10 Jul 2018

FABIan presents at the HealGenCar Conference in Sweden

The HealGenCAR Conference, with the theme: Clonal forestry and breeding for resistance to pests and pathogens, took place 12-14 June in Höör, Sweden.


5 Jul 2018

A SPOOF on a SPOOF

In March 2018 four FABIans won prizes at the South African Society of Microbiology Congress.


5 Jul 2018

SPOOF 2018 delivers on guffaws and profoundly outrageous science!

For the third year running, PhD student Quentin Guignard walked away with the Best Dressed Male award at the 2018 annual meeting of the Society for the Presentation of Outrageous Findings (SPOOF).


4 Jul 2018

The end of an era when reprints of scientific articles dominated research

For many decades, researchers depended on collections of reprints of scientific papers to maintain easy access to the literature. It was common practice for researchers to purchase reprints of their papers and to share these with colleagues globally.


3 Jul 2018

Celebrating 20 years of NSTF Awards

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) celebrated 20 years of awardees at the NSTF-South 32 Awards dinner on 28 June.


3 Jul 2018

Field visit to inspect Ceratocystis infected Eucalyptus

During the week of 25-29 June, Prof Mike Wingfield and Dr Irene Barnes visited Sappi’s tree health specialists Prof Jolanda Roux and her colleague Kayla Noeth to inspect Eucalyptus trees infected by a species of Ceratocystis.


29 Jun 2018

FABI hosts the first TYRLP bring-and-share lunch

FABI hosted the first Tuks Young Research Leader Programme (TYRLP) bring-and-share lunch on 27 June. The group of early career researchers gathered under the winter sun to share lunch with colleagues from different UP faculties and departments.


29 Jun 2018

The Writing Club @ FABI

In an effort to nudge a few people in the right direction, PhD candidate Andi Wilson has started a writing club in FABI.


28 Jun 2018

FABI bids Kershney farewell

FABI said a sad farewell to Dr Kershney Naidoo who is leaving the University of Pretoria where she completed her PhD and served as a junior lecturer for the past 12 years.


27 Jun 2018

Visiting entomologist introduces FABIans to invasive exotic insect pests in the UK at a special seminar

Dr Chris Malumphy shed light on alien insect species that threaten the survival of various tree species in the United Kingdom in his special seminar, “New and emerging pest threats to trees in the UK” on 22 June.


21 Jun 2018

FABIans take in spectacle of aloes in full bloom

A group of FABIans enjoyed a colourful spectacle of red, orange and yellow flowers in full bloom at the LC de Villiers campus of the University of Pretoria (UP).


20 Jun 2018

Macadamia Protection Programme members engages with stakeholders

Dr Gerda Fourie, leader of the Macadamia Protection Programme at FABI, and her PhD student, Angel Maduke, recently visited Macadamia growers to sample diseases and plan future experiments.


18 Jun 2018

FABI celebrates eighth PhD success

Congratulations to Esther Andrew Masumba, who successfully defended her PhD thesis on 13 June, becoming the eighth candidate at FABI to reach this milestone in 2018.


15 Jun 2018

FABI researchers attend a workshop at SASRI

FABI researchers, Dr Marc Bouwer, Dr Kennedy Eguzozie and Agil Katumanyane recently attended a workshop hosted by the South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI).


14 Jun 2018

Meeting to develop a national forestry Protection Program for Colombia

FABI’s Professor Mike Wingfield attended a meeting to provide advise on options to develop a National Forest Protection Programme for Colombia during a recent visit to the country.


13 Jun 2018

FABIans stimulate science interest at Science Week

FABIans participated in Science Week held at the Deutsche Internationale Schule in Pretoria from 29 May to 1 June.


8 Jun 2018

Avocado Brainstorming 2018

From 28 May to 1 June, members of the Avocado Research Programme (ARP) attended the Avocado Brainstorming conference for 2018.


8 Jun 2018

Melissa Simpson presents the seventh prestige seminar at FABI in 2018

In the presence of academics from the joint Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology as well as close family and colleagues, Melissa Simpson presented her prestige seminar at FABI on 30 May.


7 Jun 2018

Eucalypt insect pest survey in Ghana and Sierra Leone

FABI postdoctoral research Fellow Dr Mesfin Gossa recently visited MIRO Forestry Company in Ghana and Sierra Leone, as part of the Eucalyptus Insect Pest Project in Africa (EIPPA). This project is led by Proff Brett Hurley, Bernard Slippers and Dr Gossa, and currently covers over 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.


4 Jun 2018

RGE chairman visits FABI

FABI had the pleasure of hosting a visit on 27 May by Mr Sukanto Tanoto, the Chairman of the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group.


3 Jun 2018

Podcasting for scientists workshop at FABI

On 30 May, FABI in collaboration with Future Africa held a podcasting workshop facilitated by Anina Mumm of Sciencelink. Podcasts are an effective means of science communication, offering information to listeners on many audio platforms.


31 May 2018

Osmond Mlonyeni becomes the first candidate at FABI to defend his PhD thesis publically

In a first for FABI, Osmond Mlonyeni publically defended his PhD thesis on 23 May, marking a shift away from the Institute’s traditional prestige seminars. Previously, PhD candidates presented their prestige seminars first at the Institute before undergoing a closed oral defence with their external examiners.


