11 Jul 2017

FABI’s members shine in Chess Championship 2017

FABI MSc student Thapelo Maboko showed that he is not just and aspiring scientist but also a skilled chess player. The USSA Chess tournament was attended by 198 men and a 99 ladies from 23 institutions from across South Africa with the TuksChess team comprising 10 men and six  women. Godfrey also points out that a chess player can burn up to 6,000 calories during an intense chess game.

8 Jul 2017

FABI flag flies high at SASSB congress

Several FABI staff members and students participated in the recent SASSB conference in Pretoria.

30 Jun 2017

FABI engages youth from Philippi in research at Cape Point

The FABI and DST-NRF Centre for Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) sponsored project, Cape Citizen Science, has partnered with the South African Education and Environment Project (SAEP) to engage youth from two schools in Philippi, Cape Town.

28 Jun 2017

UP researchers on top of the world over fungi research

Read this feature article on the Research Matters webpage of the University of Pretoria.

27 Jun 2017

Passing of Martha Mahlangu

It was with great sadness that the staff of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) learned of the sudden and unexpected death of our receptionist and long-time FABI team member Martha Thandi Mahlangu on 26 June. Martha will be remembered by FABIans for her friendly smile and sense of humour - always laughing and enjoying a good joke.

23 Jun 2017

FABI Director receives Leadership Award

FABI Director, Prof. Mike Wingfield received the Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals from his alma mater, the University of Minnesota where he completed a PhD in plant pathology in 1983.

21 Jun 2017

FABI PhD student flies the UP and country flag high

FABI PhD student, Osmond Mlonyeni, recently attended the 2nd Commonwealth Science Conference in Singapore.

20 Jun 2017

IUFRO Forest Landscape Restoration Workshop In Puerto Rico

During the week of 5 May, FABI Director Prof. Mike Wingfield, in his capacity as IUFRO President, represented the Union at an international workshop on Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) in Puerto Rico.

19 Jun 2017

Fabian attends launch of Kenya-South Africa research projects

Prof. Dave Berger of the Molecular Plant Pathogen Interactions research group in FABI attended a workshop in Nairobi to launch the new set of joint bilateral Kenya-South Africa research projects.

18 Jun 2017

Cooking up Plant Pathology

Three FABIans are enjoying research visits in the USA at Penn State University in the Department of Plant Pathology and Applied Microbiology, Kay Bophela, Andi Wilson and Prof. Brenda Wingfield.

13 Jun 2017

Australian plant pathologist visits FABI

On 5 and 6 June Prof. The aim of this week’s visit was to spent time with Dr Gerda Fourie in order to discuss future collaboration with the Macadamia Protection Programme that was launched earlier this year.

9 Jun 2017

FABI partners with Akanani to deliver winter woollies to communities in need

FABIans collected warm winter clothes, linen and 135 blankets during the 2017 Annual Blanket Drive, which kicked off in March. Akanani provides not only food and toiletries to homeless children, women and men in Tshwane, but also referrals to health and legal services. Staff, students and visitors to FABI contribute to the campaign for blankets and winter woollies every year.

9 Jun 2017

Research Visit to Penn State University, Home of the Nittany Lions

FABI PhD student Andi Wilson relates her experiences while on a two month research visit to Department of Plant Pathology at Pennsylvania State University.

8 Jun 2017

Learning to speak American and other tales

Prof. Brenda Wingfield gives us an insight of campus life while on sabbatical at Pennsylvania State University.

6 Jun 2017

FABIans elected to provincial branch of the SAIF

Two FABIans were re-elected to the executive committee of the Gauteng branch of the Southern African Institute of Forestry (SAIF). The SAIF is a professional association of forestry-related experts geared towards delivering a professional service to forestry. Four FABIans were among six presenters at the meeting who rose to the challenge of PechaKucha style talks on forestry matters. George Dowse of Hans Merensky’s presentation was titled Breeding Eucalyptus sawtimber, Kassahun Maru of UP discussed “The importance of agroforestry in Ethiopia”, Izette Greyling presented “Field extension: Linking industry to world class research”, Darryl Herron presented “Plant clinics in the Anthropocene”, Tayo Adenigba’s presented her talk “Can we use mating factors to manage pitch canker?

2 Jun 2017

Rhizobium researchers visit FABI

Two leading Rhizobium researchers, Dr Sofie de Meyer form the Centre for Rhizobium Studies at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia and Dr Euan James from the James Hatton Institute in Scotland presented a special seminar at FABI as part of their visit to the Institute. Dr de Meyer explained how researchers at the Centre for Rhizobium Studies is focused on finding new legumes better adapted to future climatic conditions in Australia. Dr James spoke of his research work on the diversity of Beta-rhizobia on Mimosa species in South America with the principle questions i) who are these symbionts, ii) what is their origin and iii) are they associated with specific legume hosts?

