Start main page content

Staff Profile

Associate Professor Wayne Twine

QualificationsMSc, BScHons, PhD
Phone 015 793 7528
Organisational Unit School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences
ORCID 0000-0002-4163-198X

M y primary research interest is in socio-ecological systems, especially within the context of natural resource use and sustainable rural livelihoods in African savannas.

I have always had a passion for conservation and the savanna biome, and I never imagined being as interested in people as in nature! However, over time I came to realize that conservation is indeed about people, and that many of the major conservation challenges facing Africa are not in the game reserves, but in the surrounding rural areas where poor communities and the environment interact in very direct ways. I am based at the Wits Rural Facility in the central lowveld of Limpopo Province, South Africa, where I manage the SUNRAE research programme for the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand. The aim of this programme is to generate knowledge, human resources and community support for sustainable use of natural resources in poor rural communities, to the benefit of the environment and the people. My primary responsibilities include: conducting research, supervising post-graduate student projects, and lecturing. I teach a graduate course in Ethnoecology, and run undergraduate field courses in savanna ecology and Community Based Natural Resource Management. Most of my fieldwork, and that of my students, as well as my teaching, is conducted at the Wits Rural Facility and in the rural communities and communal lands of Bushbuckridge.


Peer-reviewed journal articles

  1. Moyo H, Scholes MC & Twine W (2015) Effects of water and nutrient additions on the timing and duration of phenological stages of resprouting Terminalia sericea. South African Journal of Botany, 96: 85-90.
  2. Moyo H, Scholes MC & Twine W (2015) The effects of repeated cutting on coppice response of Terminalia sericea. Trees, 29: 161-169.
  3. Pereira LM, Cuneo CN & Twine WC (2014) Food and cash: Understanding the role of the retail sector in rural food security in South Africa, Food Security, 6(3):339-357.
  4. Nawrotzki RJ, Robson K, Gutilla MJ, Hunter LM, Twine W & Norlund P (2014) Exploring the impact of the 2008 global food crisis on food security among vulnerable households in rural South Africa, Food Security, 6:283-297.
  5. Hunter LM, Nawrotzki R, Leyk S, Maclaurin GJ, Twine W, Collinson M & Erasmus B (2014) Rural outmigration, natural capital, and livelihoods in South Africa. Population, Space and Place, 20:402-420.
  6. McHale MR, Bunn DN, Pickett ST & Twine W (2013) Urban ecology in a developing world: How advanced socio-ecological theory needs Africa. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, 11: 556-564. {Impact factor: 7.6}
  7. Twine WC (2013) Multiple strategies for resilient livelihoods in communal areas of South Africa. African Journal of Range & Forage Science, 30(10):39-43.
  8. Kirkland T M, Kemp RJ, Hunter LM & Twine W (2013). Towards improved understanding of food security: A methodological examination based in rural South Africa. Food, Culture and Society, 16(1): 65–84.
  9. Wessels KJ, Colgan MS, Erasmus BFN, Asner GP, Twine WC, Mathieu R, van Aardt JAN, Fisher JT & Smit IPJ (2013) Unsustainable fuelwood extraction from South African savannas. Environmental Research Letters, 8(1): 014007, 10pp [online] {Impact factor 3.6}
  10. Matsika R, Erasmus BFN, & Twine WC (2013) A tale of two villages: Assessing the dynamics of fuelwood supply in communal landscapes in South Africa. Environmental Conservation. 40(1):71-83.
  11. Matsika R, Erasmus BFN, & Twine WC (2013). Double jeopardy: The dichotomy of fuelwood use in rural South Africa. Energy Policy, 52:716-725.
  12. Leyk S, Maclaurin GJ, Hunter LM, Nawrotzki R, Twine W, Collinson M & Erasmus B (2012) Spatially and temporally varying associations between temporary outmigration and natural resource availability in resource-dependent rural communities in South Africa: A modeling framework. Applied Geography, 34: 559-568.
  13. Twine W & Hunter LM (2011) Adult mortality and household food security in rural South Africa: Does AIDS represent a unique mortality shock? Development Southern Africa, 28: 431-444.
  14. Hunter LM, Twine W & Johnson A (2011) Adult mortality and natural resource use in rural South Africa: Evidence from the Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance Site. Society & Natural Resources, 24: 256-275.
  15. Byass P, Twine W, Collinson M, Tollman S & Kjellstrom T (2010) Assessing a population’s exposure to heat and humidity: an empirical approach. Global Health Action, 3:521 - DOI: 10.3402/gha.v3i0.5421.
  16. Hunter LM, Strife S & Twine W (2010) Environmental perceptions of rural South African residents: The complex nature of environmental concern. Society and Natural Resources, 23: 525-541.
  17. Whiting MJ, Chetty K, Twine W, & Carazo P (2009) Impact of human disturbance and beliefs on tree agamas (Acanthocercus a. atricollis) in an African communal settlement. Oryx, 44(3): 586-590.
  18. Konz J, Archer E & Twine W (2009) Challenges in community conservation of key medicinal plants in rural north-east Souh Africa. Geography, 94: 66-68.
  19. Hunter LM, De Souza R-M & Twine W (2008) The environmental dimensions of the HIV/AIDS pandemic: a call for scholarship and evidence-based intervention. Population & Environment, 29:103–107.
  20. de Sherbinin A, VanWey LK, McSweeney K, Aggarwal R, Barbieri A, Henry S, Hunter LM, Twine W & Walker R (2008) Rural household demographics, livelihoods and the environment. Global Environmental Change, 18(1): 38-53.
  21. Hunter LM, Twine W & Patterson L (2007) “Locusts are now our beef”: Adult mortality and household dietary use of local environmental resources in rural South Africa. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 35(3): 165-174.
  22. Giannecchini M, Twine W & Vogel C (2007) Land-cover change and human-environment interactions in a rural cultural landscape in South Africa. The Geographical Journal, 173 (1): 26-42.
  23. Kirkland T, Hunter LM & Twine W (2007) “The bush is no more”: Insights on institutional change and natural resource availability in rural South Africa. Society & Natural Resources, 20 (4): 337-350.
  24. Shackleton CM, Buiten E, Annecke W, Banks DA, Bester J, Everson T, Fabricius C, Ham C, Kees M, Modise M, Phago M, Prasad G, Smit W, Twine W, Underwood M, von Maltitz G & Wenzel P (2007) Exploring the options for fuelwood policies to support poverty alleviation policies: evolving policy dimensions in South Africa. Forests, Trees & Livelihoods, 17: 269-292.
  25. Kaschula S, Twine W & Scholes M (2005) Harvesting and regeneration of fuelwood species in African savannas: the place for scientific and indigenous knowledge. Human Ecology, 33(3): 387-418.
  26. Kaschula SA, Twine WC & Scholes MC (2005) The effect of catena position and stump characteristics on the coppice response of three savanna fuelwood species. Environmental Conservation, 32(1):76-84.
  27. Smart R, Whiting M & Twine W (2005) Lizards and landscapes: Integrating field surveys and interviews to assess the impact of human disturbance on lizard assemblages and selected reptiles in a savanna in South Africa. Conservation Biology, 122:23-31.
  28. Twine W (2005) Changing socio-economic factors influence vegetation change in the communal rangelands of the South African Lowveld. African Journal of Range & Forage Science, 22(2):93-100.
  29. Twine W, Moshe D, Netshiluvhi T & Siphugu M (2003) Consumption and direct-use values of savanna bio-resources used by rural households in Mametja, a semi-arid area of Limpopo province, South Africa. South African Journal of Science, 99: 467-473.
  30. Twine W, Moshe D & Siphugu M (2003) Harvesting of communal resources by “outsiders” in rural South Africa: a case of xenophobia or a real threat to sustainability? International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 10: 263-274.
  31. Rodger JG & Twine WC (2002) Tree canopies facilitate invasion of communal savanna rangelands by Lantana camara. African Journal of Range & Forage Science, 19:131-135.
  32. Twine W (2002) Feeding time budgets of selected African ruminant and non-ruminant grazers. African Journal of Ecology. 14: 110-112'
  33. Twine W, Gray V & Owen-Smith N (2002) The effect of prolonged heavy grazing pressure on the regrowth of two perennial grass species in a semi-arid communal rangeland. African Journal of Range & Forage Science, 19: 129-131.

