During the month of September, a team of FABIans went collecting beetles in the natural forests of Tzaneen. This forms part of the PhD project of Wilma Nel, that aims to gain a better understanding of the ambrosia beetles and their fungal associates infesting eucalyptus and pin oak wood in South Africa.
Prior her PhD oral defence on 28 September, Erika Viljoen presented her prestige seminar at FABI in the presence of colleagues, family and friends. Highly nutritious anddrought resistant, A. Erika completed her study under the supervision of Professor Dave Berger.
The University of Pretoria’s Vice-Principal responsible for Research and Postgraduate Education, Prof. Professor Burton explored how research can support the SDGs. FABI Director, Prof Bernard Slippers welcomed guests and opened the event.
PhD candidate Darryl Herron shares his experiences on a recent field trip to the Cape.
Every year, hundreds of Grade 7s and 12s, descend on the University of Pretoria's L.C. de Villiers sports grounds to take part in the Northern Gauteng Science Fair where they transform the Rembrandt Hall into a science wonderland.
Every four years, an international meeting is convened as one of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations' (IUFRO) more than 250 Working Parties, bringing together researchers and members of forestry industries to exchange research results and other relevant knowledge relating to Eucalyptus propagation.
As President, Prof. Mike Wingfield chaired the meeting of the Board of IUFRO recently held in Corvallis, Oregon (USA).
FABIans reflect on the applications of Next Generation Sequencing on their research at NGS Information Day
The Ion Torrent sequencing facility at the University of Pretoria held a Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Information Day at the Plant Sciences Auditorium on 19 September.
Was this the first ever maize pathology workshop held on the “on the equator”? Possibly! Maseno University in Western Kenya, not far from Lake Victoria, is situated in a hot and humid region. Fungal foliar diseases and pests of maize abound in the region since chemical control is seldom applied and maize production continues all year round.
FABI PhD candidate Joey Hulbert and his co-supervisor Dr Francois Roets recently published an 'Outside the Tower' piece in Science Magazine titled: Science Engagement in South Africa. Photo credits: AIMS-Siuth Africa and Cape Citizen Science
The 6th International Workshop on the Genetics of Tree-Parasite Interactions was hosted by Ohio State University from 5-10 August in Mt. Sterling, Ohio. Researchers from around the world, including Prof. Sanushka Naidoo and PhD candidate Caryn Oates from FABI, presented their work and participated in lively discussions on the future of plant defence research.
Congratulations to 14 FABIans whose degrees were conferred at the Spring graduation of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Pretoria on 4 September.
The winter cold was but a distant memory when the FABI Social Club hosted an ice cream party in celebration of the Institute’s annual Spring Tea on 5 September.
It goes without saying that publishing scientific papers is crucial for a successful science career. Another important part of the writing and publishing process is reviewing and editing. FABI PhD candidate, Katrin Fitza, started a “Writing Club” in 2016 to support this process, and to learn about reviewing and editing at the same time.
FABI PhD candidate Katrin Fitza took part in the Society of Invertebrate Pathology (SIP) conference. This annual meeting gathers around 400 people from around the world. This year the conference was held on the Gold Coast in Australia from 12-17 August.
In order to strengthen our chemical ecology platform, a new gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) system was installed in FABI recently.
Old FABIan and Assistant Research Professor at Auburn University, Prof. Ryan Nadel, made a turn at FABI on 17 August before heading back to the United States following a tour of southern Africa with a group of his students.
Gabrielle Carstensen successfully defended her PhD thesis on 27 August, fulfilling all the requirements for a PhD degree – the tenth FABIan to do so this year.
The FABI flag flew high at this year’s SAWiSA gala event held at The Ranch Resort in Polokwane on Thursday 23 August, with two representatives attending as finalists: Dr Irene Barnes, a research leader in the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB), and Danielle Roodt, a PhD candidate in the Forest Molecular Genetics (FMG) Programme.
Valentine Nakato presented her prestige seminar at the Plant Sciences Complex auditorium on 24 August, becoming the ninth PhD candidate at FABI in 2018 to reach this milestone.
Dr Emmanuel Wicker, a population geneticist at the Interactions Plant Microorganisms Environment unit of the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), delivered a special seminar at FABI on 23 August.
FABI Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Gudrun Dittrich-Schröder, attended an Insect Genetic Technologies short course at The Insect Transformation Facility, University of Maryland, United States from the 22-27 July.
To answer long standing questions regarding host relationships in the important group of Ceratocystisfungi, the CERC-FABI team under Dr ShuaiFei Chen initiated a major inoculation experiment at the CERC nursery in the past week.
The week of 28 July to 3 August, saw several FABI postgraduate students descended on Boston, Massachusetts to attend the International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP).
The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) Outreach team participated in the 2018 National Science Week (NSW) - an initiative driven by the Department of Science and Technology and in support of the Mpumalanga Department of Education and takes place in all nine provinces of South Africa - over a one-week period (30 July to 3 August 2018).
Congratulations to FABI PhD candidate Ariska van der Nest who was selected as the lucky winner of the MacBook Air in the United Scientific -80°C Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer competition.
Three FABIans, Prof Bernard Slippers, Dr Irene Barnes and PhD candidate Arista Fourie had the opportunity to attend the ICPP Forest Pathology fieldtrip on New England forest pests and diseases on 28 July.
During the in-between weeks of attending the IMC11 and ICPP2018 conferences, Dr Irene Barnes had the wonderful opportunity to visit with Dr Jim Walla, Northern Tree Specialties in Fargo, North Dakota.
The recent International Congress of Plant Pathology made it possible for Prof Mike Wingfield and Prof Brenda Wingfield to visit with forest pathologist Prof William (Bill) Livingston (and his wife Ulrike) of the University of Maine.
Three FABI alumni headlined a “celebration of science” at the Institute on 7 August. The trio, who completed their PhD degrees at FABI in recent years, presented on their recent research projects and their vision for forestry and agricultural research in the future.
The senior leadership team of the American Phytopathological Society (APS) includes a President, a President Elect and a Past President.
A large group of FABIans participated in the International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP) held in Boston (USA) from the 29 July to 3 August.
At an impressive awards ceremony, Prof. Brenda Wingfield had the special honour of being awarded Fellowship of the American Phytopathological Society (APS).
On the evening of the 26 July, the University of Pretoria hosted the Entomological Society of Southern Africa (ESSA) AGM. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss society activities and organisational matters including increasing the visibility of the Society’s journal as well as the next ESSA conference (being held from 8-12 July 2019 in Durban).
The interaction of students with scientists could help inspire and shape their future.
Foliar pests and diseases are a major constraint to maize farmers in Africa.