, and English language learning as a tourist attraction. He also has an interest in developments around Cape Town as a gateway for tourism to Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands.
 

Dr Tinashe P. Kanosvamhira

Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Biography

Tinashe is an urban geographer in the department. His research interests are drawn from a broad range of socio-spatial issues including, urban governance, livelihood strategies of the urban poor,urban food security, urban food systems, and neoliberal urbanism. His current research focuses on political gardening within the context of neoliberal urbanism in global South cities. He has previously served as a Teaching Assistant and Part-time Lecturer in the department. Dr Tinashe Kanosvamhira has also received the 'Best Paper Award' by the Society's Student and Young Professionals group (SnP).
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