FABI is proud to have had two PhD, 21 MSc and 16 Honours students capped at the Autumn 2015 graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences held on 22 April. With this FABI continues to make a significant contribution to the number of postgraduate students graduating from the Faculty. This is line with the Institute’s aim of producing high quality research output. We applaud all the FABIans listed below and wish them well in their future studies and endeavors.


Dr. Gudrun Dittrich-Schröder: Molecular ecology and management of Leptocybe invasa (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) in South Africa

Dr. Bianca Reeksting: Elucidating the early response of Persea americana to Phytophthora cinnamomi and flooding



Tondani Kone: Characterization of sex-pheromone receptor genes of Fusarium species and other Sordariomycetes

Olga Mashandule: Population biology of Fusarium circinatum Nirenberg et O'Donnell associated with South African Pinus radiata D.Don plantation trees

Linda Ndove: Botryosphaeriaceae associated with Podocarpaceae in South Africa

Plant Pathology

Renate Botha: Evaluating Cavendish banana clones for tolerance to Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense

Silvia Mausse Sitoe: Diseases of Eucalypts in Mozambique with particular reference to the Cryphonectriaceae

Medicinal Plant Science

Sarah Stanton: The polyamines and endophytes of gousiekte-causing and non-pathogenic Vangueria and Pavetta species


Jon Ambler: Genome characterisation, with special reference to gene silencing mechanisms, of Armillaria fuscipes


Monique Heystek: Promoter analysis of three defense gene family members from maize in response to Cercospora zeina

Degracious Kgoale: Gene expression study of candidate Arabidopsis defence genes in response to the bacterial wilt pathogen

Brigette Langenhoven: Characterisation of three putative effector genes from the maize foliar pathogen Cercospora zeina

Rynier Lourens: Identification and characterisation of the Eucalyptus grandis non-expressor of pathogenesis related 1 (NPR1) genes.

Mischa Muller: Molecular diversity of the maize pathogen Cercospora zeina in South Africa

Thomas Schmidt: Transient biolistic transformation in maize leaves

Pooja Singh: Transcriptome-wide analysis of predicted proteome variation segregating in a Eucalyptus hybrid family

Erik Visser: Pinus patula transcriptome assembly


Katie Termer: Biotic and abiotic determinants of resource quality for the larvae of the European woodwasp, Sirex noctilio


Elrea Appelgryn: Characterization of Phytophthora cinnamomi from avocado

Sitha Ramsuchit: Establishment of cross-pathogenicity of two different Phytophthora cinnamomi A2 isolates on hosts, Persea americana and Eucalyptus spp., and the host response to these isolates

Danielle Roodt: The mating genetics and core genome of Ceratocystis albifundus

Plant Science

Jean Hakizimana: Understanding the role of endophytes in avocado root health and in enhancing its tolerance against Phytophthora cinnamomi

MSc Agric

Plant Pathology

Edgar Mangwende: Seed-borne fungi of herbs cultivated in South Africa and evaluation of non- chemical seed treatments to control Alternaria sp. on coriander

BSc Honours with projects in FABI


Riaan Swanepoel


Elelwani Ramulifho


Andrew Behrens

Yves du Toit

Lizel Potgieter

Mohamed Seedat

Conrad Trollip


Erika Bruck

Miranda Erasmus

Ashleigh Geldenhuys

Kirsten Kenchenten

Nompumelelo Msiza

Biotumelo Ntlatleng

Inge Pietersen

Stefan Priem

Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry