Department of Geography

Prof DW Hedding

College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences
School of Ecological and Human Sustainability
Department: Geography
Tel: 011 471 2120


  • Antarctic Science
  • Climate change
  • Erosion
  • Geomorphology
  • Periglacial Processes
  • Weathering


  • PhD Geography (UP, 2014)
  • MSc Geography (UP, 2006) – cum laude
  • BSc(Hons) Geography (UP, 2003) – cum laude
  • BSc Geoinformatics (UP, 2002)

NRF Rating


Currently teaching

  • GGH3708 - Environmental Awareness and Responsibility

Fields of academic interests

  • Geomorphology
  • Climate change

Field of Specialisation

  • Geomorphology
  • GIS


Book Chapters:

  • Pretorius, R.W., Hedding, D.W., Nicolau, M.D. and Nkooe, E.S., 2015: Campus greening in open and distance learning: curriculum initiatives in the Department of Geography, University of South Africa. In Leal Filho, W., Sima, M., Edwin, G. and Nandhivarman, M. (eds), Implementing campus greening initiatives: approaches, methods and perspectives, Peter Lang Scientific Publishers, Frankfurt, pp. 277-293.
  • Boelhouwers, J.C., Meiklejohn, K.I., Holness, S. and Hedding, D.W., 2008: Geology, Geomorphology and Climate Change. In Chown, S.L. and Froneman, W. (eds), The Prince Edward Islands: Land-Sea Interactions in a Changing Ecosystem, Sun Press, Stellenbosch, pp. 65–96.

