From 13 to 16 June 2017, approximately 400 leading scientists from across the Commonwealth countries met at the 2nd Commonwealth Science Conference in Singapore. Among these delegates was FABI PhD student, Osmond Mlonyeni, who was selected to attend by The Royal Society following his nomination by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).

Not only was Osmond a delegate at this important and prestigious triennial meeting, he was selected as one of 12 speakers to give an oral presentation about their research at the student and postdoctoral presentation session. Each speaker was limited to a four-minute slot with only two presentation slides, where one slide was about their research and the other about the impact thereof. These 12 talks were split in two sets of six presentations, each followed by a 10 minute question and answer period for the audience to engage the speakers.

Osmond’s talk was selected as “one of the top three presentations in the student and post-doc presentation at the Commonwealth Science Conference 2017”.  This achievement is accompanied by a travel grant prize award of up to £6,000 “to support collaborative visits and mentoring from scientists from another Commonwealth country”. This award illustrates again how the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) (the research group in FABI in which Osmond performs his research) and FABI is truly aligned with the dedication of The Royal Society which commits to “promoting excellence in science”.

Photos (L-R): Osmond Mlonyeni with Prof Bernie Fanaroff, Strategic Adviser to the Square Kilometre Array; with Prof. Jeremy McNiel, Helen Battle Professor of Chemical Ecology at the University of Western Ontario; and with with Prof. Rees Kassen, Research Chair in Evolution at the University of Ottawa.

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Wondafrash M, Slippers B, Garnas J, Hurley BP. (2017) Parasitoid assemblage associated with a North American pine weevil in South Africa. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 10.1111/afe.12246
Mostert D, Molina AB, Daniells J, Fourie G, Hermanto C, Chao C-P, Fabregar E, Sinohin VG, Hossain MDS, Masdek N, Visarto P, Rajapakse C, Thanh DT, Thangavelu R, Li C, Yi G, Wei Y, Mostert L, Viljoen A. (2017) The distribution and host range of the banana Fusarium wilt fungus, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense, in Asia. PLoS ONE 12(7):24. 10.1371/journal.pone.0181630
Jankowiak R, Strzałka B, Bilański P, Linnakoski R, Aas T, Solheim H, Groszek M, De Beer ZW. (2017) Two new Leptographium spp. reveal an emerging complex of hardwood-infecting species in the Ophiostomatales. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 10.1007/s10482-017-0905-8
Ozturk KI, Chettri P, Dupont P-Y, Barnes I, McDougal RL, Moore GG, Sim A, Bradshaw RE. (2017) Evolution of polyketide synthesis in a Dothideomycete forest pathogen. Fungal Genetics and Biology 10.1016/j.fgb.2017.07.001
Wilken PM, Steenkamp ET, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW, Wingfield BD. (2017) Which MAT gene? Pezizomycotina (Ascomycota) mating-type gene nomenclature reconsidered. Fungal Biology Reviews 10.1016/j.fbr.2017.05.003