PhD student, Joey Hulbert recently attended the Arbor Week Expo in Stellenbosch to conduct outreach, raise awareness, and engage secondary school students in his plant pathology research. After collecting samples in the surrounding Fynbos, Joey organised a display where students could participate as ‘Pathogen Hunters’ attempting to isolate Phytophthora species from unhealthy plant material.

Phytophthora species have a long history in the Cape floristic region, where P. cinnamomi was implicated as the cause of root disease of many Proteaceae in the mid 1980s. He plans to build on that knowledge by conducting a survey of Phytophthora species in the Fynbos with a citizen science project. Citizen science refers to the inclusion of non-scientists in the process of scientific research. He hopes to engage more students and more of the public with the creation of Cape Citizen Science.