Flora Asibe, a PhD student from IITA, Nigeria completed a TechWomen fellowship hosted by Prof. Dave Berger and mentored by Dr David Nsibo at FABI. TechWomen is an empowerment initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Flora was unable to travel to the USA due to COVID-19 restrictions, so she chose to come to FABI at the University of Pretoria.

During her seven week-internship in the MPPI lab, she experienced a blend of theory and practice in maize field disease/pest phenotyping, farmer interaction, and research presentation. She also learned single spore isolation, culturing and molecular identification of the Cercospora fungal pathogen causing grey leaf spot disease of maize.

Flora said that she is grateful for the opportunity to gain new skills in molecular biotechnology, and reflect on the next steps for her career advancement and inter-institutional collaboration.

She is thankful to Prof. Dave Berger for the internship opportunity, Dr David Nsibo for his patience and mentorship, Dr Dawit Kidanemariam for always being available to help her, Dr Nicky Creux and Prof. Lucy Moleleki for their career advice, and to the lab members for their friendship and support.