Faculty profile headshot photo of David Bunn

David Bunn


Forest Sciences Centre 2614
2424 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

I am an interdisciplinary South African scientist and public intellectual. I joined UBC very recently from a position as a senior research scientist in the Natural Resource Ecology Lab at Colorado State University. Before that, I was a senior professor and head of school at South Africa’s largest university, and served in the second generation of South Africa’s post-apartheid government, helping to frame new national policies for arts and tourism funding and the archiving of indigenous knowledge. For years, I was also academic director of Wits Rural Facility, a prestigious research game reserve, where I worked on post-apartheid land restoration cases, collaborated on UNESCO-sponsored programs for the expansion of protected areas, and made a documentary film. My abiding interest is in borders, boundaries, and the communities that live on the edges of protected areas globally. In South Africa, this has meant decades of research on human-wildlife interactions generally, and the life histories of refugees crossing South Africa’s Kruger National Park in particular. My current project with NASA combines satellite remote sensing, terrestrial camera trap data, and community stakeholder engagements on the borders of the Kruger National Park.

Some of my research interests are:

  • South African environmental history and political geography
  • Political ecology of protected areas
  • Conservation, sovereignty, and rights
  • Land claims and reparation
  • Human-animal coexistence and assemblages
  • Multi-species geography and lively commodities
  • Post-traumatic conservation landscapes, rewilding
  • Equitable co-management of protected areas (especially in southern Africa, Central America, South Asia, and Nepal)

Selected Publications

Publications data not available.