Prof Kevin Kirkman

Kirkman, Kevin

Prof Kevin Kirkman

Professor Kevin Kirkman graduated from the University of Natal with a PhD in Grassland Science. He worked as a researcher for the Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture for 9 years, involved in research in veld management. He then joined Clover for 2 years as a pasture advisor in the dairy industry. In 2001 he joined the University of KwaZulu-Natal as Professor of Grassland Science, and has continued his research in veld ecology and management.
He has also been the Head of the School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Science and Agriculture and is currently the Dean of Research for the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

My publications

Harpole WS, Sullivan LL, Lind EM, Firn J, Adler PB, Borer ET, Chase J, Fay PA, Hautier Y, Hillebrand H, MacDougall AS, Seabloom EW, Williams R, Bakker JD, Cadotte MW, Chaneton EJ, Chu C, Cleland EE, D’Antonio C, Davies KF, Gruner DS, Hagenah N, Kirkman K, Knops JMH, La Pierre KJ, McCulley RL, Moore JL, Morgan JW, Prober SM, Risch AC, Schuetz M, Stevens CJ & Wragg PD 2016. Addition of multiple resources reduces grassland diversity. Nature 537: 93-96.


Smith MD, Knapp AK, Collins SL, Burkepile DE, Kirkman KP, Koerner SE, Thompson DI, Blair JM, Burns CE, Eby S, Forrestel EJ, Fynn RWS, Govender N, Hagenah N, Hoover DL & Wilcox KR 2016. Shared drivers but divergent ecological responses: insights from long-term experiments in mesic savanna grasslands. Bioscience 66: 666-682.


Kirkman KP, Collins SL, Smith MD, Knapp AK, Burkepile DE, Burns CE, Fynn RWS, Hagenah N, Koerner SE, Matchett KJ, Thompson DI, Wilcox KR & Wragg PD. Responses to fire differ between South African and North American grassland communities. Journal of Vegetation Science 25: 793-804.


Adler PB, Seabloom EW, Borer ET, Hillebrand H, Hautier Y, Hector H, Harpole WS, O’Halloran LR, Grace JB, Anderson TM, Bakker JD, Biederman LA, Brown CS, Buckley YM, Calabrese LM, Chu CJ, Cleland EE, Collins SL, Cottingham KL, Crawley MJ, Damschen EI, Davies KF, DeCrappeo NM, Fay PA, Firn J, Frater P, Gasarch EI, Gruner DS, Hagenah N, Hille Ris Lambers J, Humphries H, Jin VL, Kay AD, Kirkman KP, Klein JA, Knops JMH, La Pierre KL, Lambrinos JG, Li W, MacDougall AS, McCulley RL, Melbourne BA, Mitchell CE, Moore JL, Morgan JW, Mortensen B, Orrock JL, Prober SM, Pyke DA, Risch AC, Schuetz M, Smith MD, Stevens CJ, Sullivan LL, Wang G, Wragg PD, Wright JP & Yang LH 2011. Productivity Is a Poor Predictor of Plant Species Richness. Science 333: 1750-1752.


Fynn RWS, Wragg PD, Morris CD, Kirkman KP & Naiken J 2009. Vegetative traits predict grass species’ invasiveness and the invasibility of restored grassland. African Journal of Range and Forage Science 26: 59-68.

My research

Ecology and functioning of natural and modified grasslands and savannas in both agricultural and conservation environments, including general vegetation ecology with a focus on vegetation-animal-fire-environment interactions in grassland and savanna areas and restoration of disturbed landscapes.