Professor David Cumming

Designation: 
Honorary Professor: Percy FitzPatrick Institute for African Ornithology
Expertise: 
Management, resilience and sustainability of transfrontier conservation areas and related disease management issues, large herbivore impacts on savannas and biodiversity, interactions between elephants and termites as ecosystem engineers
David Cumming

Biography

Professor David Cumming graduated from Rhodes University with a BSc in zoology and entomology and a B.Sc. (Hons) in zoology and have been working in wildlife research and conservation in southern Africa since the early 1960's. After an initial spell in freshwater fisheries in Zimbabwe Cumming moved to wildlife and was posted to the remote Sengwa Wildlife Research Area in the Zambezi Valley to work on game-tsetse fly relationships. The planned18-month posting lasted 12 years and provided him with the opportunity complete a PhD on the ecology and behaviour of warthogs (the primary host of tsetse fly) and to establish the Sengwa Wildlife Research Institute. From Sengwa Professor Cumming moved to Harare in 1976 where he was Chief Ecologist and Head of the Branch of Terrestrial Ecology and later Deputy Director for Zimbabwe’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management.

From there he moved, in 1988, to take up the post of Project Leader for WWF’s Multispecies Animal Production Systems Project. The project eventually grew into WWF’s Southern Africa Regional Programme during the 1990s. The last decade has been spent working as a consultant to conservation and development NGOs, as a Research Associate in the Tropical Resource Ecology Programme at the University of Zimbabwe, and as an honorary academic at UCT. Professor Cumming's current ecological research interests include large herbivore impacts on savanna systems and the interaction between elephants and termites and how they influence biodiversity and ecosystem processes in miombo woodlands.

Professor Cumming's area of interest include large-scale conservation and the management, resilience, and sustainability of transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) in southern Africa. He is also involved in the AHEAD (Animal and Human Health for the Environment and Development) programme with support from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Professor Cumming's full biography can be found here.

Contact:
Email: cummingdhm@gmail.com

Associated Centre: