6 Oct 2016

FABI restores biocontrol monument

FABI has sponsored the replacement of the plaque on the monument at Cedara near Pietermaritzburg that commemorates the groundbreaking biological control work by the South African entomologist Dr. F.G.C. Tooke.


6 Oct 2016

FABI hosts International Forestry Students Symposium planning meeting

FABI Director, Prof. Mike Wingfield, in his capacity as the IUFRO President, hosted members of the South African committee of the International Forestry Students Association (IFSA) on 29-30 September.


4 Oct 2016

FABI researchers elected to the executive of the South African Genetics Society

The joint congress of the South African Society for Bioinformatics (SASBi) and the South African Genetics Society (SAGS) was held at the Nelson Mandela school of Medicine, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal 20-23rd September 2016. The congress involved researchers from institutions across the country and provided an ideal platform for postgraduate students to present their research.


30 Sep 2016

China Eucalyptus Research Centre leader visits FABI

The head of the pathology programme of the China Eucalyptus Research Centre (CERC), Dr ShuaiFei Chen visited FABI in September. ShuaiFei completed his Ph.


16 Sep 2016

Bioinformatician from Denmark presents a three-day comparative genomics workshop at FABI 

FABI hosted a comparative genomics workshop for postgraduate students and staff from 13 to 15 September. Titled “Workshop on Linux Essentials and Variant Discovery with GATK”, the three-day session was presented by Dr Vang Quy Le from the Aalborg University Hospital in Denmark.


15 Sep 2016

FABI and Pretoria_UP iGEM team present at ACGT Synthetic Biology Symposium

On 6 September members of the FABI community attended and presented work at the African Center for Gene Technologies (ACGT) Synthetic Biology Symposium at the African Pride Irene Country Lodge.


15 Sep 2016

ACGT, FMG and Pretoria_UP iGEM team organize first UP plant synthetic biology workshop

The 2016 Pretoria_UP iGEM team, instructed by FABIan Dr. Steven Hussey, partnered with the African Center for Gene Technologies (ACGT) to facilitate a plant synthetic biology workshop on 5 September 2016 at the University of Pretoria.


14 Sep 2016

Renowned plant pathologist presents a special visual seminar at FABI

Former Dean in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and previously a head in its Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, Prof. Fritz Rijkenberg, visited FABi for the first time last week.


10 Sep 2016

FABI’s Fruit Tree Biotechnology Programme hosts annual Hans Merensky Foundation Student Presentation seminars

The Fruit Tree Biotechnology Programme (FTBP) held the annual Hans Merensky Foundation Student Presentation seminars at FABI on 8 September.


9 Sep 2016

FABI members attend the twelfth Regional Plant Biotechnology Forum

Members of Cereal Foliar Pathogen Research (CFPR), Molecular Plant Pathogen Interactions (MPPI) and Molecular Plant Physiology (MPP) research groups attended the African Centre for Gene Technologies (ACGT) Plant Biotechnology Forum on 8 September 2016 at the CSIR International Convention Centre.


8 Sep 2016

FABIans have fun in the sun at UP Spring Day

Armed with cooler bags, sunblock and camp chairs, FABIans joined the fray of UP staff and students who got together to celebrate the end of winter.


3 Sep 2016

Spring colours the UP campus

FABians celebrated the arrival of spring with a Spring Tea social. Photographs: Morne Booij-Liewes


2 Sep 2016

Six FABIans Graduate

FABI celebrated the graduation of two PhD and four MSc students at the Spring Graduation Ceremony of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences on 1 September. PhD Dr Sarai Olivier-Espejel - Patterns and drivers of insect community diversity and composition in non-native black wattle and pine plantations in South Africa. Supervisor: Dr Jeff Garnas. Co-supervisor: Dr Brett Hurley. Dr Elsie Cruywagen - Diversity and taxonomy of fungi infecting species of Adansonia (Baobab). Supervisor: Prof. Co-supervisors: Prof. MSc Matt Laubscher – Functional genomics analysis of Eucalyptus grandis secondary cell wall-related transcription factors EgrNAC26 and EgrNAC61 through heterologous induction in Arabidopsis mesophyll protoplasts  Supervisor: Dr. Co-supervisors: Dr Eshchar Mizrachi and Prof. Juanita Avontuur - The classification of novel Bradyrhizobium species associated with indigenous southern African legumes. Supervisor: Prof. Co-supervisor: Prof. Johan Bestbier – HPLC and colourimetric quanitification of shikimic acid levels in crops after glyphosate treatment. Supervisor: Dr Juan Vorster. Angelique du Preez - Flagellin glycosylation in Pantoea ananatis. Supervisor: Prof. Co-supervisors: Prof.  


