Dr. Niels Dreber
Niels is an ecologist with a background in botany and soil science. He has a distinct interest in drylands with an extensive record of field research in the southern African arid and semi-arid region. His research largely addresses land-use effects on vegetation in rangeland systems. It is closely linked to management applications, and as such often involves the integration of local knowledge. Related work has included the assessment and monitoring of plant communities and vegetation states, the analysis of response patterns of plant community attributes to disturbance regimes, as well as the participatory evaluation of management and restoration options to combat land degradation. At last, Niels worked in collaboration with colleagues from the North West University on different savanna related topics, primarily addressing the effects of bush thickening and related restoration actions on the composition, structure and diversity of savanna plant communities. A key objective was to generate user-oriented knowledge for decision support that can feed into the development of adaptive management strategies. Apart from this, Niels has expertise in working as an environmental consultant and instructor, as well as in project coordination and management.