Two FABIans were re-elected to the executive committee of the Gauteng branch of the Southern African Institute of Forestry (SAIF). The announcement was made at the branch’s Annual General Meeting at the University of Pretoria’s Plant Sciences Auditorium on 2 June. Outgoing chairperson Dr Steve Verryn announced Dr. Brett Hurley’s election as the Gauteng branch’s new Chairperson, with Ms. Izette Greyling serving another term in the committee. Lee Raath-Brownie, Prof. Paxie Chirwa, Dr. Stuart Christie and Mr. Churchill Mkwalo make up the rest of the branch’s executive committee.

The SAIF is a professional association of forestry-related experts geared towards delivering a professional service to forestry. Its mission is to assist members to achieve excellence in the practice of forestry and to promote growth and sustainability in the industry whilst being responsible as custodians of a sensitive environment.

Four FABIans were among six presenters at the meeting who rose to the challenge of PechaKucha style talks on forestry matters. Regarded as an “art of concise presentations”, PechaKucha is a presentation style designed to simplify technical and complex concepts for lay audiences. Presenters are limited to 20 visual slides – which can feature images or graphs – and they have exactly 20 seconds to explain each slide (which is on an automatic timer). 

George Dowse of Hans Merensky’s presentation was titled Breeding Eucalyptus sawtimber, Kassahun Maru of UP discussed “The importance of agroforestry in Ethiopia”, Izette Greyling presented “Field extension: Linking industry to world class research”, Darryl Herron presented “Plant clinics in the Anthropocene”, Tayo Adenigba’s presented her talk “Can we use mating factors to manage pitch canker?” and Danielle Roodt discussed “Plant genetics and evolution”.