FABI applauds the nine graduates who made the Institute proud at the Spring Graduation Ceremony of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences on September 3. We congratulate them all and wish them well in their future endeavours. Listed below are the graduates and their dissertation titles:


Dr. Jeanne Korsman – Molecular responses of maize to its foliar pathogen, Cercospora zeina

Supervisor: Prof Dave Berger 

Co-supervisor: Dr. Bridget Crampton 

Dr. Stefan van Wyk – Soybean nodule development and senescence: The role of cysteine proteases and their inhibitors 

Supervisor: Dr. Juan Vorster 

External co-supervisor: Prof Chris Cullis (Case Western Reserve University, USA) 

Dr. Stephen Taerum – Origin and diversity of the invasive red turpentine beetle and its fungal symbionts

Supervisor: Prof. Mike Wingfield

Co-advisor: Dr. Wilhelm de Beer

Dr. Tania Weller-Stuart – Genomic and functional characterization in Pantoea ananatis

Supervisor: Prof. Teresa Coutinho

Co-supervisors: Prof. Ian Toth and Dr. P. de Maayer

Dr. Mingliang Yin – Taxonomic  revision of four major species complexes in the Ophiostomatales (Fungi, Ascomycota), with specific reference to associates of conifer-infesting bark beetles in China

Supervisor: Dr. Wilhelm de Beer

Co-supervisors: Dr. X. D. Zhou and Prof. Mike Wingfield


Francois Boshoff – Diversity and evolution of rhizobia associated with native and non-native Acacia species in South Africa 

Supervisor: Prof Emma Steenkamp

Co-supervisor: Prof Fanus Venter 

Jackie Lubbe – Molecular and biological characterization of three Citrus tristeza virus candidate cross-protection sources 

Supervisor: Prof Gerhard Pietersen 

Johan Liversage – Functional characterisation of the Cercospora zeina crp1 gene in pathogenesis 

Supervisor: Dr. Bridget Crampton

Co-supervisor: Prof Dave Berger 

Molly Malefo – Characterisation of selected pathogenicity factors in Cercospora zeina 

Supervisor: Dr. Bridget Crampton

Co-supervisor: Prof Dave Burger