Michael Murray-Hudson

Senior Research Fellow, Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana

I’m interested in the relationships between hydrology and ecology, in particular the dynamics of water-driven ecosystems. The flood-pulsed wetland systems of southern Africa are highly dynamic, extremely productive, and are an integral part of the larger ecological landscapes in which the diverse fauna of Africa evolved. As pressure on resources grows, we need to understand system structure and functioning to ensure a continued flow of ecosystem services.

Current projects

2016-2018 Building Capacity for Biodiversity Data Management and Dissemination in the Okavango Delta. The Okavango Research Institute Environmental Monitoring Unit and IT department are setting up a data server which will give open access to a variety of biodiversity data: data on vegetation, aquatic and terrestrial macroinvertebrates and fish, from both once-off campaign type surveys, and from long-term monitoring. Staff from ORI and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism are being trained to manage and utilise these data. Funded by the JRS Biodiversity Foundation.

2015-2018 Diversity, Population Structure and Regeneration Status of Riparian Woody Species Growing Naturally along the Thamalakane River, North-western Botswana. A study looking at the effects of land use on the population dynamics and diversity of riparian woodlands in a part of the Delta which is relatively intensively used by people. It is funded by Forest Conservation Botswana/USAID.

2014-2018: Evaluating the Effects of Elevated Nutrient Concentrations on Delta Ecosystems. A project jointly funded by the UB Office of Research and Development and the Carnegie Foundation through their RISE initiative. In this study we are looking at the growth of Cyperus papyrus as a response to varying levels of the major nutrients nitrogen, in flume studies, and in the natural environment. 1 Ph.D and 1 MPhil student.

2013-2016: Development of strategies for sustainable use and management of savannah ecosystem resources and services in northern Botswana through remote sensing based spatial database tools. Development of a vegetation map and baseline towards monitoring and management of the northern Botswana wildlife-livestock nexus. 1 MPhil student.

Experience

  • –present
    Senior Research Fellow, Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana