Kaera Coetzer

email:               [email protected]
Tel:                  +27 (0) 12 420 3489
Office:              Geography Building 3-11
Consultation:    By appointment

Research profile

Dr Kaera Coetzer is a social-ecological systems scientist with expertise drawing from the natural and social sciences. Trained initially as a spatial and landscape ecologist with a remote-sensing and applied spatial analysis background, her current research interests expand on this, having become more explicitly interdisciplinary to navigate the realities of environmental research and sustainable environmental management in the Anthropocene.

Her current research focuses on understanding ecosystem behaviour as it is shaped through the actions of landscape actors and institutions at various scales, with a particular interest on environmental governance at the landscape scale. In this respect, she focuses on finding pathways to improved human-nature relationships in social-ecological systems (SESes), with a specific interest in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves:– how they operate as sustainability organisations, how they curate sustainability pathways and support more equitable and participatory decision-making around the environment, more sustainable resource-use behaviour, and thus, more sustainable local livelihoods long-term. Read more about some of her research here.

Kaera received her PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2014. It focused on the land-cover dynamics of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region, and the implications for long-term environmental sustainability and associated management of the region. Her post-doctoral research took her to Social Sciences (Wits), where she explored the motivations that drive environmental decision-making, and the translation of scientific information for practical management application in the natural resource management science.  Thereafter she joined Rhodes University (Department of Environmental Sciences) as a Lecturer, returning to Wits (Global Change Institute) in 2019. Now in 2023, Kaera joins the Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology at the University of Pretoria as a Senior Lecturer.



  • BSc (Wits)
  • BSc Hons (Wits)
  • PhD (Wits)

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