Researcher Profiles

Comprehensive Database of all UZ leading Research and Innovation endeavors

Prof. Mhosisi Masocha


PhD Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation, Wageningen University/ITC, 2010; MPhil in Geography, University of Zimbabwe, 2004; BA Honours in Geography, University of Zimbabwe, 2000;

Academic Appointments:

Senior Lecturer; Chairperson

Research Interests:

1. Applied Geoinformation Science & Earth Observation to support the resource industries, disease surveillance, crop yield estimation, sustainable natural resources management
2. Mathematical and Spatial Modelling of biological invasions and infectious diseases to aid targeted surveillance and control

Faculty: Science
Department: Geography Geospatial Sciences and Earth Observation
Research Category: Geography and Environmental Science

Dr. Mhosisi Masocha is Professor of Geospatial Science at the University of the Zimbabwe. He specialises in the environmental applications of cutting-edge Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Global Position System (GPS) & Earth Observation technologies. His recent research interests include: invasive alien species management, remote sensing of water quality, wildlife monitoring from space and modelling of transmission dynamics of diseases in a changing climate. Mhosisi has published over 70 papers in peer-reviewed international scientific journals. Some of the new GIS-based mathematical models he co-developed are now being widely used for invasive species management as well as for geographically targeted disease surveillance and control.

Mhosisi Masocha was born on the 9th of May 1975 in Masvingo. He did his Advanced level education at Hama High School (1993-1994). In 1997, he enrolled with the University of Zimbabwe to read for an honours degree in Geography, which he completed in 2000. In January 2001, he joined the University of Zimbabwe as a research assistant in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science. In 2002, while working as a research assistant, he started reading for a Master of Philosophy degree. He completed the master’s degree in 2004 and was appointed a teaching assistant. In July 2005, the University of Zimbabwe appointed him a full-time lecturer in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science. In August 2005, he won the Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (NUFFIC) fellowship, which funded his doctoral study with the International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) and Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He commenced his PhD study in January 2006 and graduated March 2010. He is still with the University of Zimbabwe, teaching Geospatial Intelligence, Remote Sensing, and Spatial Analysis.

Mhosisi is also a registered cattle breeder running a family-operated Brahman stud business in central Zimbabwe. His primary focus and specialist is to develop and supply to commercial cow-calf producers, an efficient, low-cost, fertile, and highly adapted genotype of Brahman cattle that can survive and produce on natural forage with no external inputs to boost profit per acre and not per cow.

