13 Aug 2020

FABIans take part in the first virtual SASBi-SC student symposium

FABIans joined young researchers from several countries for the South African Society of Bioinformatics Student Council (SASBi-SC) Online Student Symposium from 4-6 August. FABIans contributed two oral presentations and a project overview to the 30 presentations at the online symposium.


11 Aug 2020

FMG members attend a virtual PB20 conference

Twenty two members of the FMG research group in FABI attended this year's virtual-hosted ASPB Plant Biology Worldwide Summit 2020.


7 Aug 2020

FABIans participate in FAO forest invasive species webinar

FABI founding Director and Immediate Past President IUFRO, Prof. Mike Wingfield along with Prof. Brett Hurley were invited to present in a FAO webinar covering the topic “Forest invasive species - the next global pandemic?” on 29 July.


6 Aug 2020

Plant evolutionary biologist delivers third instalment in the FABI International Seminar Series

Dr Celine Caseys of the University of California, Davis, delivered the third presentation in the FABI International Seminar Series on 30 July.


4 Aug 2020

A webinar on Plant Health in Botanical Gardens amid the COVID-19 pandemic

It has been just over four years since the SANBI-funded postdoctoral project ‘Monitoring plant health in sentinel sites: botanical gardens and arboreta’ started.


31 Jul 2020

Mike Wingfield wins NSTF award

FABI congratulates Prof. Mike Wingfield on winning the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Annual Theme Award: Plant Health.


28 Jul 2020

Grain Research Programme field trip to the Eastern Cape

Three researchers from the FABI Grain Research Programme, Dr David Nsibo, Dr Godfrey Kgatle and PhD candidate Pfano Mbedzi, visited farms in the Eastern Cape from 12-17 July.


27 Jul 2020

FABI mycologists participate in the annual MSA meeting: Mycology in the cloud

FABI students and their co-authors contributed 37 posters/graphical abstracts of the 157 of these presentations at the MSA conference.


24 Jul 2020

The first JOVE video shoot in Africa

Four FABIans (Vinolia Danki, Dr Tuan Duong, Dr Andi Wilson and Prof. Andi and Brenda were joined in the making of the video by Tuan and Vinolia.


23 Jul 2020

FABIans uphold SPOOF tradition with an historic virtual meeting

For the first time in its 23-year history, FABI hosted a virtual Society for the Presentation of Outrageous Findings (SPOOF) event on 17 July. FABIans submitted nine pre-recorded videos, which in the spirit of the time, reflected the lighter moments of a nation under lockdown. The Gene Jockeys took the prize for the Best Abstract (with the subliminal message “Vote for us. FABI Director Prof.


22 Jul 2020

Students and staff of CERC and FABI celebrate the PhD defense of JieQiong Li

JieQiong Li marked the completion of her PhD study by presenting a prestige seminar (thesis defense) on 17 July.


17 Jul 2020

Fieldwork during a pandemic

FABI Director, Prof. Bernard Slippers along with Prof. Brett Hurley and Darryl Herron embarked on a field trip to the southern Cape during the week of 29 June.


16 Jul 2020

‘Fake news’ in the COVID-19 pandemic

Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Pretoria Professor Tawana Kupe joined FABIans at the Monday Morning Meeting on 13 July for a discussion on ‘fake news’ in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic.


13 Jul 2020

Phytophthora disease resistance trials continue

FABI’s Dr Tanay Bose, a postdoctoral Fellow under the TPCP and in partnership with Sappi Forests has been running Phytophthora disease resistance trials for identifying tolerant Eucalyptus clones.


2 Jul 2020

Dr Osmond Mlonyeni appointed as a Trustee of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation

FABI was delighted to learn that a colleague and Manager for Partnerships and Programs for Innovation at Future Africa, Dr Osmond Mlonyeni has been appointed as a Trustee of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation. The Trustees of the MRF officially welcomed him at the annual Board meeting held on 8 June. Osmond is an alumnus of FABI at the University of Pretoria where he completed both MSc and PhD degrees and he remains deeply involved in the activities of FABI.


30 Jun 2020

Dr Matthew Kasson presents the second FABI International Seminar

FABI’s second monthly International Seminar had Assistant Professor of Forest Pathology at West Virginia University Dr Matthew Kasson present a talk entitled: Deciphering fungus-arthropod interactions: from ambrosia fungi to cicada-killing “Zygomycetes".


26 Jun 2020

Scientists warn of increasing threats posed by invasive alien species

orestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) founding Director and immediate past IUFRO President Prof. Mike Wingfield joined a global group of invasion biologists to compile an important study warning of the threats posed by invasive alien species.


25 Jun 2020

In the latest issue of the magazine Pula Imvula, Dr Mahlane Godfrey Kgatle a postdoctoral Fellow at FABI has authored an article on crop rotation and its importance as part of a disease management strategy.


