School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences


The School is comprised of 14 disciplines that fall under five clusters: Biophysical Science, Geography, Geology, Production Sciences and Value-Adding.

Biophysical Sciences

Agricultural Meteorology

Agrometeorology involves the study of the transport of energy and water in soil-plant- atmosphere system. It concentrates on the lower atmosphere and upper layers of the earth.


Hydrology studies the complex water systems of the planet, the occurrence, distribution, movement, quality and properties of the waters of the Earth and their relationship with the environment.

Soil Science

Soil Science is the study of soils in the environment. It combines specialist areas such as soil physics, soil chemistry, soil mineralogy, soil microbiology and pedology (the study of soils in the field).

Picture of Prof Seifu Kebede

Prof Seifu Kebede

Academic Leader: Biophysical Sciences (Acting) | 033 260 6087

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Geography has a long tradition of interest in the complex relationships between people and the world in which they live. It focuses on the spatial and temporal distribution of elements of our natural environment and of aspects of the human occupancy of the earth.



Geology is a multi-disciplinary science, which studies the physical and chemical aspects of  the Earth – its surface processes, composition, structure and origin. Central to this is the  study of the formation and distribution of minerals and rocks.

Picture of Prof Michael Gebreslasie

Prof Michael Gebreslasie

Academic Leader: Geography | 031 260 8276

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Picture of Prof Molla Demlie

Prof Molla Demlie

Academic Leader: Geological Sciences | 031 260 7380

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Production Sciences

Animal & Poultry Science

Animal Science covers most aspects of animal production and animal products. Students investigate health, breeding, physiology, nutrition and environmental factors to optimise production.

Crop Science

Crop Science is the application of biological, chemical & physical principles to crops and cropping systems to increase their efficiency in converting light & supplemental resources into food, feed, fibre or floral commodities. 

Horticultural Science

Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients or ornamental purposes. Horticulturists grow flowers, fruits and nuts, vegetables, ornamental trees and lawns. 

Plant Breeding

Plant Breeding is the art & science of improving the heredity of plants for the benefit of mankind. The modern plant breeder is an accomplished biologist with a broad understanding of a host of different sciences.

Plant Pathology

Plant Pathology is the study of the organisms and environmental conditions that cause disease in plants. Plant Pathologists are concerned with the understanding of the dynamic processes involved in the plant health.

Picture of Prof Asanda Mditshwa

Prof Asanda Mditshwa

Academic Leader: Production Sciences (Acting) | 033 260 5504

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Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness

Agricultural Economics applies economic principles to solve agricultural and agribusiness  problems. Our degrees equip graduates for professional and senior management positions,  and are highly valued by employers. They give our graduates the flexibility to pursue a  wide range of career opportunities. 

Agricultural Extension & Rural Resources Management

This programme is designed to build the capacity of extension services through the provision of training and education that is relevant to the urgent issues facing agricultural and rural development. The programme offers a powerful combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills in agricultural extension, rural development, project management, agricultural production and farm economics and management. 

Dietetics & Human Nutrition

There is a vibrancy to this discipline which strives for excellence and has a social awareness which is clearly imparted to the students. Many of the world’s problems facing people today are directly or indirectly linked to human nutrition and social issues. To resolve these problems, this discipline’s graduates are equipped to be members of multi- disciplinary health and social development teams.

Food Security

This programme is offered through the African Centre for Food Security which aims to contribute towards eradicating food deprivation and promoting sustainable livelihoods among the people and nations of sub-Saharan Africa. This is done by facilitating professional training, conducting trans-disciplinary research, targeted information dissemination and informed advocacy.

Picture of Prof Muthulisi Siwela

Prof Muthulisi Siwela

Academic Leader: Value-Adding | 033 260 5459

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