2 Jun 2017

Colleagues say farewell to Zandile Mngadi

FABIans got together on 30 May to bid farewell and to wish Zandile Mngadi well on her last day at the Institute.

31 May 2017

CTHB Outreach Team participates in Career Guidance Week in Mpumalanga

During the first week of May an Outreach Team of the CTHB participated in the annual Career Guidance Week hosted by the Mondi Science, Career Guidance and FET Skills Centre in Piet Retief, Mpumalanga.

29 May 2017

TUKS showcases international tree health research at the annual TPCP symposium

The Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) in FABI hosted its 28th annual symposium on 16 and 17 May at the University of Pretoria.

28 May 2017

Research on indigenous tree health highlighted at the 2017 annual meeting of the CTHB

Indigenous tree health was brought under the spotlight at the annual meeting of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology at FABI on 15 May.

19 May 2017

FABIans celebrate Velushka Swart’s prestige seminar

Congratulations to Velushka Swart on the successful defence of her PhD degree on 18 May! Her project was supervised by Prof. Velushka’s research sought to understand the role of cercosporin, a phytotoxin that was thought to be essential for pathogenicity in Cercospora species that are pathogens on different hosts.

17 May 2017

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. The TPCP’s research activities support the development of integrated pest management strategies for the South African forestry industry. When dealing with a new disease outbreak the first response is containment to limit its spread - not unlike the lockdown implemented in most parts of the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The next step is to identify the causal agent (bacterium, fungus, insect or virus) of the epidemic. All of this research, taken together, will help the TPCP and its partners to develop integrated pest and pathogen management strategies/or control for the South African forestry industry. The TPCP also takes a pro-active approach to consider possible future threats to the domestic forestry industry in order to prepare for them. View a recording of Prof.  

13 May 2017

FABI puts UP on the Mycological World Map

The University of Pretoria ranks second in the world in Mycology based on the research output of FABI over the past ten years.

12 May 2017

FABIans celebrate James Mehl’s PhD prestige seminar

James Mehl is the fourth doctoral candidate in FABI to complete a PhD degree in 2017.

12 May 2017

More accolades for FABI researchers at UP’s 2017 Academic Achievers’ Award

Seven researchers affiliated with FABI were among those honoured at the University of Pretoria’s annual Academic Achievers’ Awards ceremony on 9 May.

10 May 2017

Undergraduate students visit FABI Biocontrol Centre

As part of their course in Crop Protection, second and third year students from the University of Pretoria visited the FABI Biocontrol Centre. The stops were: 1. 2. 3. 4.   The practical was organised by Dr Michelle Schröder, with assistance from Ms Samantha Bush, Ms Zandile Mngadi, Mr Osmond Mlonyeni, Mr Joseph Khadile and Dr Brett Hurley.

9 May 2017

FABIans host farewell braai for Drs Stuart Fraser and Birhan Abate

FABIans bid farewell to two of their own – Drs Stuart Fraser and Birhan Abate – on 4 May.

5 May 2017

Autumn graduation honours for FABI

FABI would like to congratulate the 25 FABIans that graduated at the University of Pretoria’s Autumn Graduation ceremony on 2 May.

4 May 2017

FABI PhD student wins Whitehead Scientific Award

Danielle Roodt, a FABI PhD student, won a Whitehead Scientific travel grant.

26 Apr 2017

FABIans break a record at 2017 TPCP-CTHB tree planting

More than fifty students and postdoctoral fellows used nearly 200 bags of potting soil to replant a record-breaking 4800 cuttings and seedlings into potting bags at the FABI nursery on 21 April.

24 Apr 2017

FABI hosts expert on insect genomes

For two weeks in March, FABIans will be privy to the skills and knowledge of Dr. Robert Waterhouse, an expert on comparative evolutionary and functional genomics of arthopods, and particularly disease-vector mosquitoes, from the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.

21 Apr 2017

Spreading the news about Fall Armyworm to small-holder maize farmers

FABI’s Molecular Plant-Pathogen Interactions (MPPI) research group added value to their ongoing survey of fungal diseases in small-holder maize farms in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape Provinces by disseminating information about FAW to provincial agricultural extension officers and small-holder farmers.

20 Apr 2017

An egg-cellent Easter Tea party to beat all others!

FABI’s 2017 social calendar set off to a cracking start with an Easter-egg themed party on 19 April.

20 Apr 2017

Exciting the next generation about the future of agriculture

The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg aims to help build South Africa’s science, engineering and technology capacity, especially through activities with learners.

17 Apr 2017

FABI scores a second publication century in 2016

FABIans set a new record in 2016 for the highest number of publications since the Institute was established in 1998.

31 Mar 2017

FMG tree planting day

The Forestry Molecular Genetics (FMG) research group in FABI had its first tree planting day of the year.