Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Markus Boettcher

Markus Boettcher did his Ph.D. work at the Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy Bonn, Germany, and obtained his Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of Bonn. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at Rice University, Houston, TX, USA, 1997 – 2002 (including a NASA/SAO Chandra fellowship 1999 – 2002), before joining the faculty of Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA, in 2002, first as assistant professor, then (2007) as associate professor, and (2012) full professor.

Amare Abebe

After completing his postgraduate training specialising in gravitation and cosmology at UCT, Amare Abebe joined the NWU as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2014 and has remained here ever since, where he is now a professor of physics and the current director of the Centre for Space Research (CSR). His research focuses on understanding the origin and evolution of the universe - and the formation of large-scale structure, i.e., structures larger than individual galaxies, in it – using alternative theories of gravitational physics and observational constraints from astronomical data.

Livhuwani David Nemakonde

Livhu is an Associate Professor in the School of Geo- and Spatial Sciences at North-West University in the Republic of South Africa. Livhuwani has been working in disaster risk reduction as an academic and a researcher since 2015. He holds a PhD in Public Management and Development from North-West University. The title of his thesis is “Integrating parallel structures for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in Southern Africa Development Community”.

Japie Greeff

I have almost 20 years of experience spanning electronic engineering, software development and education in the South African context where I have worked for a variety of companies, from research institutions to startups and corporate software giants to my current position as lecturer at the North-West University.

Ncobile Nkosi

I would describe myself as a physical geographer with a detailed understanding of atmospheric sciences and geomorphology. However, I have a deep appreciation of human geography and its impact on the physical part of geography. The title of my MSc study was “Quantifying particulate emissions from domestic burning in the KwaDela Township, Mpumalanga”.

Juaneé Cilliers

Prof Juaneé Cilliers is currently the Head of the Urban and Regional Planning group at the North-West University, as well as programme leader of research program 7 (in the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management) for Sustainable Development, Planning and Implementation. She holds a MSc and PhD in Urban and Regional Planning, as well as a MCom in Economics. She is a professional registered Urban Planner at the South African Council for Planners and rated researcher at the South African National Research Foundation.

Leandri Kruger

Leandri Kruger’s career started in 2012 at the African Centre for Disaster Studies (North-West University) where she mainly contributed as a researcher for various international and national research projects, and as a lecturer for post graduate students. She is also the Programme Manager of the Postgraduate diploma in Disaster Risk Management, and has published in numerous journal articles and books.

Sarina Claassens

My research focus is in soil microbiology with application to environments affected by different land-uses, including mining and agriculture. Inevitably, the study of any component of the soil ecosystem leads to a study of the broader soil environment. The research therefore includes aspects of soil biology and biochemistry and are published in journals with a multidisciplinary scope. A key perspective of my research is that the environmental issues we face today requires investigation that offers practical and applicable ways forward and thus not all research should be fundamental.

Frank Winde

Frank is a German citizen and came to SA as part of the Excellence Programme of the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina investigating waterborne uranium migration in mining areas of Germany, South Africa, Australia and Namibia.


Bokang Ncube

I am currently employed on a temporary basis by the North-West University teaching undergraduate (first year) and post graduate (honours) modules: Introductory Statistics and Multivariate Analysis. Among other tasks, I am currently supervising two honours and one Masters students. I have interest in interdisciplinary research, especially using Multivariate Techniques. I hold a Masters of Commerce in Statistics and currently in my second year of my PhD studies in Statistics. I am conversant with the SAS software package and STATA.