Journal articles

  • Rudolph, E.M., Hedding, D.W. and Nel., W., accepted: An open source geospatial database of the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands, South African Journal of Science.
  • Momberg, M., Ryan, P.G., Hedding, D.W., Schoombie, J., Goddard, K.A., Craig, K.J., and Le Roux, P.C., in press: Factors determining nest-site selection of surface-nesting seabirds: a case study on the world's largest pelagic bird, the Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans), Ibis. DOI: 10.1111/ibi.13111
  • Cramer M.D., Hedding, D.W., Greve, M., Midgley, G.F. and Ripley, B.S., in press: Plant specialisation may limit climate-induced vegetation change to within topographic and edaphic niches on a sub-Antarctic island, Functional Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.14123
  • Rudolph, E.M., Hedding, D.W. and Nel., W., 2022: A spatial model of Marion Island's palaeo-ice extent, Antarctic Science. DOI: 10.1017/S0954102022000293
  • Breetzke, G.D., Hedding, D.W. and Pijper, L., 2022: The academic staff profile of Geographers at higher education institutions (HEIs) in South Africa: the challenges for transformation, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 46(2), 222-240. DOI: 10.1080/03098265.2020.1856797
  • Xu, Z., Li, T., Li, G., Hedding, D.W., Wang, Y., Gou, L-.F., Zhao, L. and Chen, J., 2022: Lithium isotopic composition of soil pore water: Responses to evapotranspiration, Geology, 50(2), 194-198. DOI: 10.1130/G49366.1
  • Li, G., Yang, R., Xu, Z., Hartmann, J., Hedding, D.W., Li, X., Ernst, R.E., Li, Z-.H., Li, Z. and Chen, J., 2022: Oxygen isotopic alteration rate of continental crust recorded by detrital zircon and its implication for deep-time weathering, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 578, 117292. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2021.117292
  • Li, T., Hedding, D.W., Chen, J., and Li, G. 2021: Modulation of effective precipitation by temperature in the East Asian monsoon margins during Marine Isotope Stage 5, Geophysical Research Letters, 48(24), e2021GL095985. DOI: 10.1029/2021GL095985
  • Hedding, D.W. and Breetzke, G.D., 2021: ‘Here be dragons!’ The gross under-representation of the Global South on editorial boards in Geography, The Geographical Journal, 187(4), 331-345.  DOI: 10.1111/geoj.12405
  • Momberg, M., Hedding, D.W., Luoto, M. and Le Roux, P.C., 2021: Species differ in their responses to wind: The underexplored link between species fine-scale occurrences and variation in wind stress, Journal of Vegetation Science, 32(6), e13093. DOI: 10.1111/jvs.13093
  • Rudolph, E.M., Hedding, D.W. and Nel., W., 2021: The surface geology of the Prince Edward Islands: refined spatial data and call for geoconservation, South African Journal of Geology, 124(3), 627-638. DOI: 10.25131/sajg.0014
  • Pourret, O., Hedding, D.W., Ibarra, D.E., Irawan, D.E., Liu, H. and Tennant, J.P., 2021: International disparities in open-access practices in the earth sciences, European Science Editing, 47, e63663. DOI: 10.3897/ese.2021.e63663
  • Rudolph, E.M., Hedding, D.W. and Nel., W., 2021: The glacial geomorphology of sub-Antarctic Marion Island, Journal of Maps, 17(2), 313-324. DOI: 10.1080/17445647.2021.1931970
  • Momberg, M., Hedding, D.W., Luoto, M. and Le Roux, P.C., 2021: Exposing wind stress as a driver of fine‐scale variation in plant communities, Journal of Ecology, 109(5), 2121-2136. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.13625
  • Sumner, P.D., Rughooputh, S.D.D.V., Boojhawon, R., Dhurmea, K., Hedding, D.W., Le Roux, J.J., Pasnin, O., Tatayah, V., Zaynab, A. and Nel, W., 2021: Erosion studies on Mauritius: overview and research opportunities, South African Geographical Journal, 103(1), 65-81. DOI: 10.1080/03736245.2020.1795915
  • Nel, W., Boelhouwers, J.C., Borg, C-J., Cotrina, J.H., Hansen, C.D., Haussmann, N.S., Hedding, D.W., Meiklejohn, K.I., Nguna, A.A., Rudolph, E.M., Sinuka, S.S. and Sumner, P.D., 2021: Earth science research on Marion Island (1996-2020): a synthesis and new findings, South African Geographical Journal, 103(1), 22-42. DOI: 10.1080/03736245.2020.1786445
  • Breetzke G.D. and Hedding, D.W., 2020: The changing and challenging research landscape in South Africa, Studies in Higher Education, 45(11), 2245-2259. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2019.1602758
  • Hedding, D.W., 2020: Comment on “Clinopyroxene megacrysts from Marion Island, Antarctic Ocean: evidence for a late stage shallow origin” (2019) by R.J. Roberts, K.D. Lehong, A.E.J. Botha, G. Costin, F.C. De Beer, W.J. Hoffman and C.J. Hetherington, Mineralogy and Petrology, 114, 357-359. DOI: 10.1007/s00710-020-00713-z
  • Dilley, B., Hedding, D.W., Schoombie, S. and Ryan, P., 2020: A survey of Great-winged Petrels Pterodroma macroptera breeding at sub-Antarctic Marion Island and a revised global population estimate, Ostrich, 91(2), 101-106. DOI: 10.2989/00306525.2020.1721587
  • Wang, H., Li, X., Chen, Y., Li, Z., Hedding, D.W., Nel, W., Ji, J. and Chen, J., 2020: Geochemical behavior and potential health risk of heavy metals in basalt-derived agricultural soil and crops: a case study from Xuyi County, eastern China, Science of the Total Environment, 729, 139058. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139058
  • Hedding, D.W., Erofeev, A.A., Hansen, C.D., Khon, A.V., Abbasov, Z.R., 2020: Geomorphological processes and landforms of glacier forelands in the upper Aktru River basin (Gornyi Altai), Russia: evidence for rapid recent retreat and paraglacial adjustment, Journal of Mountain Science, 17(4), 824-837. DOI: 10.1007/s11629-019-5845-5
