Dr Dimitri Veldkornet
Plant Sciences
Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Plant Sciences
Internal Box 64

Short CV

I completed my PhD in Botany in 2016 at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. My thesis focused on the distribution of estuarine plants and vegetation in South Africa. I have a broad base training in ecology with post-graduate specialization in estuarine ecology and environmental management.

I joined the University of the Free State in July 2021 as a lecturer in Ecology. I was Senior Lecturer in Veld Management and Pasture Science at the University of Limpopo (2020-2021). In 2020, I was an Associate Lecturer (Second-year Population Biology) in the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology of the University of the Western Cape. In 2019, I was a part-time Lecturer (Game Ranch Management – Rangeland Studies I) in the School of Natural Resource Management of the Nelson Mandela University, South Africa. Between 2017 and 2018, I was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, University of the Western Cape, South Africa. During this time, I have lectured first-year Community Ecology (large class teaching) in the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology. I have also supervised Honours students. At NMMU, I was a Lecturer Assistant/Laboratory technician (2010) where I worked within the extended phase studies (small group teaching and tutorials). I also have teaching experience at primary and secondary school.

I am conducting research on vegetation and its response to climate change which includes, phylogenetic, environmental (soil) analysis and species distribution modelling using climate and other geospatial datasets (GIS). I have co-authored ten scientific papers over the past five years. I have also presented my research at numerous conferences and peer-reviewed papers for Annals of Botany, Journal of Mountain Science, South African Journal of Botany, American Journal of Botany, International Journal of Soil Science, and Estuaries and Coasts.

I have extensive research experience and have been participating in various environmental management studies (for catchments and estuaries) at a local and national scale and have been participating in several environmental education programs (e.g. National Marine Week, National Science Week, conferences and public schools). I believe that effective conservation and management of our natural resources is not possible without environmental education.


  1. Veldkornet, D.A., 2023. The Influence of Macroclimatic Drivers on the Macrophyte Phylogenetic Diversity in South African Estuaries. Diversity, 15(9), p.986. https://doi.org/10.3390/d15090986. (Accredited Journals
  2. Veldkornet D.A., Rajkaran A., Swapan P., Naidoo G. 2019. Oil induces chlorophyll de?cient propagules in mangroves. Marine pollution bulletin, 150, p.110667https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.110667. (Accredited Journals)


  3. Brown C.E., Veldkornet D.A., Boatwright J.S., Engelbrecht A., and Rajkaran A. 2019. The phylogeography and genetic diversity of the salt marsh species Salicornia tegetaria (S. Steffen, L. Mucina and G. Kadereit) Piirainen and G. Kadereit, endemic to South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique. South African Journal of Botany, 123, 270-277. (Accredited Journals)


  4. Veldkornet D.A, Rajkaran A., Adams J.B. The influence of Pleistocene dynamics on the South African salt marsh species Sarcocornia pillansii (Moss) AJ Scott (Amaranthaceae): Inferences from phylogeography and species distribution modelling. PeerJ Preprints. 2018 May 12; 6:e26927v1. (Accredited Journals)


  5. Veldkornet D.A., Adams J.B., Boatwright J.S., Rajkaran A. 2019. Barcoding of Estuarine Macrophytes and Phylogenetic Diversity of Estuaries along the South African Coastline. Genome, 62, 585-595.dx.doi.org/10.1139/gen-2018-0067. (Accredited Journals)


  6. Veldkornet D.A., Rajkaran A., 2019. Predicting shifts in the geographical distribution of two estuarine plant species from the subtropical and temperate regions of South AfricaWetlands, 39(6), 1179-1188. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157019-01218-y



  7. Veldkornet, D., Adams, J.B., Potts, A. 2015. Where do you draw the line? Determining the transition thresholds between estuarine salt marshes and terrestrial vegetation.South African Journal of Botany 101, 153-159. (Accredited Journals)


  8. Veldkornet D.A. Adams, J.B., van Niekerk, L. 2015. Characteristics and landcover of estuarine boundaries: implications for the delineation of the South African estuarine functional zone. African Journal of Marine Science 37(3), 313-323. (Accredited Journals)


  9. Adams, J. B., D. Veldkornet, and P. Tabot. 2016. Distribution of macrophyte species and habitats in South African estuaries. South African Journal of Botany 107, 5-11. (Accredited Journals)


  10. Potts, A. J., D. A. Veldkornet, and J. B. Adams. 2016. A phylogeographic break in a South African coastal saltmarsh macrophyte, Juncus kraussiiSouth African Journal of Botany 107, 80-83. (Accredited Journals)


  11. Veldkornet, D. A., A. J. Potts, and J. B. Adams. 2016. The distribution of salt marsh macrophyte species in relation to physicochemical variables. South African Journal of Botany 107, 84-90. (Accredited Journals)

Courses Presented

BLGY1643 - The interdependence of plants and life on earth

This module contains fundamental knowledge, theories, principles and practices of Plant Sciences , including: the important role plants played during the development of life on earth. Included will be the following:
-the transition from single celled water living algae to terrestrial plants with roots, stems and leaves; -the subsequent adaptation of photosynthesis with the resultant enrichment of the atmosphere with oxygen;
-the influence of plants on the climate and development of habitats on land;
-the diversification and domestication of plants as one of the major driving forces in the diversification of animals and humans;
-the adaptations of plants to different ecological niches that allowed the colonization of the whole planet; and
-the important role of plants in daily life would be emphasized in terms of the carbon footprint, human nutrition and restoration of disturbed areas.
-the module will include two direct applications of plants in terms of plant breeding and plant pathology.


BTNY2622 - Field excursion 1

This module contains fundamental knowledge, theories, principles and practices of Plant Sciences (Botany) that will be explored during an eco-physiological field excursion, including biotic and abiotic stress and its influence on plant growth types, an introduction to various physiological survey methods, data processing and analysis. Recognition and interpretation of morphological and physiological stress indicators in plants to ensure the sustainable rehabilitation of disturbed areas are also included.


BTNY3734 - Vegetation science and environmental management

This module contains fundamental knowledge, theories, principles and practices of Plant Sciences (Botany). Vegetation science deals with the structure and composition of plant communities. The vegetation is classified into ecologically (past to present) recognizable units. Quantitative analyses, classification and ecological interpretation techniques, bio-monitoring techniques of terrestrial and wetland ecosystems, as well as rehabilitation methods will be discussed. During the practical, identification of species and plant survey techniques will be explained and the different environmental factors, influencing vegetation, will be pointed out.

BTNY3764 - Ecophysiology: soil-plant-water interactions

This module contains fundamental knowledge about the influence of environmental factors, such as soil health and water availability, on plant health. Biomass production of crops is often directly proportional to the amounts of
radiation intercepted, water transpired and nutrients taken up. The module content discuss how the rate of mineralization of from organic matter and the processes of nutrient loss are closely related to the availability of soil water. Soil conditions and -health, which indirectly affects nutrient supply, therefore has a large influence on the quantity of radiation intercepted and hence, biomass production and yield will be affected. Interacting effects of the carbon dioxide levels on photosynthesis and respiration metabolism, also pertaining to yield physiology, is also included.



Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531

Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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