Cleo Graf, Dr

Cleo Graf , Dr

Head: Responsible Resource Management Department

“Whatever the life we lead, whatever business we are in, we are all responsible for how we use and treat the resources around us”


As a child in England Cleo dreamed of warm places with wild areas. After finishing her honours and master’s degrees in the UK, Cleo took part in a conservation program in East Africa in 1999 and has never looked back.  As an ecologist she has lived and worked all over Southern Africa in some amazing conservation areas, had some awesome experiences, and witnessed many of the problems facing conservation in Africa. After finishing her PhD, she went looking for work that feels fun, is meaningful, and allows her to live more or less in the bush. That’s when she found SAWC.

Cleo has had several different jobs since joining the College as a consultant in 2015. Now, as the Head of the Responsible Resource Management Department, she combines her experiences with those of her team, to create and deliver engaging training focused on improving outcomes for people, plants, wildlife, livestock and landscapes in and around conservation areas across Southern Africa. Our training is diverse, inclusive, original and at the cutting edge of natural resource management practice. 


  • Doctorate of Philosophy (Ecology and Conservation) University of Groningen Thesis entitled “Biotic Determinants of Spatial Heterogeneity in a South African Savannah”
  • Master of Science (Biodiversity and Taxonomy) Imperial College, London Thesis entitled “The Evolution of the Human Endogenous Retrovirus Families H and L”
  • Bachelor of Science (Hons) (Applied Marine Biology) University of Liverpool


  • Agnes husseck, Klaus Hacklander, Cleo Graf, “Are ear notches an effective tool for monitoring individual rhino?” (in press) Paychderm.
  • Joris P.G.M. Cromsigt, Michiel Veldhuis, William Stock, Liza le Roux, Cleo Gosling, Sally Archibald, “The functional ecology of grazing lawns in a non-migratory system”. Chapter 6, Conserving Africa’s Mega-Diversity in the Anthropocene: The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park Story (2017), Eds. Joris P.G.M, Sally Archibald, Norman Owen-Smith.
  • Norman Owen-Smith, Cleo Gosling, Nicole Hagenah, Marcus Byrne, David Druce, “Features of the smaller fauna Chapter 9, Conserving Africa’s Mega-Diversity in the Anthropocene: The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park Story (2017), Eds. Joris P.G.M, Sally Archibald, Norman Owen-Smith.
  • Cleo M. Gosling, Maarten J.J. Schrama, Aafke van Erk, Joris P.G.M. Cromsigt, Contrasting effects of mammalian herbivores, vegetation structure, and rainfall on termite activity in an African savanna, (2016) Biotropica. doi:10.1111/btp.12337.
  • Gosling, C., Cromsigt, J., Mpanza, N., Olff, H., (2011). "Effects of Erosion from Mounds of Different Termite Genera on Distinct Functional Grassland Types in an African Savanna." Ecosystems: 1-12.
  • Buitenwerf, R, Stevens, N, Gosling, C, Anderson, T. M, Olff, H (2011). "Interactions between large herbivores and litter removing termites across a rainfall gradient in a South African savanna." Journal of Tropical Ecology 27(04): 375-382.