FABI PostDocs visit Sappi Research Centre 2018-10-26
Tanay and Marc were on a week-long trip to Sappi's Shaw Research Centre at Tweedie. The objectives of this trip were to meet with Sappi's research officials and participate at Sappi’s quarterly research meeting for presenting their postdoctoral projects. While in the area, Tanay and Marc also carried out some fieldwork.
Tanay's research is focused on diversity and epidemiology ofPhytophthorain South Africa. During this trip, he visited Eucalyptus nitensplantations at Demagtenburg and Pinewood to look at potential Phytophthora root rot problem. With help of Prof Jolanda Roux, Dr Steven Dovey and Nkosinathi Kaptein (ICFR), Tanay collected eucalypt soil and root samples from a Sappi and ICFR conglomerate research trial plot at Windy Hill for microbiome study. Tanay, assisted by Sappi’s Wayne Jones inspected the greenhouse facility at Shaw Research Centre for its suitability to conduct Phytophthora trials.
Marc's study includes identifying semiochemicals from insect pests in South Africa. For this, Marc visited Sappi’s Pinus patula trial site at Epsom for collecting worms and larvae of the pine emperor moth (Gonimbrasia cytherea var clarki). Marc also collected Gonipterus sp. 2 from Sappi's plantations at Bulwer.
Marc and Tanay want to thank Jacob Crous, Dr Steven Dovey, Prof Jolanda Roux, Wayne Jones, Kayla Noeth along with all the research officials at Sappi’s Shaw Research Centre for amazing discussions and suggestions during the quarterly meeting and for their help with collecting samples. Thank you also to Nkosinathi Kaptein and ICFR for support to collect soil and root samples at their experimental plot at Windy Hill.