Tanki Thubela

Tanki was born in the Eastern Cape and spent his early years herding livestock daily after coming back from school. He later left to home study agriculture at Cedara College in KwaZulu-Natal. This is where he was exposed to different vegetation types and his passion for rangeland science was ignited.

Tanki completed a Diploma in Agriculture from Cedara in 2005 and, in 2008, he got employment at Dohne Agricultural Development Institute as a research technician. In 2010, he was awarded a bursary to further his studies at the University of Fort Hare, where he did a BSc(Agric), specializing in Pasture Science.

After completing his BSc, he was again employed by Dohne Agricultural Development Institute as a production scientist. He has been involved in several research collaborations, both governmental and in the private sector. He was also fortunate to be involved in work done in collaboration with international institutions such as Murdoc University and the University of New England (both in Australia).

Conservation biology cuts across many different disciplines and focuses mainly on the conservation of natural resources, of which rangelands are one. Tanki developed an interest in this field as he was working in communal rangelands and realising how certain species were declining due to mismanagement. When the opportunity to study conservation biology was presented to him, he applied with the aim of being able to continue providing the necessary support to his department’s programs. This support necessitated his upgrading his skills and knowledge to ensure that he stays abreast of the scientific systems used in the field of rehabilitation and for maintaining environmental integrity and ensuring sustainable development.

Tanki is currently involved in land-care projects that deal with rehabilitation and conservation in rangelands. He is looking forward to gaining more knowledge in the field of conservation biology and to finding ways to apply all the experience he gains to his daily work after he completes his studies.