Dr Olga Kupika

Olga is an ecologist who has vast experience in the field of wildlife ecology and management, natural resources management, local ecological knowledge and community based biodiversity management. Olga has experience in multidisciplinary environmental and agricultural research contributing to the reduction of rural poverty and the sustainable use of natural resources for the benefits of small-scale farmers in Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs), Zimbabwe. Her research aims to contribute towards sustainable biodiversity conservation and livelihoods; green economy initiatives in the wildlife sector, foster linkages between science and policy; promote community based and ecosystem based adaptation and mitigation initiatives. Olga is currently working towards her PhD research on local ecological knowledge on climate change impacts, prediction and adaptation and mitigation in the context of a green economy in the Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve, Zimbabwe. The research used an interdisciplinary approach based on complementary theories from global environmental change, socio-ecological systems, sustainability, political ecology and local ecological knowledge perspectives to explore biodiversity related institutions under a changing climate in a semi-arid savannah. The research also analysed how legal and policy frameworks for wildlife management mainstream climate change issues at international, regional, national and local level.

Olga has collaborated with several networks on research related to natural resource management, plant ecology, human wildlife interactions, intangible cultural heritage, climate change, biodiversity management and conservation, at local, regional and international level. Her professional experience is evident in research outputs on climate change policy, impacts and adaptation, biodiversity policy and climate change, indigenous knowledge systems and biodiversity conservation, plant ecology, social ecology, wildlife ecology and conservation. She is currently working as a Lecturer and a Researcher at the Chinhoyi University of Technology.

Olga`s publications

  1. Kupika, O.L., Kativu, S., Gandiwa, E. and Gumbie, A. (2014) Impact of African elephants on baobab (Adansonia digitata ) population structure in northern Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe. Tropical Ecology.
  2. Muposhi, V.K., Utete, B, Muvengwi, J., Kupika, O. L., Chiutsi, S., Tarakini, T. (2013)Activity budgets of Impala (Aepyceros melampus) under closed environments: the Mukuvisi Woodland experience, Zimbabwe International Journal of Biodiversity 01/2013; Volume 2013:Article ID 270454, 8 pages.
  3. Zisadza-Gandiwa, P., Gandiwa, E., Mabika, C.T., Kupika O. L., Murungweni C. (2013) Vegetation structure and composition across different land-use in a semi-arid savanna, southernZimbabwe International Journal of Biodiversity 04/2013; DOI:
  4. Kupika, O.L., Utete, B., Mwedzi, T., Chibememe, G., Mapingure, C., Muzari, W. M., and Danha, C., (2013) Climate change and variability as perceived by river dependent rural communities in Makonde District, Chinhoyi Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe Journal of Technological Sciences
  5. Angella Gumbi, Qhondani-enkosini Sibanda, Margaret Macherera, Lindani Moyo & Olga Laiza Kupika , Arboricultural Journal (2014): Assessment of woody vegetation cover changes in Bulawayo over the period 1990–2010, Arboricultural Journal: The International Journal of Urban Forestry, DOI: 10.1080/03071375.2013.876165
  6. Muzari, W. Kupika, O.L., Danha, C. and Mapingure, C. (2013) The impact of agricultural technology use on productivity and food security among small stakeholder farmers: a case study of Makonde district., Journal of Agricultural Extension And Rural Development Volume 5 (10) 225-231 DOI: 10. 5893.
  7. Gladman Chibememe, Never Muboko, Edson Gandiwa, Olga L. Kupika, Victor K. Muposhi & Gilbert Pwiti (2014) Embracing indigenous knowledge systems in the management of dryland ecosystems in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area: the case of Chibememe and Tshovani communities, Chiredzi, Zimbabwe, Biodiversity, 15:2-3, 192-202, DOI: 10.1080/14888386.2014.934715
  8. Muposhi, V. K., Chinyandura, A., Gandiwa, E., Muvengwi, J., Muboko, N., Taru, P. and Kupika, O. L. 2014. Post-release monitoring of diet profile and diet quality of reintroduced African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in Umfurudzi Park, Zimbabwe. Tropical Conservation Science Vol.7 (3):440-456. Available online:
  9. Chibememe G, Dhliwayo M, Gandiwa E, Mutisi S, Muboko N and Kupika O.L (2014) Review of the national laws and policies that support or undermine indigenous peoples and local communities in Zimbabwe, National Justice, Ford Foundation Technical Report
  10. Mbereko Alexio, Scott Dianne & Kupika Olga Laiza (2015) First generation land reform in Zimbabwe: historical and institutional dynamics Informing household’s vulnerability in the Nyamakate resettlement community. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa 17:3, 21-40
  11. Kupika, O.L. & Nhamo, G., (in press), ‘Mainstreaming biodiversity and wildlife management into climate change policy frameworks in selected east and southern African countries’, Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 8(3),
  12. Kupika, O. L., & Nhamo, G. (2017). Mainstreaming Climate Change into Wildlife Policy. Sustainability, Climate Change and the Green Economy, 214.