FABI celebrated the graduation of two PhD and four MSc students at the Spring Graduation Ceremony of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences on 1 September. We congratulate them all and wish them well in their future endeavours. Listed below are the graduates and their dissertation titles:


Dr Sarai Olivier-Espejel - Patterns and drivers of insect community diversity and composition in non-native black wattle and pine plantations in South Africa.

Supervisor: Dr Jeff Garnas.

Co-supervisor: Dr Brett Hurley.

Dr Elsie Cruywagen - Diversity and taxonomy of fungi infecting species of Adansonia (Baobab).

Supervisor: Prof. Mike Wingfield.

Co-supervisors: Prof. Jolanda Roux, Prof. Bernard Slippers.


Matt Laubscher – Functional genomics analysis of Eucalyptus grandis secondary cell wall-related transcription factors EgrNAC26 and EgrNAC61 through heterologous induction in Arabidopsis mesophyll protoplasts 

Supervisor: Dr. Steven Hussey.

Co-supervisors: Dr Eshchar Mizrachi and Prof. Zander Myburg.

Juanita Avontuur - The classification of novel Bradyrhizobium species associated with indigenous southern African legumes.

Supervisor: Prof. Emma Steenkamp.

Co-supervisor: Prof. Fanus Venter.

Johan Bestbier – HPLC and colourimetric quanitification of shikimic acid levels in crops after glyphosate treatment.

Supervisor: Dr Juan Vorster.

Angelique du PreezFlagellin glycosylation in Pantoea ananatis.

Supervisor: Prof. T. Coutinho.

Co-supervisors: Prof. F. Venter.