Phone: +263772389167

1. Masocha, M., Dube, T. and Owen, R. (2019) Use of an expert-based model to develop a groundwater pollution vulnerability map for Zimbabwe, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.
2. Mutowo, G., Mutanga, O and Masocha, M. (2019). Including shaded leaves in a sample affects the accuracy of remotely estimating foliar nitrogen. GIScience and Remote Sensing.
3. Mushore, T., Dube, T., Shoko, C., Mazvimavi, D and Masocha, M. (2019). Progress in rainfall-runoff modelling-contribution of remote sensing. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, pp 1-7.
4. Kuri, F., Masocha, M, Murwira, A. and Murwira, K.S. (2019). Differential impact of remotely sensed dry dekads on maize yield in Zimbabwe. Geocarto International: 1-11. doi: 10.1080/10106049.2019.1583774.
5. Gusha, J., Halimani, T.E., Ngongoni, N.T., Masocha, M., Katsande, S and Mugabe, P.H. (2019). Effect of growth stage and method of conservation of Hyparrhenia filipendula and Hyperthelia dissoluta on nutrient composition and digestibility. Tropical and Subtropical Agroecosystems, 22: 69-75.
6. Dzinotizei, Z., Murwira, A., and M. Masocha. (2019). Elephant-induced landscape heterogeneity change around artificial waterholes in a protected savanna woodland ecosystem. Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment. DOI: 10.1016/j.rsase.2018.10.009.
7. Masocha, M., Dube, T., Mambwe, M. and Mushore, T. (2019). Predicting pollutant concentrations in rivers exposed to alluvial gold mining in Mazowe Catchment, Zimbabwe, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.
8. Muzenda, F., Misi, S. and Masocha, M. (2019). Groundwater quality assessment using a water quality index and GIS: A case of Ushewokunze settlement, Harare, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.
9. Seyama, E., Masocha, M. and Dube, T. (2019). Evaluation of TAMSAT satellite rainfall estimates for southern Africa: An inter-product comparison study, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.
10. Makaya, N., Seutloali, K., Dube, T., Masocha, M., Mutanga, O. and Shoko, C. (2019). Soil erosion vulnerability assessment using geospatial techniques in upper uMgeni catchment in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.
11. Masocha, M., Dube, T. and Dube, T. (2019). Integrating microbiological and physico-chemical parameters for enhanced spatial prediction of groundwater quality in Harare, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.
12. Gwitira, I., Murwira, A., Mberikunashe, J. and Masocha, M. (2018). Spatial overlaps in the distribution of HIV/AIDS and malaria in Zimbabwe. BMC Infectious Diseases 18: 598.
13. G. Mutowo, G., Mutanga, O. and Masocha, M. (2018). Mapping foliar nitrogen in miombo woodlands using sentinel-2 derived chlorophyll and structural indices. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing. 12(4).
14. Shekede, M.D., Masocha, M. and Murwira, A. (2018). Transient effects of nitrogen addition and rainfall suppression on Vachellia karroo growth under grass competition in a southern African savanna. Cogent Environmental Science. DOI: 10.1080/23311843.2018.1549799.
15. Mungate, P., Masocha, M. and Dube, T. (2018). Modelling the distribution of the invasive Ziziphus mauritiana along road corridors in Zimbabwe. African Journal of Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/aje.12572.
16. Masocha, M. and Dube, T. (2018). Influence of termites on the soil seed bank in an African savannah. African Journal of Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/aje.12554.
17. Gwitira, I., Masocha, M., Murwira, A., Zengeya, F.M., Chirenda, J. T., Mberikunashe, W.J., and Masendu, R. (2018). GIS-based stratification of malaria risk zones for Zimbabwe. Geocarto International.
18. Masocha, M. and Dube, T. (2018). Global terrestrial biomes at risk of cacti invasion identified for four species using consensual modelling. Journal of Arid Environments. doi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2018.05.006.
19. Ndaimani, H., Murwira, A. and Masocha, M. (2018). A new method for correcting locational error from aerial surveys improves habitat model performance. African Journal of Ecology. doi: 10.1111/aje.12522.
20. Masocha, M., Dube, T., Makore, M., Shekede, M.D. and Funani, J. (2018) Surface water bodies mapping in Zimbabwe using Landsat 8 OLI multispectral imagery: A comparison of multiple water indices. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth. 1-5.
21. Mutowo, G., Mutanga, O. and Masocha, M. (2018). Evaluating the Applications of the Near-Infrared Region in Mapping Foliar N in the Miombo Woodlands. Remote Sensing: 10: 1-17.
22. Dube, T.. Muchena, R., Masocha, M. and Shoko, C. (2018). Estimating soil organic and aboveground woody carbon stock in a protected dry Miombo ecosystem, Zimbabwe: Landsat 8 OLI data applications. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.