  • Rudolph, E.M., Hedding, D.W., Fabel, D., Hodgson, D.A., Gheorghiu, D.M., Shanks, R. and Nel, W., 2020: Early glacial maximum and deglaciation at sub-Antarctic Marion Island from cosmogenic 36Cl exposure dating, Quaternary Science Reviews, 231, 106208. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106208
  • Hedding, D.W., Greve, M., Breetzke, G.D., Nel, W. and Jansen van Vuuren, B., 2020: COVID-19 and the academe in South Africa: not business as usual, South African Journal of Science, 116(7/8), #8298. DOI: 10.1080/03736245.2020.1795915   
  • Hedding, D.W., 2020: Comments on “Factors affecting global flow of scientific knowledge in environmental sciences” by Sonne et al. (2020), Science of the Total Environment, 705, 135933. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135933
  • Hedding, D.W., 2020: Decoupling process from form in landscape evolution studies, GSA Today, 30(2), 6. DOI: 10.1130/GSATG422C.1
  • Hedding, D.W., Calvert, D.R., Tatayah, V., Cole, N., Ruhomaun, K., Khadun, A.K., Sumner, P.D., and Nel, W., 2020: A comprehensive study of erosivity and soil erosion over a small tropical islet: Round Island, Mauritius, Land Degradation & Development, 31(3), 372-382. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.3455
  • Chen, Y., Hedding, D.W., Li, X., Greyling, A.C. and Li, G., 2020: Weathering dynamics of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs): a case study from the Lesotho Highlands, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 530, 115871.  DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2019.115871
  • Li, L., Chen, J., Hedding, D.W., Fu, Y., Ye, M. and Li, G., 2020: Uranium isotopic constraints on the nature of the prehistoric flood at the Lajia site, China, Geology, 48(1), 15-18. DOI: 10.1130/G46306.1
  • Stowe, M-J., Hedding, D.W., Eckardt, F.D. and Nel, W., 2019: Temporal and spatial variability of stream water chemistry on sub-Antarctic Marion Island, Polar Research, 38, 3356. DOI:  10.33265/polar.v38.3356
  • Dilley, B., Hedding, D.W., Henry, D., Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G., Schoombie, S., Osborne, A., Ryan, P., 2019: Clustered or dispersed: testing the effect of sampling strategy to census burrow-nesting petrels with varied distributions at sub-Antarctic Marion Island, Antarctic Science, 31(5), 231-242. DOI:10.1017/S0954102019000300
  • Hedding, D.W., 2019: Payouts push professors towards predatory publishers, Nature, 565, 267. DOI: 10.1038/d41586-019-00120-1
  • Li, L., Chen, J., Chen, T., Chen, Y., Hedding, D.W., Li, G., Li, L., Li, T., Robinson, L.F., West, A.J., Wu, W., You, C-F., Zhao, L. and Li, G., 2018: Weathering dynamics reflected by the response of riverine uranium isotope disequilibrium to changes in denudation rate, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 500, 136-144. DOI: 10.1016/j.espl.2018.08.008
  • Li, L., Chen, J., Chen, Y., Hedding, D.W., Li, T., Li, L., Liu, X., Zeng, F., Wu, W., Zhao, L. and Li, G., 2018: Uranium isotopic constraints on the provenance of dust on the Chinese Loess Plateau, Geology, 46(9), 747-750. DOI: 10.1130/G45130.1.
  • Hedding, D.W., Brook, M.S., Winkler, S., 2018: Old landscapes, new eyes: Revisiting geomorphological research in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, New Zealand Geographer, 74(2), 109-112. DOI: 10.1111/nzg.12189
  • Breetzke G.D. and Hedding, D.W., 2018: The changing demography of academic staff at higher education institutions (HEIs) in South Africa, Higher Education, 76(1), 145-161. DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0203-4
  • Hedding, D.W. and Greve, M., 2018: Decreases in precipitation on sub-Antarctic Marion Island: Implications for ecological and geomorphological processes, Weather, 73, 203. DOI: 10.1002/wea.3245
  • Stowe, M-J., Hedding, D.W., Eckardt, F. and Nel, W., 2018: High frequency monitoring of stream water physicochemistry on sub-Antarctic Marion Island, WaterSA, 44(2), 283-289. DOI: 10.4314/wsa.v44i2.13
  • Rudolph, E.M., Meiklejohn, K.I., Hansen, C.D., Hedding, D.W. and Nel, W., 2018: Observations of rock glaciers in the Jutulsessen, Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica, Polish Polar Research, 39(1), 1-17. DOI: 10.24425/118736
  • Stowe, M-J., Harris, C., Hedding, D.W., Eckardt, F. and Nel, W. 2018: Hydrogen and oxygen isotope composition of precipitation and stream water on sub-Antarctic Marion Island, Antarctic Science, 30(2), 83-92. DOI: 10.1017/S0954102017000475
  • Peck, L. and Hedding, D.W., 2017: Developing a weather impact index for O.R. Tambo International Airport, South Africa, Weather and Forecasting, 32(4), 1529-1539. DOI: 10.1175/WAF-D-17-0007.1
  • Ansorge, I., Skelton, P., Bekker, A., de Bruyn, P.J.N., Butterworth, D., Cilliers, P., Cooper, J., Cowan, D.A., Dorrington, R., Fawcett, S., Fietz, S., Findlay, K.P., Froneman, P.W., Grantham, G.H., Greve, M., Hedding, D.W., Hofmeyr, G.J.G, Kosch, M., le Roux, P.C., Lucas, M., MacHutchon, K., Meiklejohn, K.I., Nel, W., Pistorius, P., Ryan, P.G., Stander, J., Swart, S., Treasure, A., Vichi, M. and Jansen van Vuuren, B., 2017: Exploring South Africa’s southern frontier: a 20-year vision for polar research through the South African National Antarctic Programme, South African Journal of Science, 113, a0205. DOI: 10.17159/sajs.2017/a0205
