FABI welcomed 17 DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health (CTHB) mentorship students at a function on 3 March.  Now in its 12th year, the mentorship programme allows second and third year students to better understand what it is to be a scientist and what the training at MSc or PhD level entails.

This year sees four students return for a second year and 13 new students join the programme that sees them being paired with a postgraduate student or post doctoral fellow.  These successful candidates have been interviewed by a selection panel and chosen based on academic achievements and scientific interest in the fields of entomology, genetics, microbiology or plant pathology.

Students are required to work six hours per week excluding exam times and holidays. The idea is that they are an extra pair of hands in the laboratory but making a meaningful contribution to their mentor’s research project while learning basic laboratory skills such as sterile, molecular and culturing techniques, morphological work, using bioinformatics programmes and conducting pathogenicity trials.

The students were welcomed by the Deputy Director of the CHTB, Prof. Emma Steenkamp, core team member Dr. Martin Coetzee and mentorship programme coordinators Dr Markus Wilken, Mmatshepho Phasha and Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry before enjoying some pizza and drinks where they could become better acquainted with their mentor and start planning for the first week’s work.

New Publications

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Marincowitz S, Duong TA, Heiniger U, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW. (2017) A new Leptographium species from the roots of declining Pinus sylvestris in Switzerland. Forest Pathology 10.1111/efp.12346
Faulkner KT, Hurley BP, Robertson MP, Rouget M, Wilson JRU. (2017) The balance of trade in alien species between South Africa and the rest of Africa. Bothalia 47 10.4102/abc.v47i2.2157
Van der Linde JA, Wingfield MJ, Crous CJ, Six DL, Roux J. (2017) Landscape degradation may contribute to large-scale die-offs of Euphorbia ingens in South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 111:144-152. 10.1016/j.sajb.2017.03.022 PDF
Kenis M, Hurley BP, Hajek A, Cock MJW. (2017) Classical biological control of insect pests of trees: facts and figures. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-017-1414-4
Van der Linde JA, Six DL, Wingfield MJ, Roux J. (2017) Fungi and insects associated with Euphorbia ingens die-off in South Africa. Southern Forests 10.2989/20702620.2016.1263004 PDF