23. Chawanji, S., Masocha, M and Dube, T. (2018). Spatial assessment of ecosystem service trade-offs and synergies in Zimbabwe. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa: 1-8. doi: 10.1080/0035919X.2018.1428235.
24. Midzi, N., Kavhu, B., Manangazira, P., Phiri, I., Mutambu, S., Tshuma, C., Chimbari, M., Munyati, S., Midzi, S.M., Charimari, L., Ncube, A., Makuvaza, M.J., Soko, W., Madzima, E., Hlerema, G., Mbedzi, J., Mhlanga, G. and Mhosisi, M. (2018). Inclusion of edaphic predictors for enhancement of models to determine distribution of soil transmitted helminths: the case of Zimbabwe, Parasite & Vectors 11(1):
25. Masocha, M., Dube, T. and Maziva, T. (2018). Integrating environmental variables and geospatial technologies in landscape scale habitat modelling of edible stink bugs in Zimbabwe, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth. doi. 10.1016/j.pce.2018.01.002.
26. Shekede, M.D., Murwira, A., Masocha, M. and Gwitira, I. (2018). Spatial distribution of Vachellia karroo in Zimbabwean savannas (southern Africa) under a changing climate. Ecological Research, pp. 1-11.
27. Kuri, F., Murwira, A. Murwira, S.K. and Masocha, M. (2017). Accounting for phenology in maize yield prediction using remotely sensed dry dekads. Geocarto International: 1-14, 10.1080/10106049.2017.1299798.
28. Dhau, I., Elhadi,A., Mutanga, O., Kwabena, A., Abdel-Rahman, E.M., Odindi, J. and Masocha, M. (2017). Testing the capability of spectral resolution of the new multispectral sensors on detecting the severity of grey leaf spot disease in maize crop. Geocarto International: 1-28.
29. Chipfunde, O. and Masocha, M. (2017). Screening unimproved Zimbabwean sorghum landraces for resistance to witchweed. Bangladesh Agronomy Journal 20(1): 106-108.
30. Masocha M., Murwira, A., Magadza, C.H.D., Hirji,R. and Dube, T. (2017). Remote sensing of surface water quality in relation to catchment condition in Zimbabwe. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.
31. Masocha, M., Dube, T., Nhiwatiwa, T. and Choruma, D. (2017). Testing utility of Landsat 8 for remote assessment of water quality in two subtropical African reservoirs with contrasting trophic states. Geocarto International: 1-14, doi: 10.1080/10106049.2017.1289561.
32. Mapfumo, R.B., Murwira, A., Masocha, M. and Andriani, R.. (2017). Detection of subtle deforestation due to logging using satellite remote sensing in wet and dry savanna woodlands of Southern Africa. Geocarto International 32 (5): 514-530.
33. Masocha, M., Dube, T., Mpofu, N.T. and Chimunhu, S. (2017). Accuracy assessment of MODIS active fire products in southern African savannah woodlands. African Journal of Ecology.
34. Masocha, M., Museva, T. and Dube, T. (2017). Validation of the Canadian Fire Weather Index in Zimbabwe. African Journal of Ecology.
35. Masocha, M. and Dube, T. (2017). Relationship between native and exotic plant species at multiple savannah sites. African Journal of Ecology 56: 81-90.
36. Gusha, J., Masocha, M., and Mugabe, P. H. (2017). Impact of grazing system on rangeland condition and grazing capacity in Zimbabwe. The Rangeland Journal 39: 219-225.
37. Masocha, M., Dube, T., Skidmore, A., Holmgren, M. and Prins, H. (2017). Assessing effect of rainfall on rate of alien shrub expansion in a southern African savanna. African Journal of Range and Forage Science 34 (1): 39-44.
38. Masocha, M. and Dube, T. (2017). Modelling Opuntia fulgida invasion in Zimbabwe. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa.
39. Chikuruwo, C., Masocha, M., Murwira, A. and Ndaimani, H. (2017). Predicting the suitable habitat of the invasive Xanthium strumarium in southeastern Zimbabwe. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 15 (1): 17-32.
40. Ndhlovu, F., Ndhlovu, D. N., Chikerema, S. M., Masocha, M., Nyagura, M. and Pfukenyi , D. M. (2017). Spatiotemporal patterns of clinical bovine dermatophilosis in Zimbabwe 1995-2014. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research 84 (1): 1-8 pages. doi: 10.4102/ojvr.v84i1.1386.
41. Ndaimani, H., Murwira, A. Masocha, A and Zengeya, F.M. (2017). Elephant (Loxodonta africana) GPS collar data show multiple peaks of occurrence farther from water sources. Cogent Environmental Science. doi: 10.1080/23311843.2017.1420364.
42. Mapfumo, R.B., Murwira, A., Masocha, M. and Rubeta, A. (2016). The relationship between satellite-derived indices and species diversity across African savanna ecosystems. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 52: 306-317.
43. Masocha, M., Mungenge, C. and Nhiwatiwa, T. (2016). Remote Sensing of Nutrients in a Subtropical African Reservoir: Testing Utility of Landsat 8. Geocarto International: 33(5): 458-469.
44. Dube, T., Gara, T.W., Mutanga, O., Sibanda, M., Shoko, C., Murwira, A., Masocha, M., Ndaimani, H. and Hatendi, C.H. (2016). Estimating forest standing biomass in savanna woodlands as an indicator of forest productivity using the new generation WorldView-

