Professor M. Timm Hoffman

Director: Plant Conservation Unit
Land use impacts on biodiversity; landscape and biodiversity change; succulent karoo, nama-karoo and fynbos


As director of the Plant Conservation Unit (PCU), Timm Hoffman is interested in  how land use practices, particularly over the last 100 years, have impacted on the biodiversity and landscapes of the succulent Karoo, Nama-Karoo and fynbos biomes in South Africa. By using several approaches in his research (e.g. repeat fixed-point photography, ecological surveys, experimentation), he is able to develop an accurate account of landscape and biodiversity change. His focus at the Plant Conservation Unit is on African-centred research and postgraduate training that improves the ecological understanding of Africa's biomes, the pressures facing them and the opportunities for conservation that benefits both biodiversity and people.

Climate change and Development link:

Timm’s work on land-use change also informs conservation and management policy and  has relevance for the current focus on the long-term effects of climate change on the biota of the winter rainfall region.   He has also established a long-term, interdisciplinary research programme in Paulshoek, a communal area in Namaqualand. The aim of this is to understand the impact of natural resource use on the Namaqualand landscapes in terms of the changing social and economic environments of the region.

Link to ACDI:

ACDI is affiliated with the PCU through the Benchmarks for the Future project, and the ACDI-funded Berg River Climate Knowledge Network. Prof Hoffman has supervised several MSC and PhD students that have undertaken research as part of these projects

Professor Hoffman's full biography can be found here.