School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Dr Rani Zikhona Theodora


Dr Rani is from East London in the Eastern Cape where she completed her studies in Bachelor of Science (Agriculture- Animal Science) through to a PhD in Animal Science at the University of Fort Hare (UFH). Dr Zikhona T. Rani joined the discipline of Animal and Poultry Science in July 2017 as a lecturer and is responsible for teaching undergraduates and supervising postgraduate students (MSc and PhD). Currently, she has initiated a rabbit project at the Ukulinga Research Farm focusing on outlining the “Opportunities for rabbit Farming in South Africa”. This research project is supported by the National Research foundation (NRF) and Zikhona is the recipient of the “Black Academics Advancement Programme” which was initiated to give support to the emerging researchersThrough this rabbit project, she is conducting research whereby the communal rabbit farmers are trained on animal handling (specifically rabbits) as well as breeding rabbits for the rural farmers to take and farm at their homesteads.

Her goal is to produce a cheaper feed source for the local communal farmers that will enable them to produce rabbit meat which could become a dominant protein source, accessible on the open market in South Africa and contribute to food securityShe believes that this experimental project will play a major role in outlining the importance of rabbit farming and its potential as a niche area in the Agricultural sector. As a meat specialist, she believes that rabbit production can alleviate poverty and animal protein deficiency within the country. Zikhona has attended several national and international conferences. A well-groomed and grounded researcher with moral work ethics, knowledge of both qualitative and quantitative research methods.  

She is married and has been blessed with two kids (boy &girl). After work, she enjoys spending time with her family. 



Research interests

Dr Rani’s area of interest is Meat Science and she has done a lot of research work with abattoirs, retailers, consumers, communal & commercial farmers and community engagement projects. Part of her community engagement projects include projects on Production, meat quality, safety and food security. Her focus area includes research on Meat Safety, Animal welfare, nutrition of meat and meat products. Her goal is to become a scientist who will derive research methods that will improve farmer’s livelihoods and the industry at large. 


Research profiles