Staff Profiles

Dr. Nicholas Christopher Mbangiwa

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Faculty of Science



Location: Block 246, S110
Phone: +2673555732

Doctor of Philosophy (Agrometeorology) (2018), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)

Master of Science (Agrometeorology) cum laude (2012), UKZN

Bachelor of Science Honours (Environmental Science) (2007), UKZN

Bachelor of Science (Applied Environmental Sciences) (2004), UKZN)

I am interested in the interactions and energy flows within the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. I mainly employ micrometeorological techniques (Eddy Covariance (EC), Surface Renewal (SR), and Temperature Variance (TV)) in my research combined with crop modeling. I have been involved in quantifying evapotranspiration and surface energy balance components of a mixed-species grassland in the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The main findings have this research focused on how agricultural practices such as mowing and burning modifies the energy balance of grassland surfaces under the South African landscape. I have also worked extensively on determining the water-use efficiency of rainfed maize and soybean crops using EC. The results of this study were used in the evaluation of the FAO AquaCrop model. I also supervise research students within the Physics-with-Meteorology programme.

I teach the following undergraduate and postgraduate courses within the Department of Physics, Physics-with-Meteorology Unit:

• PMT 231 (The Earth’s Atmosphere)
• PMT 361 (Introduction to Agrometeorology)
• PMT 369 (Electronic Instrumentation)
• PMT 351 (Atmospheric Radiation)
• PHY 622 (Agricultural Physics)
• PHY 643 (Independent Study Course)

  • Micrometeorological studies
  • Modelling in the Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Continuum
  • Climate Change and Adaptation
  • Environmental Instrumentation
  • Automatic Weather Station Technologies
  • Disaster Early Warning Systems

I also supervise research students within the Physics-with-Meteorology programme. The Physics-with Meteorology programme is multidisciplinary hence students who wish to pursue a master of philosophy or doctoral studies from allied disciplines such as agrometeorology, hydrology, agronomy, soil science and environmental science are eligible to apply.     

  • Mbangiwa, N.C., Savage, M.J., Mabhaudhi, T., 2019. Modelling and measurement of water productivity and total evaporation in a dryland soybean crop. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 266, 65-72.
  • Savage, M.J., Abraha, M.G., Moyo, N.C., Babikir, ENS., 2014. Web-based teaching, learning and research using accessible real-time data obtained from field-based agrometeorological measurement systems. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 31, 13-23.
  • Kuyper, B., Labuschagne, C., Philibert, R., Moyo, N., Waldron, H., Reason, C., Palmer, C., 2012. Development of a Simplified, Cost Effective GC-ECD Methodology for the Sensitive Detection of Bromoform in the Troposphere. Sensors 12, 13583-13597.
  • Mengistu, M.G., Everson, C.S., Moyo, N.C., Savage, M.J., 2014. The validation of the variables (evaporation and soil moisture) in hydrometeorological models. Water Research Commission Report No. 2066/1/13, 181 pp, Pretoria, South Africa, ISBN 1-4312-0514-1.

In pursuit of academic excellence