Forest Ecology Research Group (FERG)


Dr. H.G.T. Ndagurwa (PI), Mr R. Mwase, Ms A. Chichinye, Ms S Ncube, Mr F. Chikomba

About us
We aim to understand the structure and functioning of forest ecosystems and their responses to changing environmental, biotic and social conditions as well as their relationships with parasites. We also aim to understand the ecology and functioning of non-timber forest products available in Zimbabwe, and how these can be used to improve livelihoods in Zimbabwean communities. This knowledge resource is used for the development of sustainable forest resource use systems, and in informing the development of sustainable forest policy in Zimbabwe. 

Research focus
FERG's aims include:

  • Improve knowledge on plant-parasite interactions in the dry savanna and the implications for forests in the face of a changing environment.

  • To provide the forest industries (commercial and indigenous) with the expertise and advice on maintainingsustainable systems through research on sustainable forest management and the recovery of degraded forest ecosystems.

  • To increase ecological knowledge on non-timber forest products, and developing community awareness on their sustainable use.

  • Participation in the drafting of the Zimbabwean policy document on climate change. 

Current activities

  • Sustainable forest management and recovery of degraded forest ecosystems.

  • Climate change– impacts on forest ecosystems. Part of the formulation of the national policy on adaptation and resilience.

  • Forest and parasite interactions.

  • Devil’s claw as an alternative to diclofenac.

  • Non-timber forest products – the ecology and use edible fungi.


Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife, CIRAD, CNRS, DR & SS, ICRISAT, Forestry Commision, WWF

Recent Publications

  • Mundy, P, Ncube S. 2014. Devil’s Claw – a natural substitute for diclofenac? Vulture News 67 November 2014.

  • Muvengwi, J &Ndagurwa H.G.T. 2015. Soil seed bank dynamics and fertility on a seasonal wetland invaded by Lantana camara in a savanna ecosystem. South African Journal of Botany.

  • Ndagurwa H.G.T et al. 2014. The influence od mistletoes on the litter-layer arthropod abundance and diversity in a semi-arid savanna, southwest Zimbabwe. Plant and Soil.