Start main page content

Dr Vivienne Williams

 

Dr Vivienne Williams

Position: Researcher

Qualifications: BSc Hons (1992, Witwatersrand); PhD (2007, Witwatersrand) (http://handle.net/10539/5313)

 

RESEARCH INTERESTS

The broad themes of my research interest are ethnobotany, ethnoecology and the trade and conservation of African traditional medicine. Current areas of research include: a) Red Listing, risk assessment, and threats to medicinal plants; b) the ethnobotany, ethnoecology and distribution of the root holoparasite Hydnora abyssinica, especially in Zimbabwe; c) using ethno-ecological information collected from medicinal plant markets and rural resource users to assess the condition of resources in the wild; d) the use and trade of an animals for traditional medicine; e) the trade in alien plant species for traditional medicine; h) researching the life histories and scientific contributions of 'Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk - Southern Africa's pioneers of ethnopharmacology; i) the trade in lion bones from South Africa to Asia.


PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

IUCN Medicinal Plants Specialist Group.

 

TEACHING

  • Honours/Masters: Ethnoecology
  • Masters (coursework): Species Diversity, Species Accumulation Functions and EstimateS

 

STUDENT SUPERVISION

Honours
  • S Cousins (2009): An ethno-ecological assessment of Encephalartos spp. in the medicinal plant trade on the eastern seaboard of South Africa. (Co-supervised with Prof E Witkowski) COMPLETED 
  • EM Wojtasik (2009): Ethnoecology, trade and distribution of the parasitic genera Hydnora and Sarcophyte sold in South African muti markets. i(Co-supervised with Prof E Witkowski) COMPLETED
Masters by Dissertation
  • VJ Brueton (2007): Trade in commonly used medicinal bulbs: value and ecological implications. (Co-supervised with Prof E Witkowski) SUBMITTED
  • R Bruyns (2010): The use and trade of avifauna for traditional medicine: a southern African perspective. (Co-supervised with Dr C Symes) DEREGISTERED
Masters by Coursework and Research Report
  • EM Wojtasik (from 2010): The role of the traditional medicine trade in the introduction and potential establishment of alien plants species in South African. (Co-supervised with Prof M Byrne) COMPLETED

 