19 Jun 2020

Fungi in FABI lockdown! Discovering unexpected and hidden mycological gems

As we move to more relaxed lockdown regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools, businesses and offices are starting to re-open. Recently, a leatherwear and accessory store in Malaysia reopened their doors after two months of lockdown, only to find fungi growing on all their products.


18 Jun 2020

#LockdownSA: Boldly going back to the spaces we enjoy

After what felt like an eternity in lockdown, FABI and the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) were finally able to send their first team back into the field. Field work, like space exploration, allows us to collect data and samples, establish important trials and gives us the opportunity to educate as we work. The expedition to Mpumalanga was a success. We are especially thankful to Forestry South Africa and the University of Pretoria for providing permits for us to continue with field trips.


11 Jun 2020

Why it’s so critical to continuously monitor and manage plant diseases

Why it’s so critical to continuously monitor and manage plant diseases.


8 Jun 2020

Stephanie van Wyk becomes the first FABIan to present her Prestige Seminar online

FABI congratulates Stephanie van Wyk who presented her PhD prestige seminar and thesis defence on 2 June, the first FABIAN to do so using the online meeting platform, Zoom.


4 Jun 2020

First online stage gate meetings at FABI

Postgraduate research activities have continued at FABI despite the COVID-19 lockdown. FABI has recently been allowed to partially open its doors and resume research activities.


2 Jun 2020

Professor Bernard Slippers awarded the prestigious Havenga Prize for Natural Sciences

The FABI team was delighted to hear that the Institute Director Prof. The award recognises Prof.


1 Jun 2020

FABI maintains science engagement with research community through the FABI International Seminar Series

FABI launched its first virtual International Seminar Series on 28 May, with more than 160 participants from 20 countries around the world tuning in. Dr Joey Tanney, a research scientist at the Pacific Forestry Centre in Canada, kick-started the series with his seminar “Endophyte insights: Modulating tree microbiomes and the new paradigm of forest tree health”. The FABI International Seminar Series is co-ordinated by Prof.


27 May 2020

Two FABIans among 17 FameLab SA finalists

Two FABI PhD candidates are among 17 young science communicators from South African universities who will compete for a place in the FameLab International Finals scheduled for October. The FameLab SA finals will be held at a future date ahead of the international contest scheduled for October.


22 May 2020

FABI's Blanket Drive brings warmth to the community

FABIans opened their hearts and wallets in April and collected more than R11,000 to buy blankets for community organisations in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg.


21 May 2020

Introductory Microsatellite Workshop hosted online during lockdown

The DNA Sanger Sequencing facility at the University of Pretoria (UP) hosted an annual in-house Introductory Microsatellite Workshop (IMW) for UP postgraduate students and staff from 4-11 May 2020.


20 May 2020

Donating re-usable cloth face masks for the children at Steve Biko hospital

With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, many hospitals are running low on personal protective equipment, not only for their staff but also for their incoming patients. If anyone would like to contribute to this good cause, please contact FABI Deputy Director Prof.


19 May 2020

Big data, biotechnology and the future of tree health management at FABI

Harnessing the rapid advances in biotechnology and ‘big-data’ processing will open up new possibilities for future tree health management.


18 May 2020

Panel discusses the merits of ongoing monitoring in tree health research at the annual meeting of the TPCP and CPHB

Members of a panel highlighted the essential contributions of fundamental research in efforts to maintain healthy plantation of trees.


18 May 2020

Reflections on the application of fundamental research to keep plantation trees healthy

Professor Brett Hurley illustrated how fundamental research had the laid the foundation for the application of management practices for new and established pests and pathogens of plantation-grown forest trees South Africa.


17 May 2020

The Tree Protection Co-operative Programme: 31 years of serving the forestry industry

The situation the world’s population currently finds itself in with the global-spread of the COVID-19 virus – just one invisible pathogen - bears direct parallels to the research work that has been done in the TPCP over the past 31 years in combatting plantation tree pests and diseases.


16 May 2020

Tree health in a changing world: planning for the ‘New Normal’

Climate change is an undisputed challenge to commercial forestry worldwide. It brings with it changes not only to the environment but also the opportunity for pests and diseases to colonize new areas, previously unsuitable for their survival.


15 May 2020

FABI’s first ‘virtual’ symposium successfully connects academia-industry-government networks

The 31st Annual meeting of the TPC and CPHB in FABI was held on the 12 May.


15 May 2020

Stakeholders consider strategic partnerships post-COVID-19 at the first online meeting of the TPCP and the CPHB

articipants attending the first online meeting of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) and the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Plant Health Biotechnology(CPHB) on 12 May contemplated the state of partnerships between academia and industry.