Tiza Mfuni is a dual-title Ph.D. student in Geography and African Studies. Broadly, Tiza is interested in human-livestock-wildlife-forest interfaces in African landscapes. He is particularly interested in the spatiotemporal evolution of multiscalar conservation and development agenda(s), their roles in African livelihood decisions, and how these modify landscape processes. He seeks to draw from critical geography and decolonial theory to understand the origins, character, and influences of human land use decisions on/in landscapes and what this means for ecosystem provisions or services such as food and nutrition.
Prior to joining Penn State, Tiza worked at the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) as part of highly interdisciplinary research projects on topics such as landscape approaches to governance and use, sustainable wildlife management, energy and income, and food security and nutrition, for sustainable landscapes and livelihoods. Tiza has worked with organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the European Union, USAID, the World Bank, and the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). Much of the work he has done has contributed to changes in Zambia’s foresty and development policies, regional trade, and international approaches to conservation by providing a better understanding of human-environment interfaces within communities that depend on their environments. His latest research seeks to understand how narratives and discourses in biodiversity conservation in Zambia shape conservation outcomes, and their possible impacts on local communities.
Tiza has a B.Eng in Geomatics from the University of Zambia and an MSc in Forestry and Wood Sciences from Stellenbosch University in South Africa.