PUBLICATIONS

Papers
  1. Williams VL, Victor, JE & Crouch NR (2013) Red Listed medicinal plants of South Africa: status, trends, and assessment challenges. South African Journal of Botany 86: 23-35
  2. Kadu CAC, Konrad H, Schueler S, Muluvi GMM, Eyog-Matig O, Muchugi A, Williams VL, Ramamonjisoa L, Kapinga C, Foahom B, Katsvanga C, Hafashimana D, Obama C & Geburek T (2013) Divergent pattern of nuclear genetic diversity across the range of the Afromontane Prunus africana mirrors variable Pleistocene climate of African highlands. Annals of Botany 111: 47-60
  3. Cousins SR, Williams VL & Witkowski ETF (2013): Sifting through cycads: a guide to identifying the stem fragments of six South African medicinal Encephalartos species. South African Journal of Botany 84: 115-123
  4. Kadu CAC, Parich A, Schueler S, Konrad H, Muluvi GM, Eyog-Matig O, Muchugi A, Williams VL, Ramamonjisoa L, Kapinga C, Foahom B, KatsvangaC, Hafashimana D, Obama C, Vinceti B, Schumacher R & Geburek T (2012) Bioactive constituents in Prunus africana: geographical variation throughout Africa and associations with environmental and genetic parameters. Phytochemistry 83: 70-78
  5. Cousins SR, Williams VL & Witkowski ETF (2012) Uncovering the cycad taxa traded from traditional medicine in South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 78: 129-138
  6. Williams VL, Wojtasik EM & Witkowski ETF (2011) Ethnoecological evidence for Hydnora abyssinica occurring in Johannesburg and Durban traditional medicine markets. South African Journal of Botany 77(2): 268-279
  7. Whiting MJ, Williams VL & Hibbitts TJ (2011): Animals traded for traditional medicine at the Faraday Market in South Africa: species diversity and conservation implications. Journal of Zoology 284(2): 84-96
  8. Cousins SR, Williams VL & Witkowski ETF (2011) Quantifying the trade in cycads (Encephalartos spp.) in the traditional medicine markets of Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa. Economic Botany 65: 356-370
  9. Williams VL, Falcão MP & Wojtasik EM (2011) Hydnora abyssinica: ethnobotanical evidence of its occurrence in southern Mozambique. South African Journal of Botany 77(2): 474-478
  10. Kadu CAC, Schueler S, Konrad H, Muluvi GMM, Eyog-Matig O, Muchugi A, Williams VL, Ramamonjisoa L, Kapinga C, Foahom B, Katsvanga C, Hafashimana D, Obama C & Geburek T (2011) Phylogeography of the Afromontane Prunus africana reveals a former migration corridor between East and West African Highlands. Molecular Ecology 20: 165-178.
  11. Crouch NR, Williams VL, Edwards TJ & Brueton VJ (2010) Hyacinthaceae. Drimia cooperi in KwaZulu-Natal, and the ethnomedicinal trade. Bothalia 40(1): 75-78
  12. Williams VL, Balkwill K & Witkowski, ETF (2007). Size-class prevalence of bulbous and perennial herbs sold in the Johannesburg medicinal plant markets between 1995 and 2001. South African Journal of Botany 73: 144-155.
  13. Williams VL, Witkowski ETF & Balkwill, K (2007). The relationship between bark thickness and diameter at breast height for six tree species used medicinally for bark in South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 73: 449-465.
  14. Williams VL, Witkowski ETF & Balkwill, K (2007). The use of incidence-based species richness estimators, accumulation curves and similarity measures to appraise ethnobotanical inventories in South Africa. Biodiversity and Conservation 15: 2495-2513
  15. Williams VL, Balkwill K & Witkowski, ETF (2007). Stem diameter and bark surface area of the fluted trunk of Balanites maughamii. Bothalia 37(2): 211-214
  16. Williams VL, Witkowski ETF & Balkwill, K (2007). Volume and financial value of species traded in the medicinal plant markets of Gauteng, South Africa. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 14: 584-603
  17. Williams VL, Witkowski ETF & Balkwill, K (2005). Application of diversity indices to appraise plant availability in the traditional medicinal markets in Johannesburg, South Africa. Biodiversity and Conservation 14: 2971-3001.
  18. Williams VL, Witkowski ETF & Balkwill, K (2005). Height, branch-free bole length and bark thickness for six tree species used medicinally in South Africa. Koedoe 48(1): 57-65
  19. Williams VL, Balkwill K & Witkowski, ETF (2001). A lexicon of plants traded in the Witwatersrand umuthi shops. Bothalia 31(1): 71-98
  20. Williams VL, Balkwill K & Witkowski, ETF (2000). Unravelling the market for commercial medicinal plants and plant parts on the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Economic Botany 54(3): 310-327
  21. Williams VL, Balkwill K & Witkowski, ETF (1997). Muthi traders on the Witwatersrand, South Africa - an urban mosaic. South African Journal of Botany 63(6): 378-381
Book Chapters
  1. Williams VL (2004) Trade and socio-economic value of forest and woodland resources within the medicinal plant market in Johannesburg. In: Indigenous Forests and Woodlands in South Africa: Policy, People and Practice (eds. MJ Lawes, HAC Eeley, CM Shackleton & BS Geach) University of Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg
  2. Williams VL, Cunningham AB, Bruyns RK & Kemp AC (2013) Birds of a feather: quantitative assessments of bird diversity and use in African traditional medicine. In: Animals in Traditional Folk Medicine (eds R Alves & I Rosa). Springer. Pp 383-420
  3. Bruyns RK, Williams VL & Cunningham AB (2013) Finely Ground-hornbill: the sale of Bucorvus cafer in a traditional medicine market in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. In: Animals in Traditional Folk Medicine (eds R Alves & I Rosa). Springer. Pp 475-486
  4. Whiting MJ, Williams VL & Hibbitts TJ (2013) Animals traded for traditional medicine at the Faraday Market in South Africa: species diversity and conservation implications. In: Animals in Traditional Folk Medicine (eds R Alves & I Rosa). Springer. Pp 421-473
Publications in Press
  • Williams VL, Balkwill K & Witkowski ETF. Estimates of bark mass for six tree species used medicinally in South Africa. In: Bark: Use, Management, and Commerce in Africa (eds AB Cunningham, BM Campbell & MK Luckert). Advances in Economic Botany 17; Chapter 3
  • Williams VL, Witkowski ETF & Balkwill K. Assessing harvesting impacts for species used medicinally in South Africa: estimates of the number of trees debarked annually. In: Bark: Use, Management, and Commerce in Africa (eds AB Cunningham, BM Campbell & MK Luckert). Advances in Economic Botany 17: Chapter 6.
  • Cousins SR, Williams VL & Witkowski ETF (in press) Cycad ethnobotany in South Africa: issues of quantity and species identification. Annals of Botany
Publications in Preparation
  • Williams VL & Crouch NR: The value of provincial herbaria relative to the National Herbarium (PRE) in the process of Red Listing South African medicinal plants.
  • Wiliams VL, Cunningham AB, Kemp AC & Bruyns: Avian vulnerability to the African traditional medicine trade: grouping together birds of a feather
  • Williams VL, Raimondo D & Cunningham AB: Trade, bulb age and traditional medicine harvesting impacts on Merwilla plumbea
  • Williams VL: Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk: anniversary of their pioneer role in southern African ethnopharmacology
  • Williams VL & Erasmus BFN: Red-Listed ethnomedicinal plants: identifying geographic 'hot spots' of conservation concern
  • Williams VL & Cunningham AB: Back to its roots: an Africa-review of the ethnoecology of Hydnora abyssinica.

Share

Giving to Wits

School of Public Health Building

Whether you invest in a promising young student, or contribute towards vital research or new buildings and facilities – giving to Wits brings great personal satisfaction and lasting results you can be proud of for years to come.

Give to Wits