31 May 2018

Five FABI researchers receive top honours at UP’s 2018 Academic Achievers Awards ceremony

Congratulations to the five FABI researchers whose stellar achievements were acknowledged by the University of Pretoria (UP) at the Academic Achievers’ Awards on 10 May! The annual ceremony is dedicated to academics rated by the National Research Foundation and whose excellence in research have contributed to UP’s ranking as one of the top research institutions in the world.


30 May 2018

FABIan makes it to the South African FameLab finals

FameLab is an international science communication competition hosted in over 25 different countries. FABI PhD candidate Darryl Herron took part in one of 2018’s first heats last year at the Science Forum South Africa held at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The semi-finals were held at the Nelson Mandela University on the 9 May 2018, right after a two-day Master Class.


30 May 2018

CTHB Outreach Team participate in Career Week 2018

The CTHB Outreach Team once again joined the team at the Mondi Science, Career Guidance and FET skills Centre, Piet Retief, Mpumalanga for their annual Career Week from 7-11 May. The Outreach Team included five FABI postgraduate students: Juanita Avontuur, Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry, Angel Maduke, Modjadji Makwela and Fezile Mthunzi.


28 May 2018

ACGT Plant Forum on plant gene networks

Four FABIans presented at the 15th African Centre for Gene Technologies (ACGT) Regional Plant Biotechnology Forum held at the University of Witwatersrand on 18 May. The theme was “Plant genomes - from genes to networks”. The keynote speaker was Dr Maria-Celeste Costa from the University of Cape Town (UCT) who spoke on gene co-expression networks of desiccation tolerance.


28 May 2018

FABIan attends Commonwealth Science Advisors meeting

Many of the research leaders in FABI actively participate in, and are members of national and international Societies and Academies. Professor Brenda Wingfield is no exception and she is (amongst other responsibilities) the Vice President of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). It was in this capacity that she represented South Africa at the Inaugural meeting of Commonwealth Science Advisers and Equivalents (CSAE). The meeting was part of the Commonwealth Summit and brought together


25 May 2018

FABIans recognised by the South African Institute of Forestry

The Southern African Institute of Forestry (SAIF) celebrated its 50th Birthday at a special dinner function at the Pretoria Botanical Gardens on 16 May. SAIF is an association of forestry practitioners geared towards delivering a professional service to forestry in South Africa. The dinner was attended by two of the original founding members of the Institute and a number of other SAIF members working in forestry and forest research from across the country. Also in attendance were some overseas g


24 May 2018

Opportunities for trailblazing research discussed on the second day of the 29th annual meeting of the TPCP

Presentations and discussions on the second and last day of the 29th Annual Meeting of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme on 16 May followed up on the varying areas of research that arise from the ongoing battle with insect pests and pathogens affecting tree health. Speakers highlighted the creativity, innovation and opportunities for collaborations that drive programmes such as the TPCP.


22 May 2018

Tree health experts inspect PSHB infestation in Johannesburg suburbs

The invasive and aggressive Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) was discovered killing trees in South Africa by FABI Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Trudy Paap in 2017. This has prompted FABI to take a lead in identifying the extent of the outbreak and its impact on indigenous, forestry and ornamental tree species.


21 May 2018

FABIan exhibits at Botanical Art Worldwide Exhibition

FABI Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Trudy Paap was one of 82 South African botanical artists invited to exhibit their work portraying indigenous plants species at the Botanical Art Worldwide Exhibition being held at the Everard Reid Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg from 17 May – 9 June. The exhibition is being hosted by the Botanical Artists Association of South Africa of which Trudy is a member.


21 May 2018

Tree health specialists converge on the University of Pretoria for the 29th annual meeting of the TPCP

Tree health experts shared the stage with researchers and forestry industry stakeholders at the 29th annual meeting of the Tree Protection Co-operative (TPCP) Programme at the University of Pretoria on 15 and 16 May.


21 May 2018

Collaborators, researchers and core team members of the CTHB celebrate the programme’s successes at its 14th annual meeting

The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) hosted its 14th annual meeting at FABI on 14 May. This marked the first of three days dedicated to discussions about keeping trees healthy. Research by students at different institutions that form part of the CTHB dominated the proceedings on the day. Two guest speakers from Australia and the United States highlighted some problems affecting indigenous trees in their respective countries.


13 May 2018

FABI excellence shines through at UP’s Autumn Graduations

More than 30 postgraduate students affiliated with FABI were awarded their degrees at the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences’ Autumn Graduation ceremonies in April.


10 May 2018

FABI Team surveys Johannesburg gardens for PSHB infestations

A team of 13 FABIans conducted a survey to determine infestation levels of the Polyphagous Shothole Borer on street and garden trees in the Johannesburg suburb of Hurlingham on 4 May.


9 May 2018

FABIan wins ASPB Travel Award

Danielle Roodt, a PhD student in the FMG Research Programme and FABI, has been awarded an American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) Travel Award to attend and present her research at the upcoming Plant Biology Conference, a joint meeting of the ASPB, Canadian Society of Plant Biologists and the International Society of Photosynthesis Research.