9 Apr 2020

FABIans in the news: Two articles in Wood Southern Africa & Timber Times highlight the work done by the PSHB Research Network

Two articles on the valuable work done at FABI on monitoring and surveillance of the polyphagous shothole borer were re-published in the February edition of Wood Southern Africa & Timber Times.

8 Apr 2020

FABI students organise a half-day student symposium at SAPBA 2020 symposium funded by Corteva

The 13th South African Plant Breeders Symposium was held at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa campus from 8-11 March. A special afternoon session was set aside for University of Pretoria students to organise and was sponsored by Corteva™Agriscience.

7 Apr 2020

FABI signs MoU with Cropwatch Africa to advance national Plant Health management research and service

The Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria (UP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with specialised service provider Cropwatch Africa.

6 Apr 2020

Life in the Time of Corona

Alisa Postma, a PhD candidate in FABI and a research assistant at the Centre for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, relates her experiences of working from home during lockdown. As we pass the (planned) halfway mark of our lockdown period in South Africa, I find myself making mental lists of what to do when I get my freedom back. That being said, finding a work-life balance with none of the external help I usually depend on has not been easy.

6 Apr 2020

Getting a PSHB research project done before the lockdown

Three Fabians rushed to do obtain the final results of a one year long inoculation trial with the PSHB fungus on pecans before the COVID-19 lockdown.

6 Apr 2020

FABI on lockdown: Brenda Wingfield reflects on ‘home work”

FABIans Professors Brenda and Mike Wingfield are on lock down in their home in Brooklyn, Pretoria. Brenda shares some of her thoughts on this unexpected twist in their lives.

3 Apr 2020

Working from Home: Dr Seonju Marincowitz

Dr Seonju Marincowitz is a mycologist and curator of the FABI Culture collection. Here are some of her thoughts on working from home during the lockdown period

2 Apr 2020

Working from home: Neriman’s perspective

FABI research Fellow Dr Neriman Yilmaz shares with us her thoughts on working from home, like so many other FABIans, during the CoViD-19 lockdown.

1 Apr 2020

Collaborative effort reveals diversity and distribution of eucalypt insect pests across 14 African countries

In 2017, a collaborative project was developed with the aim of understanding the distribution and genetic diversity of Eucalyptus insect pests and their natural enemies in sub-Saharan Africa.

25 Mar 2020

Moth pheromone trial in Underberg, KZN

Professor Jeremy Allison (Extraordinary Professor in FABI at UP) joined Luki-Marie Scheepers, Josephine Queffelec, Elisa Pal and Quentin Guignard on a field trip to Underberg, near the Drakensberg from 2-4 March.

23 Mar 2020

Emergency tree planting at FABI

A small group of FABI researchers assisted in an “emergency transplant” of a consignment of pine tree seedlings on 20 March. It is imperative that these seedlings were replanted as they would not otherwise survive in the trays and it would be a significant setback for the project if they died.

19 Mar 2020

FABI Seminars go virtual for COVID-19 social distancing measures

Thursday morning seminars (TMS) continued on 19 March, albeit now from the FABI boardroom and using video conferencing.

19 Mar 2020

Brazilian forestry researchers visit FABI

FABI hosted a visit by two research and development specialists from the Brazilian-based forestry company Suzano Pulp and Paper. During their visit to FABI on 12 March, the visitors participated in a round table discussion including FABI Director Prof.

17 Mar 2020

FABI recognises long service by staff

FABI handed out long service certificates to 25 staff members at the Monday morning meeting on 16 March.

13 Mar 2020

FABI launches Applied Chemical Ecology satellite laboratory

FABI has officially launched an Applied Chemical Ecology satellite laboratory and research programme in co-operation with Natural Resources Canada. The group’s research interests lie at the interface of behavioral chemical ecology and pest management.

12 Mar 2020

CSIR Synthetic Biology centre manager invites FABIans to collaborate

The Manager of the Centre for Synthetic Biology and Precision Medicine at the CSIR, Dr Deepak Balaji Thimiri Govinda Raj invited FABIans to collaborate with the Centre’s researchers during a presentation at the Monday Morning Meeting.

6 Mar 2020

Ten interns welcomed into the CTHB

The DSI-NRF Centre for Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) in FABI welcomed 10 interns on 2 March.

