Oliver Nyakunga, PhD


Dr. Nyakunga is a conservation professional and an active researcher with more than 19 years of experience. She in resilient in challenging environments. She has worked in various capacities and in different institutions/organizations as acting deputy rector academics, research and consultancy at the College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka; a member of the national task force for combating invasive species, Tanzania; project director for the Bee-Monitoring Project in Tanzania funded by JRS Biodiversity Foundation; zonal in charge and park guide at Serengeti N. Park under Tanzania National Park; chairperson of the External Examiner Committee for the Pasiansi Wildlife Training Institute-Mwanza; and board member for the Science and Allied Technologies programmes-NACTE.

Dr. Nyakunga has published articles in high-impact peer-reviewed journals and has led several conservation-related fields practical training excursions/trips within East Africa. The latter covered several protected areas in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda for students from the College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka; students from Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), and universities in the United States. Her specialties include ecological inventories, invasive plant species and rangeland management, wildlife ecology botany, biostatistics infrastructure management, and natural resources.

Courses Taught

Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology
Environmental Research Methods and Ethics
Independent Study Project

Select Publications

Mwakaluka, E., Masao, C., Nyakunga, O. C., et al., (2019). National Invasive Species Strategy and Action Plan (NISSAP) (2019-2029). Published by the Vice President’s Office, Division of Environment, United Republic of Tanzania, DODOMA 

Nyakunga, O.C., Vecchio, S.D., & Buffa, G. (2018). Effects of management regimes on structure, composition and diversity of seasonally inundated herbaceous communities in the Mkomazi National Park, Tanzania. Afr J Ecol.,1–8. https://doi.org/10.1111/aje.12524 

Pierce, S., Negreiros, D., Cerabolini, B.E. L., Kattge, J., Dıaz, S., Nyakunga, O. C., et al. (2017). A global method for calculating plant CSR ecological strategies applied across biomes world-wide. Functional Ecology, 31(2), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12722 

Nyakunga, O. C. (2016). Fire and grazing effects on herbaceous structure, composition and diversity, and plant functional responses to management regimes in Mkomazi, Tanzania. http://dspace.unive.it/bitstream/handle/10579/8347/956032-1175880.pdf;sequence=2 PhD Thesis  

Msyani, E.K., Lazaro, M. J., Nyakunga, O. C., & Chambegga, A. O. (2008.) Seasonal Inventory and Status of Flying Insects, in the Kihansi Gorge, Tanzania. Afr J Ecol., 47(3), pp 267-275. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2028.2007.00907.x 

Garner, T.W. J., Nishumra, D., Antwi, J., & Nyakunga, O. (2008). Human Disturbance Influences Behaviour and Local Density of Juvenile Frogs. Ethology, Volume 114(10), 1006-1013. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.2008.01540.x

Research Interests

Rangeland carrying capacity
Vegetation inventories


  • PhD, Environmental Science, Computer Science & Statistics, Cá Foscari University of Venezia
  • MSc, Education for Sustainability, London South Bank University, London, United Kingdom
  • MSc, Environmental Science (Planning and Management), UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, The Netherlands
  • BSc, Wildlife Ecology & Zoology, University of Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania
Oliver Nyakunga, PhD

SIT Study Abroad

Academic Director

TANZANIA: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology

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