Mike Murray-Hudson
(+267) 6817232
Professional Qualifications

PhD Environmental Engineering, Systems Ecology, Wetland Track.

MSc Environmental Engineering, Systems Ecology

BSc Zoology & Geology

Brief Biography

ORI Professor of Wetland Ecology, Dr Murray-Hudsons primary research focus is on ecohydrology, to improve our understanding of the dynamics of tropical flood-pulsed wetlands. This includes not only the potential effects of climate change, dams and water abstraction, but also nutrient dynamics in the context of potential pollution. He is also interested in wetland biogeochemistry, sediment dynamics and tectonics as drivers of wetland landscapes and ecosystem services.

He is also responsible for the coordination and development of a long-term monitoring programme in the Okavango Delta to support management and sustainable development of the Deltas hydro-ecosystems. This aims to collect long-term data on multiple physical, chemical and biological indices, and to make these available to end-users. Currently the ORI Monitoring Unit monitors climate, surface and groundwater levels, water quality, flood extent, wildfire extent, and fish catch per unit effort at various stations in the Delta. We host a web-based data delivery system ( The monitoring programme provides data for e.g., State of Conservation reporting (World Heritage Commission, Ramsar Convention), for informing civic society and authorities on flood status and management issues such as fish stocks, for improved hydrological and ecological modeling and for surveillance for ecosystem change. 

Teaching Areas

Graduate studies in Natural Resource Management (Wetland Ecology, Systems Ecology, Vegetation Ecology, Geology, Waterbirds)

Systems Thinking for the UB Masters in Development Practice

Training in Biodiversity Data Management

Multivariate statistics with R (part of a "Statistics with R" ORI short course)

Research Areas

Hydroecology of Delta Floodplains: Floodplain plant species distribution modelling for evaluating effects of hydrological change

Effects of Elevated Nutrient Levels on Cyperus papyrus growth rates and microbial rhizosphere communities

Population structure and water use of riparian woodlands in the Okavango

Carbon biogeochemistry (methane) of floodplains

Biogeochemistry of surface and groundwater in the Okavango

Sediment dynamics in the Cubango-Okavango River Basin

Postgraduate Supervision Areas

The Effects of Nutrient Enrichment on Microbial Community Structure associated with Cyperus papyrus in the Okavango Delta, Botswana - MPhil

Assessment of Jatropha curcas Cultivated in Frost and Drought Prone Areas in Botswana: Water Balance Analysis - MPhil

Deformation in the Okavango Incipient Rift - PhD

Ecological drivers of population structure, species composition and distribution of riparian plant communities in the Okavango - PhD

Colonial waterbird interactions with flooding - PhD

Selected Publications

Helfter, C., Gondwe, M., Murray-Hudson, M., Makati, A., Lunt, M. F., Palmer, P. I., & Skiba, U. (2022). Phenology is the dominant control of methane emissions in a tropical non-forested wetland. Nature communications, 13(1), 1-11

Edwards, T. M., I. J. Mosie, B. C. Moore, G. Lobjoit, K. Schiavone, R. E. Bachman and M. Murray-Hudson (2020). "Low oxygen: A (tough) way of life for Okavango fishes." PLOS ONE 15(7): e0235667

Murray-Hudson, M., Wolski, P., Brown, M. T., & Davidson, T. (2018). "A suite of macrophyte species distribution models for investigating hydrology-driven spatial changes in a large flood-pulsed tropical wetland". South African Geographical Journal, pp. 1-17. doi:10.1080/03736245.2018.1541021

Murray-Hudson, M., Wolski P, Murray-Hudson F, Brown M, Kashe K. (2014). “Disaggregating Hydroperiod: Components of the Seasonal Flood Pulse as Drivers of Plant Species Distribution in Floodplains of a Tropical Wetland”. Wetlands, 34, 927-942. DOI: 10.1007/s13157-014-0554

In pursuit of academic excellence