Dr Donovan Kotze

Dr Donovan Kotze


Wetlands Specialist
CWRR Associate and UKZN Honorary Research Fellow


The focus of Donovan’s training and professional work over the last 22 years has been on wetland ecology and the sustainable use of wetland systems. He has gained experience in working in a great variety of wetland types under many different land-uses, including communal traditional use and intensively used private farmland. He works mainly in South Africa, as well as working widely across eastern and southern Africa, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Botswana. He is especially interested in wetlands within an agricultural context, and collaborates with many different government and non-government organizations involved with wetland work. He has a particular interest in promoting the concept of wise use, and also has extensive experience in planning and assessing wetland rehabilitation..

Current Research Projects

  • Understanding wetlands as social-ecological systems, with a particular emphasis on the supply of ecosystem services by wetlands and how different land-use options may affect this supply.
  • Assessing the ecological outcomes of wetland rehabilitation interventions, particularly with respect to wetland vegetation.

Selected Recent Publications

  • KOTZE D C, 2011. The application of a framework for assessing ecological condition and sustainability of use to three wetlands in Malawi. Wetlands Ecology and Management 19: 507-520.
  • KOTZE D C, 2013. The effects of fire on wetland structure and functioning. African Journal of Aquatic Science 38: 237–247
  • KOTZE D C, 2013. Assessing the ecological sustainability of wetland cultivation: experiences from Malawi and Zambia. In: Wood A, Dixon A, and McCartney (eds.) Wetland management and sustainable livelihoods in Africa. Earthscan, London.
  • KOTZE D C, ELLERY W N, MACFARLANE D M, and JEWITT G P W, 2012. A rapid assessment method for coupling anthropogenic stressors and wetland ecological condition. Ecological Indicators 13: 284-293.
  • KOTZE D C, and TRAYNOR C H, 2011. Wetland Plant Species Used for Craft Production in Kwazulu–Natal, South Africa: Ethnobotanical Knowledge and Environmental Sustainability. Economic Botany 65: 271–282.

Contact details:


Tel:  082 302 2228

Email: Dr Donovan Kotze