Prof. Nicoli Nattrass


Prof Nicoli Nattrass is a development economist with an inter-disciplinary background in social science. She has a doctorate from Oxford and is a regular visiting professor at Yale. She won the UCT teachers award (in 2001) and has twice won the UCT book award in 2005 (for 'The Moral Economy of AIDS in South Africa') and in 2014 (for 'The AIDS Conspiracy: Science Fights Back' (2012) Her published work (72 journal articles and 8 books) is predominantly on the political economy of inequality and health in South Africa and on the interface between science and society. Her work in iCWild focusses on the socio-economic determinants of human-wildlife conflict and on the role of science in policy-making.

Contact details:


Office: Rm 4.29.1 Leslie Social Science Building,Upper Campus

Ongoing research projects:

  1. Conflict between sheep farmers and predators (caracals and jackals) in the Karoo. This is a multi-disciplinary collaborative book project with Justin O’Riain, Marine Drouilly and Beatrice Conradie.
  2. The socio-economic and spatial determinants of rodent presence in Khayelitsha. This is a mixed methods project involving qualitative research on rodent control strategies in the area as well as a quantitative (random, stratified) survey of Site C. Jed Stephens designed the sample and is managing the survey and recording potential rodent breeding sites for subsequent spatial analysis. Fezeka Lephaila is collecting qualitative and quantitative data on social responses to rats and mice. Jorich Loubser is conducting qualitative research on efforts (and various obstacles and challenges involved) by local officials and a raptor rehabilitation centre to shift away from poison control of rodents. 
  3. Development with surplus labour: Labour-intensity, the global clothing industry and the political-economy of job destruction in South Africa. This is a collaborative book project with Jeremy Seekings.