5 Mar 2020

FABI opens its doors for undergraduate students to “meet the scientists”

The CTHB Outreach Team at FABI hosted “Meet the scientists” information sessions for undergraduate students at the University of Pretoria on 26 and 27 February.

5 Mar 2020

Macadamia Protection Program research visit to Australia

Macadamia Protection Programme research group leader, Dr Gerda Fourie, PhD candidate Angel Maduke and MSc student Ashleigh Smith visited research collaborators Prof. Andre Drenth and Prof. Femi Akinsanmi from the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) at the University of Queensland in Brisbane Australia, from 15-29 February.

5 Mar 2020

The Department of Plant and Soil Science casts the spotlight on plant health and food safety with an IYPH lecture series

In observing the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH), the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Pretoria hosted a seminar series on plant health and food safety at the FABI Auditorium on 2 March. Prof.

4 Mar 2020

CTHB welcomes 20 students into its Mentorship Programme

Twenty undergraduate students will gain hands-on scientific research experience as mentees in the CTHB Mentorship Programme.

3 Mar 2020

A celebration of women in science at the first TPCP-CTHB publication party in 2020

FABI celebrated the first publications in an ISI-rated scientific journal of four FABI postgraduate students in the TPCP and CTHB groups at a gathering on 27 February. Publications: Katumanyane A. Messal M. van Wyk S. Lynn K.

28 Feb 2020

Mike Wingfield starts sorting through the FABI slide collection

During the past week, FABI founding Director Prof. Mike Wingfield began the substantial task of sorting through his extensive 35mm slide archive housed at the Institute.

27 Feb 2020

Hans Merensky Chair in Avocado Research established at FABI

The Hans Merensky Chair in Avocado Research has been established at FABI within the Avocado Research Programme (ARP).

27 Feb 2020

FABIans participate in NRF-NSF funded bark beetle mycobiome network

The research team in FABI that works with bark and ambrosia beetles, are currently part of an international collaborative project with American peers, funded jointly by die National Research Foundation (NRF) and National Science Foundation (NSF).

26 Feb 2020


The University of Pretoria’s newly-appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sandile Mthiyane was welcomed to the FABI Monday morning meeting by Director Prof.

19 Feb 2020

Data Jamboree at FABI

The Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) in FABI hosted a “Data Jamboree” on 7 February that saw 44 students in the research programme spend the day capturing historical data from the disease clinic.

17 Feb 2020

FABIans attend the MycoSafe-South workshop

Three FABIans, Dr Neriman Yilmaz, Dr Felix Fru and Claudette Dewing attended the two-day MycoSafe-South workshop hosted by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in collaboration with Ghent University (GU) in Belgium, from 13-14 February.

12 Feb 2020

The Macadamia Protection Programme’s first survey for 2020

Dr Gerda Fourie, leader of the Macadamia Protection Programme at FABI along with postdoctoral Fellow Dr Arista Fourie, PhD candidate Angel Maduke and MSc students Ashleigh Smith, Dee Twiddy and Byron Sonnekus, recently visited various Macadamia growers in the Mpumalanga Province to conduct disease consultations, sample diseased material for new and on-going research projects and plan future field experiments.

11 Feb 2020

Building collaborations in Uganda

In January 2020, Prof. Brett Hurley and Dr Nicolas Kagimu visited Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

10 Feb 2020

FABIans talk science and earn two places in FameLab SA

Two FABIans have each earned a spot in the FameLab SA contest and they stand a chance to represent South Africa in the FameLab International finals in the United Kingdom.

7 Feb 2020

FABIans celebrate another PhD in the bag

FABI congratulates Robert Backer who marked the milestone of completing his PhD study with a prestige seminar on 6 February.

5 Feb 2020

Edgar Mangwende marks completing his PhD study with a seminar

Edgar Mangwende celebrated the milestone of completing his PhD study with a seminar at the Plant Sciences Complex Auditorium on 4 February.

4 Feb 2020

FABIan wins Best PhD award

FABI PhD graduate Dr Elrea Strydom was awarded the Protein Research Foundation’s “Best PhD Award of the Year 2018” at a ceremony at their head office in Woodmead, Johannesburg on 30 January.

3 Feb 2020

FABI’s ‘Gentle Giant’ passes his PhD

Congratulations to Jan Nagel on completing all the requirements for his PhD, becoming the second FABIan in as many days to achieve this milestone.