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MSc student

Department

Microbiology and Plant Pathology
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Primary Supervisor
Wilhelm de Beer

Co Supervisor
Mike Wingfield

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” – Isaac Newton. This quote inspired the beginning of my journey through Science. As an enthusiastic, young scholar I was accepted to participate in the ‘UP with Science’ - www.upwithscience.up.ac.za program at the University of Pretoria, from Grade 10 until Grade 12. It was here that my fascination with science began, and it continued to grow throughout my undergraduate and post graduate years. In 2013 I completed my Honours degree in Microbiology, at the University of Pretoria, under the supervision of Dr Wilhelm de Beer. I thereafter decided to remain under Dr de Beer’s supervision and continue with my Masters degree. My current research focuses on Ophiostomatoid fungi associated with pine-infesting bark beetles in Guatemala and Mexico. My lab work includes fungal isolations, DNA extraction and sequencing of several gene regions as well as phylogenetic analyses. Preliminary results from Guatemala revealed eight novel species from the genera Leptographium and Ophiostoma that will be described ad published as part of my thesis. These results suggest that Guatemala is home to a rich and unexplored diversity of Ophiostomatoid fungi.