Ecological Interactions and Ecosystem Resilience


Sub-programme leader: Prof Frances Siebert (

 Current vacancies:


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Strategic Aim & Mission

Ecological Interaction and Ecosystem Resilience (EIER) hosts 21 researchers with a diversity of expertise, including Agricultural Sciences, Ecotoxicology, Geo- and Soil Sciences, Microbial Ecology, Paleoecology and Plant Ecology. Research in EIER is interdisciplinary and comprises both fundamental and applied research projects, which are determined by the needs of the industry, agricultural, rural- and urban communities.

Specific Focus

Research in EIER is centred around the future of terrestrial ecosystems in the context of anthropogenic impacts, including climate change.

Research Objectives

Research projects are aimed at an improved understanding of the complexity of African terrestrial ecosystems, and to identify the risks to the ecosystem services they offer, particularly food security, carbon sequestration and biodiversity. Inter- and transdisciplinary research projects address these risks through critical assessments and evaluation of proposed management interventions and/or prevention measures in the light of global environmental change.

This subprogram hosts several research groups, each with a specific research focus.

Research Groups

Environmental Microbiology and Agricultural Biotechnology

Led by Prof Rasheed Adeleke










Forb Ecology Research Group (FERG)

Led by Prof Frances Siebert














GeoEco Lab

Led by Prof Nishanta Rajakaruna and Prof Stefan Siebert












Led by George van Zijl


Soil Ecology, Ecotoxicology and Microbiology (SEEM)

Led by Prof Mark Maboeta


Terrestrial Ecology (EcoRestore)

Led by Prof Klaus Kellner











Urban Ecology

Led by Prof Sarel Cilliers


Last updated: 4 November 2022