Skip to main content

Heidi-Jayne Hawkins

New Content ItemHeidi is the research lead at Conservation South Africa (currently on sabbatical) and an honorary research associate at the University of Cape Town. Her main interest is in applied and functional ecology in conservation, specifically how soil nutrients and carbon cycle between plants, soil and animals under various conditions of climate, herbivory, and fire and how we can use this in land use management.

Her doctoral and postdoctoral work explored nutrient and water relations including in specialized roots and mycorrhizal root symbioses (Cramer et al 2009; Hawkins et al 2008; Hawkins et al 2000). Her current work informs conservation strategies that are Africa-appropriate, i.e., protect biodiversity while mitigating climate change and benefitting people. Her work includes for example, biogeochemical modelling for carbon projects (Hawkins et al 2021), high resolution soil C maps (Venter et al 2021), testing ways to improve agricultural practices (Hawkins et al 2022; Venter et al 2019), challenging dogma in grazing science (Hawkins 2017; Hawkins et al 2022b), and generally informing initiatives for climate resilient rangelands (Venter et al 2021). Modelling work has been contingent on understanding of plant-soil-microbe interactions (Hawkins et al 2000; Venter et al 2016) including on croplands, and how herbaceous versus woody vegetation and fire determine litter quality and microbial activity and thus soil carbon (Vermeire et al 2021) and fauna (Thoresen et al 2021). She recently teamed up with the Society for the Protection of the Underground Networks and other experts to make the first global estimates of mycorrhiza as a carbon pool (Hawkins et al 2023). Her contributions include both academic articles and translational products such as manuals and policy briefs (Muller et al 2020) that directly inform sustainable land management in open (non-forest) ecosystems. She has guest lectured at several universities (Hohenheim University, Humbolt University, Universities of Cape Town, and Stellenbosch University). Her future research vision is to understand how rewilding effects ecosystem processes and how this can be applied in conservation and sustainable land use.

ORCID: 0000-0001-9334-0669
Google scholar link:

Annual Journal Metrics

  • 2023 Citation Impact
    4.6 - 2-year Impact Factor
    5 - 5-year Impact Factor
    8.5 - CiteScore
    1.850 - SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper)
    1.258 - SJR (SCImago Journal Rank)

    2023 Speed
    4 days submission to first editorial decision for all manuscripts (Median)
    121 days submission to accept (Median)

    2023 Usage 
    241 Altmetric mentions