2 Sep 2016

Trees reveal solar eclipse

FABIans were able to witness a partial solar eclipse during their Spring Day Tea celebrations on 1 September.


2 Sep 2016

FABIans attend the 2016 Macadamia Growers' Research Symposium

Prof. One of the major concerns for the macadamia industry is damage caused by the two-spotted stinkbug (Bathycoelia Distincta). Prof. Approximately 350 delegates attended the symposium.


1 Sep 2016

FABI students join #ScienceIsGlobal Twitter campaign

Ten FABI postgraduate students representing South Africa, China, Vietnam, Colombia, Cameroon, Malaysia and Nigeria participated in the #ScienceIsGlobal Twitter media campaign created by The Royal Society in partnership with national academies across the UK and Europe.


1 Sep 2016

FABIans celebrate warmer and brighter days to come at the annual Spring Day Tea

In a spectacular show of colour and food, FABIans celebrated the arrival of spring at the annual FABI Spring Day Tea in the FABI courtyard.


29 Aug 2016

Centre of Excellence Directors meet in Durban

The Annual Meeting of the Department of Science and Technology-National Research Foundation Centre’s of Excellence was hosted by the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th August.


29 Aug 2016

IUFRO President meets with international forestry students

The International Forestry Students Association (IFSA) held their annual International Forestry Students Symposium (IFSS) in Austria from 7-23 August. As part of the IFSS proceedings, FABI Director and IUFRO President, Prof. Mike Wingfield participated in two events.


26 Aug 2016

FABIans co-author a paper in Nature Plants

This year has been designated as the International Year of Pulses (grain legumes) by the 68th UN General Assembly.


25 Aug 2016

FABIans visit the Biocontrol Facility

Twenty FABI post-graduate students and staff took the opportunity to visit the FABI Biocontrol facility on the UP experimental farm on Friday 19 August. Facility manager, Prof.


19 Aug 2016

Science Olympiads battle it out at FAME Club seminars

True to its focus on trending issues, this week’s FAME Club seminars in FABI paid homage to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games currently on in Brazil. Catherine Tatham’s presentation on research on long-term contraceptive solutions, titled “Do bonking bunnies hold the answer to the future of contraception” was delivered in less than three minutes and was voted the best by the audience.


18 Aug 2016

Dr. ShuaiFei Chen awarded funding by the Chinese National Science Fund for Excellent Young Scholars

Dr. The NSFC set up the Excellent Young Scholar Fund in 2012 to promote the rapid development of young Chinese scientists and to train a group of excellent young scientists to enter the forefront of world science and technology. ShuaiFei joined FABI in 2007 where he completed his PhD degree in 2011, followed by post-doctoral fellowships at the Institute and later in the USA.


18 Aug 2016

FABIans judge at the 2016 Northern Gauteng Senior Science Fair

Building a career in science takes time and usually starts at a young age. The Expo gives budding young scientists and engineers the opportunity to showcase their talent.


16 Aug 2016

Science trumps magic at 2016 National Science Week!

The Outreach team from the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) at FABI travelled to Piet Retief, Mpumalanga, on 9 August to participate in the annual National Science Week fair. By the end of each experiment, the learners were convinced that science, not magic or trickery, explained the phenomena unfolding before their eyes. The CTHB team showed the learners how to use mathematics to outsmart their friends in a game of cards and also simplified exothermic reactions in chemistry by using hydrogen peroxide, dishwashing liquid, food colouring and yeast to create fluorescent “volcanoes” which erupted in front of their eyes! An initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, NSW events are held over five days across all nine provinces.


