Dr G.S. Masunga
Research Scholar
Researchers Block 200-Office No. 40
+267 6817225
Professional Qualifications

PhD [Thesis: Ecosystem processes, nutrients and plant and fungal species diversity in Chobe, Botswana]

MSc in Watershed Science, specializing in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation; and Natural Resource Management]

BSc in General Agriculture

Brief Biography

Dr. Gaseitsiwe is a Research Scholar in Landscape Ecology at the Okavango Research Institute of the University of Botswana. He worked before for Botswana government as a Wildlife Biologist and Chief Wildlife officer in various parts of the country including Kgalagadi District, Chobe and Okavango Delta. His current research interests revolve around landscape and ecosystem processes (e.g. primary production, nutrient cycling, wildlife migration); wildlife-vegetation-soil interactions; HWC; CBNRM; ecological disturbances (veld/bush fires, wildlife herbivory and floods) and biodiversity conservation. His main work entails conducting applied research to improve the understanding of the relationships between ecological disturbances/patterns and processes at different spatio-temporal scales.

Dr. Masunga has expanded his research area to cover the impacts of climate change on ecological elements and processes as well as on local community livelihood and adaptive strategies. Engaging local communities is critical for understanding their role in managing, monitoring, and facilitating dispersal of wildlife over a large landscape.

He is also interested in undertaking consultancies on biodiversity conservation, environmental impact assessments, natural resource management, wildlife and birdlife conservation; and serving on professional boards, committees and task teams/forces. 

Teaching Areas

Biodiversity Conservation

Environmental heterogeneity and functional biodiversity

Research Methods [Grant/research proposal development]

Research Areas

1. Landscape Ecology

2. Human-Wildlife Conflict

3. Ecosystem processes (plant decomposition, production, nutrient cycling], patterns [heterogeneity/diversity, resource availability/distribution] & disturbances [herbivory, fire, floods]

4. Community based natural resource management [focusing on wildlife monitoring and management; fire management and biodiversity conservation]


Postgraduate Supervision Areas

PhD Studies

1. Social-ecological landscape: Incorporating human behavior and attitudes towards wildlife into landscape modeling

MPhil Studies

1. Use and integration of indigenous knowledge in management of wild/bush fires- A case of the San People

2. Flooding gradient on wetland vegetation communities and soil nutrients

3. The breeding success of Wattled cranes 

4. Community perceptions on the climate change – wildlife resource nexus and implications for livelihood adaptation

Selected Publications
  1. Gaodirelwe, I., Motsholapheko, M. R., & Masunga, G. S. (2020). Community perceptions of wildlife management strategies and subsistence poaching in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 25(3), 232-249.
  2. Gaodirelwe, I., Masunga, G.S. and Motsholapheko, M.R., 2018. Community-based natural resource management: a promising strategy for reducing subsistence poaching around protected areas, northern Botswana. Environment, Development and Sustainability, pp.1-19.
  3. Gadimang, P. and Masunga, G.S., 2017. Ground survey of red lechwe in the Linyanti swamps and Chobe floodplains, northern Botswana. KOEDOE59(2), pp.1-6. 
  4. Masunga GS, Moe SR, Pelekekae B. 2013. Fire and grazing change herbaceous species composition and reduce beta diversity in the Kalahari sand system. Ecosystems 16:252-268.
  5. Masunga GS, Andresen Ø, Taylor JE, Dhillion SS. 2006. Elephant dung decomposition and coprophilous fungi in semi-arid Botswana. Mycological Research 110: 1214-1226.

In pursuit of academic excellence