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Our Researchers

Ms Linda Downsborough



Tel: +27 11 950 4130

  • Master of Education (Environmental Education) with Distinction, Rhodes University
  • BSc Hons (Environmental Science), Rhodes University
2019 Teaching Commitments
  • ZPG 4047

  • ZPG4043
  • ZPG4825
  • Yong Water Professionals
  • Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa (EEASA)
Research interests

Linda Downsborough is fascinated by learning and the ways in which people learn. As such social learning and communities of practice are of particular interest to her. She has been involved in several WRC projects ranging from the National Freshwater Ecosystems Priorities Area Projects, to work on estuaries, restoration ecology and most recently water use in Indigenous African vegetables. She also has a number of peer reviewed journal article’s spanning the fields of social learning, conservation, inter and transdisciplinary research, benefit sharing and water governance

Peer-reviewed Publications
  • Förster, J., Downsborough, L. and Chomba, M. (2017). When Policy Hits Practice: Structure, Agency and Power in South African Water Governance. Society and Natural Resources
  • KJ Esler, L Downsborough, DJ Roux, J Blignaut, S Milton, D le Maitre and MP de Wit. (2016).   Interdisciplinary and multi-institutional higher learning: reflecting on a South African case study investigating complex and dynamic environmental challenges. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 19:76–86.
  • Downsborough, L. (2014). Promoting freshwater conservation through meaningful learning interactions. The Sustainable Water Resource Handbook. Volume 5. 57-61. ISBN 978 0 6204 5065 7.
  • Audouin, M., R. Preiser, S. Nienaber, L. Downsborough, J. Lanz, and S. Mavengahama. (2013). Exploring the implications of critical complexity for the study of social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society. 18(3): 12
  • Nkhata, B.A., Mosimane, A., Downsborough, L., Breen, C. and Roux, D.J. (2012). A Typology of Benefit Sharing Arrangements for the Governance of Social-Ecological Systems in Developing Countries. Ecology and Society. 17(1).
  • Downsborough, L., Shackleton, C. & Knight, A. (2011). The Potential for Voluntary Instruments to Achieve Conservation Planning Goals: the Case of Conservancies in South Africa. Oryx International Journal of Conservation. 45(3) 357-364.
  • Downsborough, L. (2009). Social Learning processes in a Citrus Farming Community of Practice. Southern African Journal of Environmental Education (26) 167-175.
  • Shackleton, C, Parkin, F, Chauke, I, Downsborough, L, Olsen, A, Brill, G & Weideman, C. (2009). Conservation, commercialization and confusion: harvesting of Ischyrolpis in a coastal forest, South Africa. Environment, Development and Sustainability 11(2). Springer: Netherlands.
  • Downsborough, L., Olvitt, L. & Lotz-Sisitka, H. (2008). EEASA Monograph- Learning in a Changing World: Selected papers from the 4th World Environmental Education Congress. ShareNet, Howick. 164pp.
Research reports
  • Downsborough, L., Chomba, MJ., Masiri, B. and Muchara, B. 2016. Achieving Resilience by Design: a selection of case studies. August 2016. 23pp.
  • Downsborough, L. and Stols, H. 2014. Examining Postgraduate student experiences in a Private Higher Education Institution. Monash South Africa Internal report. November 2014. 14pp
  • Downsborough, L., Chiluwe, Q.W., Ncube, N,N., Masiri, B. Foerster, J., Chomba, M., Musutu, S.A., Nazare, N. and Taneja, J. National Youth Water Summit Report. Department of Water and Sanitation. August 2014. 54pp
  • Reimers, B., Downsborough, L., de Wet, L., and Weah, C. Fauna Specialist Assessment for the proposed Putu Iron Ore Mine, Liberia. Digby Wells Environmental prepared for Atkins Global. November 2013. ATK1963.
  • Nel, J.L., Murray, K.M., Maherry, A., Petersen, C.P., Roux, D.J., Driver, A.L., Hill, L., Funke, N., Swartz, E.R., Smith-Adao, L.B., Mbona, N., Downsborough, L., Nienaber, S. And van Deventer, H. Technical Report for the National Freshwater Ecosystem Priority Areas project. Water Research Commission, WRC Report No. 1801/2/11. ISBN: 978-1-4312-0149-5
  • Breen, C.M., Downsborough, L., Roux, D.J. and Crafford, J. Impact Study of the Estuarine Research and Related Activities Funded by the Water Research Commission. Water Research Commission, WRC Report No. KV 257/10. ISBN: 978-1-4312-0068-9
International Conference Presentations
  • Downsborough, L., Chomba, M.J., Splichalova, D., McCracken, M., Dhilwayo, E., Rimau, T. (December 2017). Addressing Gaps to Attain Water Security. Young Water Professionals Conference, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Downsborough, L and Schoeman, Y. (June 2018).  The Diffusion of Phytotechnological Floating Treatment Wetland Technology in Integrated Watershed Management in the City of Johannesburg, South Africa. Insaka International Benefit Sharing Conference, Kruger National Park, South Africa.
National Conference Presentations
  • Downsborough, L. (10 October 2010) Benefit Sharing in Social Ecological Systems.
  • ASSAf-DST-NRF First Annual South African Young Scientists’ Conference. Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Downsborough, L. (2 July 2011). Exploring the logic of complexity for researching social ecological systems: the case of the National Freshwater Ecosystems Priority Areas Project.  3rd Young Water Professional Conference. CSIR: Pretoria, South Africa, 2-4 July 2011.
  • Downsborough, L. (5 June 2012). Social learning in benefit sharing. Third INSAKA Symposium, Windhoek, Namibia, 4-8 June 2012
  • Downsborough, L. (1-3 July 2014) Youth Moving the Nation forward: building careers in the water sector
  • National Youth Water Summit. 1-3 July 2014
  • Nyaradzo Nazare, Charles Breen and Linda Downsborough. (11 August 2016). Resilience and the Mooi River dairy farmers. Achieving Resilience by Design, Pietermaritzburg.
Other Professional Activities

Secretariat Member of Insaka

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