Congratulations to 14 FABIans whose degrees were conferred at the Spring graduation of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Pretoria on 4 September.  Below are their names as well as thesis and dissertation titles. 


Dr Natrisha Devnarain 

Thesis: Elucidation of drought tolerance mechanisms in South African Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench landraces

Supervisor: Dr Bridget Crampton

Co-supervisor: Dr John Becker

External co-supervisor: Dr Maretha O'Kennedy (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research)

External examiners : Prof Jim Farrant (University of Cape Town); Prof Christine Foyer (University of Leeds, United Kingdom); Dr Damaris Odeny (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Kenya)

Dr Delphin Kandolo 

Alternaria blight of sweet potato in South Africa and development of an integrated disease management strategy

Supervisor: Prof Terry Aveling

Co-supervisor: Prof Jacquie van der Waals

External co-supervisor: Dr Mariette Truter (Agricultural Research Council)

Dr Godfrey Kgatle

Alternaria blight of sunflower caused by Alternaria alternata and its control in South Africa 

Supervisor: Prof Terry Aveling

External co-supervisors: Prof Bradley Flett (Agricultural Research Council); Dr Mariette Truter (Agricultural Research Council) 

Dr Esther Masumba 

Mapping of QTL associated with resistance to Cassava Brown Streak and Mosaic Diseases in outcrossing cassava farmer varieties from Tanzania

Supervisor: Dr Albe van der Merwe

Co-supervisor: Prof Zander Myburg

External co-supervisor: Dr Morag Ferguson (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Kenya)

Dr Osmond Mlonyeni

Characterization of genetic variability in the Sirex-Amylostereum-Deladenus symbioses

Supervisor: Prof B Slippers

Co-supervisors: Prof Jaco Greeff, Prof Mike Wingfield, Prof Brenda Wingfield

Dr Margot Otto 

Bacterial canker of cherry trees: biology and epidemiology of the causal agent

Supervisor: Prof Teresa Coutinho

Co-supervisor: Prof Jolanda Roux

External co-supervisor: Dr Yolanda Petersen (Agricultural Research Council)

Dr Zelda Pieterse

Fungal biodiversity associated with selected Aizoaceae in the Namaqua National Park in the Succulent Karoo biome

Supervisor: Prof Terry Aveling

External co-supervisor: Dr A Venter (Agricultural Research Council)

Dr Melissa Simpson

Mating in Ceratocystis fimbriata

Supervisor: Prof Brenda Wingfield

Co-supervisors: Prof Mike Wingfield, Dr Martin Coetzee, Dr Magriet van der Nest

Dr Collins Tanui

Transcriptome profiling of Pectobacterium carotovorum subp. brasiliense reveals genes involved in ecological fitness and virulence mechanisms during infection

Supervisor: Prof Lucy Moleleki


Daniel Ali (posthumously)

Cryphonectriaceae from native Myrtales in Indonesia, La 'Reunion and South Africa

Supervisor: Prof Mike Wingfield

Co-supervisors: Prof Jolanda Roux, Dr AR McTaggart

Yves du Toit

The development and use of a comparative transcriptomics analysis tool for Eucalyptus defence interactions

Supervisor: Prof Sanushka Naidoo

Co-supervisor: Dr Nanette Christie

Donovin Coles 

Functional characterisation of Arabidopsis thaliana nitrate transporter NRT2.5 in plant defence

Supervisor: Prof Sanushka Naidoo

External co-supervisor: Dr Ritesh Mewalal (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA)

Angel Maduke

Botryosphaeriaceaeon native and exotic Myrtaceae trees in southern and eastern Africa

Supervisor: Prof Jolanda Roux

Co-supervisors: Prof Mike Wingfield, Dr Draginja Pavlic

Alandie Niewoudt

Development of a CRISPR-Cas9 system for genome editing in Exserohilum turcicum (Pass.) K.J. Leonard & Suggs (Pleosporaceae)

Supervisor: Dr BG Crampton

Martin Wierzbicki

Systems genetics of xylan modification in Eucalyptus grandis x E. urophylla hybrids

Supervisor: Prof Zander Myburg

Co-supervisor: Dr Eshchar Mizrachi