Tiza Mfuni is a dual title Ph.D. student in Geography and African Studies. Broadly, Tiza is interested in human-livestock-wildlife-forest interfaces in the landscape, especially in different African contexts. He is particularly interested in investigating how human policies and decisions evolve spatially and temporally, in different climate scenarios, and how these decisions modify selected landscape elements and processes, including wildlife patterns. He is also interested in understanding the character, and influence of the political ecology surrounding human land use decisions and the legacies of colonialism or coloniality in the landscape.
Prior to joining Penn State, Tiza worked at the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) as part of highly interdisciplinary research projects on topics such as landscape approaches to governance and use, sustainable wildlife management and food security and nutrition in sustaining human and animal well-being. Tiza has worked on several projects that can broadly be categorized under Sustainable Landscapes and Livelihoods to contribute to resilient livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. Much of the work he has done has contributed to changes in national forestry policies and international approaches to conservation by providing a better understanding of the environment-society interfaces within communities that depend on forests. His latest research seeks to project future forest plantation yield, species site suitability and pest occurrence based on projected future climate scenarios in Zululand, South Africa.