S. MacFadyen MSc.

PhD researcher


Sandra MacFadyen is a joint-PhD student with the Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University in South Africa and Environmental Geography Group, Vrije University in the Netherlands. Her research is focused on understanding landscape dynamics in protected areas and developing rapid and repeatable methods for biodiversity mapping.


Previously employed as the GeoSpatial Analyst for Scientific Services, South African National Parks (SANParks), Sandra has over 15 years expertise in Geographic Information Science (GIS) with a strong interest in applied geographical modelling and spatial ecology.

Academic training

CurrentPhD: Landscape Ecology (Botany)
2008-2010MSc: Geographic Information Science (GIS)
2001-2002Baccalaureus Technologiae: Nature Conservation
1997-1999National Diploma: Nature Conservation

Professional employment history

2000-2013South African National Parks, Scientific Services. Geographic Information Science (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) Analyst

Selected publications

MacFadyen, S., Hui, C., Verburg, P.H. & van Teeffelen, A.J.A. (2016). Quantifying spatiotemporal drivers of environmental heterogeneity in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Landscape Ecology. Forthcoming.

Le Roux, J.J., Foxcroft, L.C., Herbst, M. & MacFadyen, S. (2014). Genetic analysis shows low levels of hybridization between African wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica) and domestic cats (F. s. catus) in South Africa. Ecology and Evolution, 5(2), 288–299.

van Wilgen, B., Govender, N., Smit, I.P.J. & MacFadyen, S. (2014). The ongoing development of a pragmatic and adaptive fire management policy in a large African savanna protected area. Journal of Environmental Management, 132, 358–368.

Smit, I.P.J., Smit, C.F., Govender, N., van der Linde, M. & MacFadyen, S. (2013). Rainfall, geology and landscape position generate large-scale spatiotemporal fire pattern heterogeneity in an African savanna. Ecography, 36(4), 447–459.

Jarošík, V., Pyšek, P., Foxcroft, L.C., Richardson, D.M., Rouget, M. & MacFadyen, S. (2011). Predicting Incursion of Plant Invaders into Kruger National Park, South Africa: The Interplay of General Drivers and Species-Specific Factors. PLoS ONE, 6(12):e28711.

Hui, C., Foxcroft, L.C., Richardson, D.M. & MacFadyen, S. (2011). Defining optimal sampling effort for large-scale monitoring of invasive alien plants: a Bayesian method for estimating abundance and distribution. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48(3),768–776.

Kruger, J. & MacFadyen, S. (2011). Science support within the South African National Parks adaptive management framework. Koedoe, 53(2), 178–184.

Foxcroft, L.C., Richardson, D.M., Rouget, M. & MacFadyen, S. (2009). Patterns of alien plant distribution at multiple spatial scales in a large national park: implications for ecology, management and monitoring. Diversity and Distributions, 15, 367–378.

van Wilgen, B., Govender, N. & MacFadyen, S. (2008). An assessment of the implementation and outcomes of recent changes to fire management in the Kruger National Park. Koedoe, 50(1), 22–31.

Peel, M.J.S., Kruger, J.M. & MacFadyen, S. (2007). Woody vegetation of a mosaic of protected areas adjacent to the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Journal of Vegetation Science, 18, 807–814.

Wessels, K.J., Prince, S.D., Zambatis, N., MacFadyen, S., Frost, P.E. & Van Zyl, D. (2006). Relationship between herbaceous biomass and 1-km2 Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) NDVI in Kruger National Park, South Africa. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 27(5), 951–973.

Foxcroft, L.C., Rouget, M., Richardson, D.M. & MacFadyen, S. (2004). Reconstructing 50 years of Opuntia stricta invasion in the Kruger National Park, South Africa: environmental determinants and propagule pressure. Diversity and Distributions, 10, 427–437.