Book chapters

  1. Giller KE, Baudron F, Matema S, Milgroom J, Murungweni C, Guerbois C & Twine W (2012) Population and livelihoods on the edges. In JA Andersson, M de Garine-Wichatitsky, DHM Cumming, V Dzingirai & KE Giller (Eds) Transfrontier conservation areas: People living on the edge. Chapter 4, pp 62-88. Routledge, London. ISBN 978-1-84971-208-8.
  2. Twine W (2011) Drivers of natural resource use by rural households in the central lowveld. In HL Zietsman, J Pauw, A van Jaarsveld & A Saidi (Eds.) Observations on environmental change in South Africa: Causes, consequences and responses. Sun Press, Pretoria. pp 17-19. ISBN 978-1-1920338-24-4.
  3. Twine W & Hunter LM (2010) Adult mortality, food security and the use of wild natural resources in a rural district of South Africa: exploring the environmental dimensions of AIDS. In: A Niehof, G Rugalema & S Gillespie (Eds) AIDS and rural livelihoods: Dynamics and diversity in sub-Saharan Africa. Chapter 10, pp153-170. Earthscan, London. ISBN 978-1-84971-126-5
  4. Twine W & Magome H (2008) Interactions between elephants and people. In: RJ Scholes and KG Mennell (Eds) Elephant management: A scientific assessment for South Africa. Wits University Press, Johannesburg, pp. 206-240. ISBN-978-1-86814-479-2.
  5. Biggs HC, Slotow R, Scholes RJ, Carruthers J, van Aarde R, Kerley GHI, Twine W, Grobler DG, Bethshinger H, Grant CC, Lotter HPP, Blignaut J, Hopkinson L & Peel M (2008) Towards integrated decision making for elephant management. In: RJ Scholes and KG Mennell (Eds) Elephant management: A scientific assessment for South Africa. Wits University Press, Johannesburg, pp. 537-586. ISBN-978-1-86814-479-2.


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