On Friday Steven Hussey presented his PhD prestige seminar that was followed by his oral examination. The title of his PhD thesis was "Functional genomics of NAC domain transcription factor SND2 regulating secondary cell wall biosynthesis in Arabidopsis and Eucalyptus". The study leaders for his PhD were Prof Zander Myburg, Prof Dave Berger, and Dr Eshchar Mizrachi. One of the external examiners of Steven's thesis, Prof Carl Douglas from the University of British Columbia, attended the seminar and was present for the oral examination. The other two examiners on his thesis were Prof Erich Grotewold (Ohio State University) and Prof Andrew Groover (University of California, Davis). Steven had no problem in convincing the examination panel that he has done the research himself and has an excellent background knowledge and understanding of his field of research. This is also evident from the fact Steven has already published two papers based on his PhD reserach results, and was a co-author on the recent Nature paper published by the Forest Molecular Genetics (FMG) Programme.
Steven plans to continue his research in this field and to apply for a new lecturer position in the FMG program within the next few months. He will also continue supervising a current honours and MSc candidate.

Photo: Steven just after presenting his Prestige Seminar together with his external examiner, Prof Carl Douglas (left), and his supervisors, Prof Zander Myburgh and Dr Eshchar Mizrachi (far right).


Hussey SG, Mizrachi E, Creux NM, Myburg AA. (2013) Navigating the transcriptional roadmap regulating plant secondary cell wall deposition. Frontiers in Plant Science 4(325):1-21. 10.3389/fpls.2013.00325

Hussey SG, Mizrachi E, Spokevicius AV, Bossinger G, Berger DK, Myburg M. (2011) SND2, a NAC transcription factor gene, regulates genes involved in secondary cell wall development in Arabidopsis fibres and increases fibre cell area in Eucalyptus. BMC Plant Biology 11:173. 10.1186/1471-2229-11-173 

Myburg AA, Grattapglia D, Tuskan GA, Hellsten U, Hayes RD, Grimwood J, Jenkins J, Lindquist E, Tice H, Bauer D, Goodstein DM, Dubchak I, Poliakov A, Mizrachi E, Kullan ARK, Hussey SG, Pinard D, Van der Merwe K, Singh P, et al. (2014) The genome of Eucalyptus grandis. Nature 510:356-362. 10.1038/nature13308