School of Life Sciences

Prof Rob Slotow

Professor and Oppenheimer Fellow in Functional Biodiversity

After obtaining his PhD in California, and several Post-Doctoral Fellowships, Prof Slotow joined the University of Natal as a lecturer in 1996. He was promoted to Professor in 2007, and is a Fellow of UKZN, and a member of ASSAF. He served on the UKZN executive for 8 years. He has served on a number of Ministerial Panels, and assists government at National, Provincial and Municipal level. Rob is an Honorary Professor at University College London, and is the Oppenheimer Fellow in Functional Biodiversity.

Research interests

  • A systems/nexus approach to biodiversity conservation, land-use planning for environmental sustainability, and contribution to achieving SDGs, is used.
  • Large, transdisciplinary team projects focus on applied research that can be translated into practical solutions.
  • The Durban Research Action Partnership (DRAP), with Ethekwini Municipality, undertakes co-developed, co-implemented work to enhance sustainable environmental decision-making and development decisions in the face of climate change. 
  • The Wellcome-funded Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS), examines the agriculture, environment, poverty and health nexus, focusing on resource poor communities in the rural, per-urban, and informal urban settings around Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
  • In the large Water Research Commission grant “Operationalising the water-energy-food nexus for delivering on socioeconomic development”, we profile the neglected biodiversity and environmental sustainability aspects.
  • The Oppenheimer Fellowship in Functional Biodiversity catalyses biodiversity-based socio-ecological research in the Umgeni and upper Umkomaas River catchments, and mentors emerging researchers.

Research profiles