Tim Kuiper

Position: Senior Lecturer - Statistics and Nature Conservation

EmailTimothy.Kuiper@mandela.ac.za

Office Num: Research Building

Qualifications: PhD (Interdiscipliniary Conservation Science) University of Oxford; MSc (Biodiversity Conservation) University of Oxford; BSc (Zoology and Mathematical Statistics) Rhodes University. 

I am an African biodiversity scientist leading solutions-focussed research on human-nature relations. I use cross-cutting methods - from statistical modelling to stakeholder interviews - to better understand drivers of biodiversity loss and evaluate possible solutions.

While my strengths lie in statistics and data analytics, I have learnt to actively seek the wisdom of conservation practitioners and policy makers to help identify the right questions and translate results into meaningful action. I love mentoring postgraduates and collaborating with like-minded researcher to achieve shared goals.


Research interests: Biodiversity conservation; Human-nature relations; Biodiversity and human well-being; Poaching and the Illegal Wildlife Trade; Wildlife rangers and ranger-based monitoring; Protected Area Management.

Research methods: Quantitative ecology and data analytics for conservation; GIS;  Knowledge exchange (science-policy); Stakeholder interviews and focus groups.

Publications: Please see my Google Scholar profile for an updated list

Current PhD students:

  • Masego Jeneje Mokobela (co-supervisor with Prof. Graham Kerley). Megaherbivore release and resetting: the elephants of Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana. Nelson Mandela University.
  • Emilia Staegemann (co-supervisor with Prof Joris Cormsigt and Prof. Graham Kerley). Behavioural response of White Rhinoceros to resources and human predation pressure in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa. Nelson Mandela University.
  • Lucy Chimes (co-supervisor with Prof. Colleen Downs, UKZN). Evaluating the Use of Rhinoceros Dehorning as an Anti-Poaching Strategy in Southern Africa: Population Productivity, Paternity and Poaching Rates. University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Current MSc students

  • Wambui Waibochi (Main supervisor with Dr. Jacqueline Bishop). Habitat selection of large carnivores outside protected areas in Northern KwaZulu-Natal and the implications for land-use policy. University of Cape Town.

Past students:

  • Emma Fagan (Graduated 2023, University of Cape Town). Main supervisor with Dr. Jaqueline Bishop. Th effectiveness of immunocontraception of elephants on Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.
  • Zara Didarali (Graduated 2021, University of Oxford). Main supervisor with Andrea Santangeli. Awareness of environmental legislation as a deterrent for wildlife crime: A case with Masaai pastoralists, poison use and the Kenya Wildlife Act.

Latest UpdatesLinkedInX; See here for a talk on our work evaluating strategies to tackle rhino poaching in the Greater Kruger (2023)

Media: Based on our article on drivers of elephant poaching across Africa (Jan 2023), I was interviewed on South African TV (eNCA news), as well as SABC radio Africa. I was Interviewed by The Economist who featured our work online and in print (see here) and by National Geographic who also featured our work (see here). Africa Geographic covered our work on evaluating solutions to rhino poaching in the Greater Kruger (see here)

Selected publications (for a full list and links to articles, please see my Google Scholar profile):

  • Kuiper, T., Macdonald, D., Sibanda, L., Mathe, L.-J., Mahdlamoto, D., Loveridge, A., 2024. The behaviours of different carnivore and livestock species shape spatial patterns of human–carnivore conflict. People Nat. 6, 1248–1261.
  • Kuiper, T., Haussmann, S., Whitfield, S., Altwegg, R., Ferreira, S., Shaw, J., Polakow, D., Hofmeyr, M., Pierce, E., Nowak, I., Rowles, C., Zowitsky, H., Olivier, I., Boyd, W., Bird, J., Worth, E., van Tonder, M., Bourn, M., Greef, Z., Hartman, Z. (2023). Evaluating the cost and effectiveness of rhino conservation interventions in the Greater Kruger. A Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation Report. Available here.
  • Kuiper, T., Altwegg, R., Beale, C., Carroll, T., Dublin, H.T., Hauenstein, S., Kshatriya, M., Schwarz, C., Thouless, C.R., Royle, A., Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2023). Drivers and facilitators of the illegal killing of elephants across 64 African sites. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
  • Kuiper, T., Ngwenya, N., Kavhu, B., Mandisodza, R., Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2023). Making adaptive management more user friendly to encourage manager buy‐in. People and   Nature. 
  • Kuiper, T., Loveridge, A.J., Macdonald, D.W. (2022). Robust mapping of human–wildlife conflict: controlling for livestock distribution in carnivore depredation models. Animal Conservation 1–13. Booth, H., Arias, M., Brittain, S., Challender, D.W.S., Khanyari, M., Kuiper, T., Li, Y., Olmedo, A., Oyanedel, R., Pienkowski, T., Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2021). “Saving Lives, Protecting Livelihoods, and Safeguarding Nature”: Risk-Based Wildlife Trade Policy for Sustainable Development Outcomes Post-COVID-19. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 9.
  • Kuiper, T., Kavhu, B., Ngwenya, N.A., Mandisodza-Chikerema, R., Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2020). Rangers and modellers collaborate to build and evaluate spatial models of African elephant poaching. Biological Conservation 243, 108486.
  • Didarali, Z., Kuiper, T., Brink, C.W., Buij, R., Virani, M.Z., Reson, E.O., Santangeli, A. (2022). Awareness of environmental legislation as a deterrent for wildlife crime: A case with Masaai pastoralists, poison use and the Kenya Wildlife Act. Ambio.
  • Kuiper, T., Druce, D. J., & Druce, H. C. (2018). Demography and social dynamics of an African elephant population 35 years after reintroduction as juveniles. Journal of Applied Ecology
  • Kuiper, T., Massé, F., Ngwenya, N.A., Mandisodza‐Chikerema, R.L., Milner‐Gulland, E.J., 2021. Ranger perceptions of, and engagement with, monitoring of elephant poaching. People Nat. pan3.10154.