  • Bean, T.A., Sumner, P.D., Boojhawon, R., Tatayah, V., Khadun, A.K., Hedding, D.W., Rughooputh, S.D.D.V. and Nel, W., 2017: Bedrock-incised gully erosion phenomena on Round Island, Mauritius, Catena, 151, 107-117. DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2016.12.001
  • Hedding, D.W., 2016: Pronival ramparts: a review, Progress in Physical Geography, 40(6), 835-855. DOI: 10.1177/0309133316678148
  • Breetzke, G.D. and Hedding, D.W., 2016: The changing racial profile of academic staff at South African higher education institutions (HEIs), 2005-2013, African Education Review, 13(2), 147-164. DOI: 10.1080/18146627.2016.1224114
  • Hedding, D.W., 2016: Pronival ramparts: origin and development of terminology, Erdkunde, 70(2), 141-151. DOI: 10.3112/erdkunde.2016.02.03
  • Hedding, D.W., Hansen, C.D., Nel, W., Loubser, M., Le Roux, J.J. and Meiklejohn, K.I., 2016: Rock mass loss on a nunatak in Western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, 48(1), 1-8. DOI: 10.1657/AAAR0015-005
  • Hedding, D.W., Nel, W. and Anderson, R. L. 2015: Aeolian processes and landforms in the sub-Antarctic: preliminary observations from Marion Island, Polar Research, 34, 26365. DOI: 10.3402/polar.v34.26365.
  • Peck, L. and Hedding, D.W., 2014: Tourist perceptions of air travel and climate change: an assessment of the polluters pay principle in South Africa, African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 3(1), Open Access – Online.
  • Bentley, M.J., Cofaigh, C.Ó., Anderson, J.B., Conway, H., Davies, B., Graham, A.G.C., Hillenbrand, C.-D., Hodgson, D.A., Jamieson, S.S.R., Larter, R.D., Mackintosh, A., Smith, J.A., Verleyen, E., Ackert, R.P., Bart, P.J., Berg, S., Drunstein, D., Canals, M., Colhoun, E.A., Crosta, X., Dickens, W.A., Domack, E., Dowdeswell, J.A., Dunbar, R., Ehrmann, W., Evans, J., Favier, V., Fink, D., Fogwill, C.J., Glasser, N.F., Gohl., K., Golledge, N.R., Goodwin, I., Gore, D.B., Greenwood, S.L., Hall, B.L., Hall, K., Hedding, D.W., Hein, A.S., Hocking, E.P., Jakobsson, M., Johnson, J.S., Jomelli, V., Jones, R.S., Klages, J.P., Kristoffersen, Y., Kuhn, G., Leventer, A., Licht, K., Lilly, K., Lindow., J., Livingstone, S.J., Massé, McGlone, M.S., McKay, R.M., Melles, M., Miura, H., Mulvaney, R., Nel, W., Nitsche, F.O., O’Brein, P.E., Post, A.L., Roberts, S.J., Saunders, K.M., Selkirk, P.M., Simms, A.R., Spiegel, C., Stolldorf, T.D., Sugden, D.E., van de Putten, N., van Ommen, T., Verfaillie, D., Vyverman, W., Wagener, B., White, D.A. Witus, A.E. and Zwartz, D., 2014: A community-based geological reconstruction of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum, Quaternary Science Reviews, 100, 1-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.06.025
  • Hodgson, D.A., Graham, A.G.C., Roberts, S.J., Bentley, M.J., Cofaigh, C.Ó., Verleyen, E., Vyverman, W., Jomelli, V., Favier, V., Brunstein, D., Verfaillie, D., Colhoun, E.A., Saunders, K.M., Selkirk, P.M., Mackintosh, A., Hedding, D.W., Nel, W., Hall, K., McGlone, M.S., Van der Putten, N., Dickens, W.A. and Smith, J.A., 2014: Terrestrial and submarine evidence for the extent and timing of the Last Glacial Maximum and the onset of deglaciation on the maritime-Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands, Quaternary Science Reviews, 100, 137-159. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.12.001
  • Hedding, D.W. and Sumner, P.D., 2013: Diagnostic criteria for pronival ramparts: site, morphological and sedimentological characteristics, Geografiska Annaler, Series A: Physical Geography, 95(4), 315-322. DOI: 10.1111/geoa.12021
  • Hedding, D.W., 2011: Pronival rampart and protalus rampart: a review of terminology, Journal of Glaciology, 57(206), 1179-1180. DOI: 10.3189/002214311798843241
  • Hedding, D.W., Meiklejohn, K.I., Le Roux, J.J., Loubser, M. and Davis J.K., 2010: Some observations on the formation of an active pronival rampart at Grunehogna Peaks, Western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 21(4), 355-361. DOI: 10.1002/ppp.698
  • Hedding, D.W., 2008: Spatial inventory of landforms in the recently exposed Central Highland of sub-Antarctic Marion Island, South African Geographical Journal, 90(1), 11-21. DOI: 10.1080/03736245.2008.9725307
  • Hedding, D.W., Sumner, P.D., Meiklejohn, K.I. and Holness, S.D., 2007: Formation of a pronival rampart on sub-Antarctic Marion Island, Antarctic Science, 19(4), 443-450. DOI: 10.1017/S0954102007000582
  • Sumner, P.D., Hedding, D.W. and Meiklejohn, K.I., 2007: Rock surface temperatures in southern Namibia and implications for thermally-driven physical weathering, Zeitschrift fűr Geomorphologie Supplementbände, 51, 133-147. DOI: 10.1127/0372-8854/2007/0051S-0133
  • Sumner, P.D., Meiklejohn, K.I., Boelhouwers, J.C. and Hedding, D.W., 2004: Climate change melts Marion Island's snow and ice, South African Journal of Science, 100, 397-401.
  • Sumner, P.D., Meiklejohn, K.I., Nel, W. and Hedding, D.W., 2004: Thermal attributes of rock weathering: zonal or azonal? A comparison of rock temperatures in different environments, Polar Geography, 28, 81-94. DOI: 10.1080/789610119
  • Sumner, P.D., Meiklejohn, K.I., Boelhouwers, J.C. and Hedding, D.W., 2004: Climate change melts Marion Island's snow and ice, South African Journal of Science, 100, 397-401.
  • Sumner, P.D., Meiklejohn, K.I., Nel, W. and Hedding, D.W., 2004: Thermal attributes of rock weathering: zonal or azonal? A comparison of rock temperatures in different environments, Polar Geography, 28, 81-94. DOI: 10.1080/789610119