Patented Work:

Grants & Funding (current and Past projects):

1. Geospatial and aeronautical space sciences technology projects in critical national economic sectors of mining, health, agriculture, energy, and tourism, Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe: 2018-2019 (total funding of USD 2 665 689.70)
2. GMES and Africa, Southern Africa THEMA: Water and Natural Resources Applications (Technical resource person representing University of Zimbabwe – a partner institution responsible for riverine flood modelling), European Union (total funding 134 688.96 EURO)
3. Modelling Impact of Zimbabwe’s Land Reform on the Changing Landscape of Foot and Mouth Disease, University of Zimbabwe Research Board: 2016-2017 (total funding USD 4 700).
4. Zimbabwe-Strategy for Managing Water Quality and Protecting Water Sources Phase 1: Rapid Assessment – Identification and Characterization of Hotspots of Water Pollution and Source Degradation, World Bank Group: 2013 - 2014 (total fu

Awards & Achievements:

1. Nuffic Research Fellowship (2006)
2. European Union Erasmus Mundus Consortium Fellowship (2012)
3. University of Zimbabwe Book Prize (2000)

Consultancy and advisory work (current and past):

Member of the team leading the implementation of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development’s project titled “Geospatial, Aeronautical and Space Sciences Capability in Critical Economic Sectors in Zimbabwe”, Government of Zimbabwe.
2016-2017 Team leader for the consultancy work on “Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment” on behalf of CARE International in Zimbabwe for the UNDP-funded project titled “Enhancing Community Resilience and Sustainability (ECRAS) in Mwenezi and Chiredzi district.
2016 GIS expert for the project titled “Polluted Water body and Ecosystem Clean-up of Darwendale Dam using Earthworm Wastewater Treatment Technology” for the Environmental Management Agency of Zimbabwe.
2015-16 Principal investigator for the project titled “Modelling Impact of Zimbabwe’s land reform on the changing landscape of foot and mouth disease”, funded by University of Zimbabwe Research Board.
2014-17 Capacity building expert for drought service for the Afr

Supervision information (MPhil, DPhil, etc.):

Supervised the following PhD students:
1. Jacob GUSHA, “Invasive species of savanna rangelands: Are they a threat or an opportunity?”, Department of Animal Science, University of Zimbabwe (November 2018).
2. Isaiah GWITIRA, “Spatial-temporal modelling of malaria, TB and HIV: Regional and seasonal prevalence and dynamics of co-infections in Zimbabwe”, University of Zimbabwe (April 2019).
3. Henry NDAIMANI, “GIS and remote sensing applications to understand the impact of elephants on vegetation in African savannas”, University of Zimbabwe (March 2019).
4. Munyaradzi D. SHEKEDE, “Effects of increased nitrogen deposition and precipitation decline on tree-grass interactions in southern African savanna”, University of Zimbabwe (April 2019).

Supervised the following MPhil. students:
1. Ratidzo MAPFUMO, “Estimating the spatial extent of deforestation and carbon stock variations using remotely sensed data”, University of Zimbabwe (2012 – 2017).
2. Leoba CHIGWENHESE, “Movement of large

Professional membership, Committees, Boards:

1. Member of the Board of Directors of the National Biotechnology Authority of Zimbabwe (16 June 2018 – 16 June 2021).
2. Member of the Industrial Advisory Board of Directors, School of Earth & Mineral Sciences, University of Zimbabwe (since 6 August 2018).
3. Chairperson leading a multi-disciplinary team of experts undertaking multi-hazard risk analysis in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe with a focus on Chimanimani district for the Government of Zimbabwe (March 2019-).
4. Member Team of the Plan Preparation Technical Team mandated to develop the Tugwi-Mukosi master plan for the Government of Zimbabwe (March 2019-).
5. Team Leader of a Technical Team tasked to undertake rapid assessment of damage to infrastructure due to Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani district, Zimbabwe (March-April 2009).
6. Member of University of Zimbabwe Lake Kariba Research Station Board of Management (2012 - 2015).
7. Co-project leader of the technical team spearheading the implementation of the Ministry of

External Profile Links (Google Scholar, ResearchGate, LinkedIn, other social media links):

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