12 Aug 2016

FABI celebrates sixth PhD in 2016

FABI congratulates Alexander Osorio on the successful defence of his PhD thesis during his oral examination on 10 August. His thesis, titled:  Diseases of mangrove trees in South Africa, was a unique project as FABI had never before worked on mangrove tree species and it therefore presented some unique challenges. PUBLICATIONS FROM HIS THESIS Osorio JA, Wingfield MJ, de Beer ZW, Roux J. Osorio JA, Wingfield MJ, Roux J.  


12 Aug 2016

Colombian Ambassador attends FABI Prestige Seminar

FABI was honoured to receive a visit by the Colombian Ambassador to South Africa, Her Excellency, Dr Maria Eugenia Correa Olarte on the occasion of Alexander Osorio’s PhD prestige seminar on 10 August.


12 Aug 2016

Special Seminar by Prof Tsopelas

The world renown forest pathologist, Prof. Panos Tsopelas, presented a special seminar at FABI titled: Canker stain disease: a major threat to natural stands of Platanus orientalis in the Balkan Peninsula.


11 Aug 2016

FABIan spends two months at VIB in Belgium on research visit

Danielle Rood, a Ph. After receiving the RNA-seq data required for the largest part of her analyses, Danielle applied for, and was awarded, the University of Pretoria Postgraduate Study Abroad Bursary that funded the largest part of her research visit. VIB is a large research institute, with some 1,500 research staff, employees and students from more than 60 countries worldwide.


11 Aug 2016

Robert Bosch Stiftung funds the attendance of two FABIans at ESOF16

Two FABIans, Ms. ESOF16 had more than 150 sessions, 700 speakers and was attended by approximately 4,500 individuals from more than 90 countries. In addition to the talks at ESOF16, emerging researchers including the FABI team members had the opportunity to enjoy lunch with a distinguished scientist and have an informal discussion about their careers, advice for emerging researchers etc. The conference ended on Wednesday evening with the closing ceremony highlighting events of the past few days. Danielle and Gudrun thank the Robert Bosch Stiftung for making their participation at this event possible.


5 Aug 2016

FMG hosts an R statistics workshop

The Forest Molecular Genetics (FMG) Programme hosted an eight-day training workshop on R statistics, quantitative genetics and genomic selection from 25 July to 3 August in Hilton in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.


4 Aug 2016

Fabians attend the European Plant Biology Congress 2016 in Prague

Prof. Noelani van den Berg and Dr Bridget Crampton recently attended the European Plant Biology EPSO/FESB Congress from 26 -30 June in Prague in the Czech Republic.


30 Jul 2016

FABI scientists participate in IUFRO task force workshop on forest biological invasions

Two FABIans, Dr Brett Hurley and Prof. Mike Wingfield joined approximately 60 scientists from all over the world for a workshop of the IUFRO Biological Invasions Task Force in the USA.


29 Jul 2016

Fabians attended the IS-MPMI XVII Congress in Portland

The International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (IS-MPME) congress was held in Portland, Oregon from 17-21 July 2016. Professor Dave Berger, research leader of the Molecular Plant-Pathogen Interactions research group was invited to give a talk entitled “Integration of resistance QTL, expression QTL and co-expression modules reveals molecular responses of maize to the fungal pathogen Cercospora zeina” and also presented two posters. Other researchers representing South Africa at the congress were Prof.


28 Jul 2016

The CTHB Tree Disease Treasure Hunt

Grade 10 learners taking part in the CTHB Tree Disease Treasure Hunt at FABI on July 23 needed a combination of smarts, speed and sweat to complete the challenge and claim their prizes. The learners, who are in their first year of the UP and JuniorTukkie’s science enrichment programme UP with Science, were mentored by staff and students in the CTHB.


23 Jul 2016

New bacterium discovered by FABI research team named after Kirstenbosch 

On 7 July Anthony Hitchcock, Nursery, Living Collections and Threatened Species Manager at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, hosted a small function where Prof. Fanus Venter (CTHB / Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology) had the opportunity to hand over a copy of a publication in which a new bacterial species was named after the gardens.