Paper presentations

Conferences since 2009

  • Hedding, D.W., 2012: Pronival ramparts: modes of genesis and diagnostic criteria, Southern African Association of Geomorphologists, Biennial Conference, Gobabeb, Namibia, 8-12 September.
  • Hedding, D.W. and Nel, W., 2010: Reinterpretation of a Cirque Moraine and Pronival Rampart at Killmore in the Eastern Cape Drakensberg, South Africa, Southern African Association of Geomorphologists, Biennial Conference, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, 3-5 September.
  • Hedding, D.W., 2009: A debris transport experiment at Grunehogna Peaks, Western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica: some observations for pronival rampart development, Society of South African Geographers’ Biennial Conference, St Georges Hotel, South Africa, 1-3 September.

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

  • NRF C1 Rated Researcher (2022)
  • NRF C2 Rated Researcher (2016 – 2021)
  • International Geographical Union Cold and High Altitude Committee (2017 – present)
  • Southern African Association of Geomorphologists (2006 – present; President: 2017-2019)
  • Society of South African Geographers (2006 – present)
  • 2012 Unisa Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence in Research
  • 2012 Unisa Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Tuition Award
  • 2018 Unisa Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence in Research


  • Principal Investigator NRF / NSFC Cooperation Grant 110777 (2018-2020) entitled ‘A comparative study on the weathering of basaltic fields: implications for landscape’ (R1.5 Million)
  • Co-investigator NRF SANAP Grant 110723 (2018-2020) entitled ‘Landscape and climate interactions in the sub-Antarctic’ (R2.1 Million)
  • The geomorphology of Round Island, Mauritius (2014 – present)
  • Landscape and Climate Interactions (NRF Grant 129235 – South African National Antarctic Programme)


Technical Reports:

  • von der Meden, C., van der Merwe, S., Adams, R., Dayaram, A., Sink, K., Lombard, A., Bosman, A., Fourie, F., Harris, L., Hedding, D., Holness, S., Majiedt, P., Makhado, A., Meyer, R., Pistorius, P., Reisinger, R., Skowno, A., Somhlaba, S., Swart, S. and Smith, M., 2019: 2: Ecosystem Classification and Mapping. In Whitehead, T.O., Von der Meden, C., Skowno, A.L., Sink, K.J., van der Merwe, S., Adams, R. and Holness, S. (eds), National Biodiversity Assessment 2018 Technical Report Volume 6: sub-Antarctic Territory, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.