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Academic Staff

Assoc Prof Pippin Anderson

Senior Lecturer
Room 4.04
Tel: 021- 6505386

Academic Profile

I joined the Department in 2008 and currently serve as Director of Graduate Studies. I teach urban ecology at the postgraduate level, convene the MPhil in Environment, Society and Sustainability, and provide structured support to our taught Masters students in the realm of academic writing.

Research Interests

My research sits in the nexus between landscape ecology and restoration; understanding system function at the landscape level to inform recovery to meet conservation and land use agendas. The rationale for my research has always been based on a desire to inform the human wellbeing and livelihood elements of landscape use and simultaneously in achieving conservation ends. I find this frequently contested space both stimulating and exacting. I draw on a variety of methods and combine a number of theoretical areas in my research including community ecology, ecosystem services, plant functional types, landscape history, conservation biology, urban ecology and restoration ecology. While my empirical work is at a local scale, I have drawn on some of this work towards regional reflection. A lesser research interest, borne out of the particular nature of my broader interests, is in the area of transdisciplinarity.


Peer-reviewed publications

  • P.M.L. Anderson, M. Brown-Luthango, A. Cartwright, I. Farouk, W. Smit (2013) Brokering communities of knowledge and practice: reflections on the African Centre for Cities' CityLab Programme. Cities 31:1- 10
  • O'Farrell, P.J. and Anderson, P.M., Le Maitre, D, and Holmes, P.M. (2012). Opportunities and constraints offered by ecosystem services and their assessment to promoting conservation agenda in an urban biodiversity hotspot. Ecology and Society 17(3): 27
  • Anderson, P.M. and Elmqvist, T. (2012) Ecological and Socio-Ecological Research in the City of Cape Town. Ecology and Society 17(3): 29
  • Anderson, P.M., O'Farrell, P.J. (2012). An ecological view of the history of the City of Cape Town. Ecology and Society 17(3): 28
  • Anderson, P.M. and Hoffman, M.T. (2011). Grazing response in the vegetation communities of the Kamiesberg, South Africa: adopting a plant functional type approach. Journal of Arid Environments 75: 255 - 264
  • Anderson, P.M., Hoffman, M.T. and O'Farrell, P.J. (2010). Above ground perennial plant biomass across an altitudinal and land use gradient in Namaqualand, South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 76: 471 - 481
  • O'Farrell, P.J. and Anderson, P.M. (2010). Sustainable multifunctional landscapes: a review to implementation. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2:59 - 65
  • P.J. O'Farrell, P.M.L. Anderson, S.J. Milton and W.R.J. Dean. (2009). Human response and adaptation to drought in the arid zone: lessons from southern Africa. South African Journal of Science 105: 34 - 39
  • Anderson, P., Hoffman, M.T., (2007). The impacts of sustained heavy grazing on plant diversity and composition in lowland and upland habitats across the Kamiesberg mountain range in the Succulent karoo, South Africa. Journal of Arid Environments 70, 686 - 700
  • Anderson, P., Hoffman, M. T., Holmes, P. (2004). The potential of Cephalophyllum inaequale (L. Bolus) for the restoration of degraded arid landscapes in Namaqualand, South Africa. Restoration Ecology 12: 343 - 351

Book chapters

  • Anderson, P. and Hoffman, M.T. 2005. The effects of sustained heavy grazing on plant diversity and composition: A study of the Kamiesberg, in Allsopp, N and Hoffman, M.T. (2005), Towards Sustainable Land Use in Namaqualand: Proceedings of the Namaqualand Colloquium, 24-26 May. Published by ARC- Range and Forage Institute, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town.

Conference presentations

  • Fynbos Forum, St Francis Bay, 2012
  • SSAG, Cape Town, 2012
  • World Urban Forum, Naples 2012
  • URBIO, Mumbai, 2012
  • BiodiverCities, Paris, 2010
  • Fynbos Forum, Citrusdal, 2010
  • Arid Zone Ecology Forum, Graaf-Rienet, 2009
  • Society of South African Geographers Conference, Johannesburg, 2009
  • Arid Zone Ecology Forum, Oudshoorn, 2008 (awarded best speaker prize)
  • Arid Zone Ecology Forum, Kamieskroon, 2006
  • SANBI seminar series, 2005
  • Namaqualand Colloquium, Springbok, 2005

Conference posters

  • Fynbos Forum, Stilbaai, 2011
  • VII International Rangelands Congress, Durban 2003

Technical reports

  • Anderson, P. 2008. Research Strategy for the Succulent Karoo Biome. A report produced for The South African National Biodiversity Institute
  • O'Farrell, P. and Anderson, P. 2006. The Status of Existing Scientific Information to Support CITES Implementation in South Africa and Identify Gaps for Further Research. A report produced for The South African National Biodiversity Institute

Student Supervision

Phd Students

  • Mr Gregg Brill. Ecosystem service delivery from a National Park in a city: the case of water and Table Mountain. (registered July 2012)

Masters Students

  • Ms Georgina Avlonitis MPhil by coursework and dissertation. The ecological role of social greening interventions. Graduated 2010
  • Ben Gaffney MPhil by coursework and dissertation. The changing face of the Constantia Valley: a temporal study of land use change in a heritage landscape. To graduate 2013
  • Mr Jared Davey MPhil by coursework and dissertation. The impact of invasive alien plant species on cultural ecosystem services, in the particular case of tourism. Graduated 2012
  • Mr Oliver Cowan MSc by dissertation. The restoration potential of the Peninsula Shale Renosterveld. (under examination)
  • Ms Penelope Waller MSc by dissertation. Restoration trials in the Peninsula Shale Renosterveld (submitting December 2013)
  • Ms Julia Miliken. MPhil by course work and dissertation. Understanding drivers of access to conservation areas in the City of Cape Town: who is using these spaces and why. (submitting August 2013)

Honours Students

  • Ms Lisa Price. Alien invasives at Cape Point correlated with management practices through time. (2010)
  • Ms Casandra Sprague. Drivers of land cover change: conversion of strandveld to rooibos tea plantations. (2010)
  • Mr Samir-Randera Rees. Access and benefit sharing in the wildflower industry: a case study of the Agulhas Plain. (2010)
  • Ms Kathryn Terblanche. The role of passive restoration in Peninsula Shale Renosterveld following clearing of plantation forestry. (2011)
  • Ms Jessica Kavonic. Extreme rainfall events and associated droughting on plant communities explored through remote-sensing derived NDVI. (2011)
  • Ms Jessica le Roux. Drivers of land cover change: unravelling the mystery of a dramatic increase in Puterlickia pyrecantha in the Witzands Nature Reserve. (2011)
  • Ms Robyn Dreyer. The small mammal population of Devil’s Peak: towards restoration. (2012)

Affiliations and Service

  • Chair: Academics Union representative, UCT Educare Committee
  • UCT's Physical Planning and Landscaping Subcommittee
  • Committee Member: Society of Conservation Biologists Africa Education Committee
  • Board member and vice chair: Avontuur Sustainable Agriculture in collaboration with WWF
  • Committee member: Land Cover Change Consortium
  • Member: South African Botanical Society
  • Member: South African chapter of the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society