Dr. ShuaiFei Chen, extraordinary lecturer in FABI and team leader at the China Eucalypt Research Centre (CERC) has been awarded funding by the National Science Fund for Excellent Young Scholars, an initiative of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

The NSFC set up the Excellent Young Scholar Fund in 2012 to promote the rapid development of young Chinese scientists and to train a group of excellent young scientists to enter the forefront of world science and technology. The NSFC has supported 400 excellent young scholars annually, drawn from fields since 2012. ShuaiFei is thus far the only grant recipient in the field of forest pathology since the inception of the Fund. He will receive R2.6 million funding over the next three years.

ShuaiFei joined FABI in 2007 where he completed his PhD degree in 2011, followed by post-doctoral fellowships at the Institute and later in the USA. In 2013, ShuaiFei returned to China where he is leading the tree health research team at CERC. In 2015, FABI director Prof. Mike Wingfield, the Director of CERC Prof. Yaojian Xie, and Dr Chen formally established the CERC-FABI Tree Protection Programme (CFTPP).  Dr Chen has subsequently initiated numerous collaborative research projects with colleagues at FABI where he has been appointed an extraordinary lecturer.