My research addresses fundamental and applied questions related to grassy biomes, with a focus on spatial and temporal ecology, biodiversity patterns, species-soil interactions and ecosystem functioning. I aim to understand the occurrence of species in space and time, how they interact with their environment, what the consequences for ecosystem functioning are, provisioning of ecosystem services, and how these patterns and processes are altered by land use (agriculture, mining and settlements).
As a Geoecologist I work on restoration projects in various parts of the grassy biomes in southern Africa which are heavily impacted by agriculture, forestry, over-grazing, mining and settlements. Native plant species losses are pronounced in these land uses and encroacher and/or invasive species are increasing. Although the effect of these floristic and functional changes are difficult to quantify, the loss of ecosystem services in such environments are well documented in terms of floods, erosion, loss of native fauna, soil toxicity, poor grazing, etc.