The University of Pretoria’s (UP) annual Academic Achievers' Awards celebrates the achievements of academics who drive UP’s vision of being a leading research-intensive institution in Africa. The awards also honour NRF-rated academics. This year nine FABIans were amongst more than 130 UP academics recognised at the awards ceremony on 3 November. UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof. Tawana Kupe said that these awards acknowledge the work of the university’s academics who increasingly ensure that their research helps to solve ‘real-life problems’ and has a transformative impact on both the South African and global communities through transcending disciplines, allowing for transdisciplinary collaborations”.

The prestigious Exceptional Academic Achiever Award was awarded to Prof. Christian Pirk, who leads the Social Insects Research Group in the Department of Zoology and Entomology. This award is made annually to senior academics who have already achieved the status of Professor, are highly regarded by their peers, and have consistently excelled in the areas under- and postgraduate teaching and learning, research, community service and administration over time.

The NRF ratings of several FABIans were also recognised:

Prof. Pedro Crous (A-rated), Prof. Fanus Venter (B-rated), Prof. Martin Coetzee (C-rated), Dr Gerda Fourie (C-rated), Dr Michelle Greve (C-rated), Dr Seonju Marincowitz (C-rated), Prof. Albe van der Merwe (C-rated), and Dr Markus Wilken (Y-rated).