Ms Namhla Tshisela
I completed my undergraduate degree – a BA in Media, Communication and Culture – at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. At the University of Stellenbosch I completed a BPhil (Journalism) and an MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes University.
I write news stories for the FABI website.
Chrizelle Beukes successfully defended her PhD thesis on 18 June, fulfilling all the requirements for a PhD degree.
Dr Trudy Paap’s seminar “Plants, people and places” on 10 June chronicled the movement of plants through history and warned of the dangers of unregulated importation of plant material.
For her precision and dexterity, FABI PhD student Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry was crowned “Pipetting Ninja” at a mini pipetting competition hosted by Inqaba Biotec at FABI on 5 June.
Thaumastocoris peregrinus, the bronze bug, is not only a pest attacking Eucalyptus in South Africa but is also a problem in several other African countries.
The University of Pretoria honoured its best academics on 21 May, including seven researchers from FABI.
FABI MSc graduate, Martin Wierzbicki scooped the 2018-2019 Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award in Vancouver, Canada, on 14 May.
FABI is now home to the Mike Wingfield Library, a collection of more than 1300 books donated to the FABI Archive by Prof. Mike Wingfield.
Tree health practitioners discuss technological advances and re-emerging threats to the world’s forests on the last day of the 30th TPCP Annual Meeting
The Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) hosted its 30th annual meeting at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa campus on 14 May.
At this year's Annual TPCP meetings, Prof. Mike Wingfield shared seven attributes he considered central to the success of the 30-year-old programme.
The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) hosted its 15th annual meeting at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa campus on 13 May.
Zander Human successfully defended his PhD thesis after presenting his prestige seminar in the FABI auditorium on 16 April, meeting all the requirements for a doctoral degree. Protea repens grow on nutrient-poor soil in the fynbos biome, a habitat prone to fire. Zander identified not only fungal communities present in the structures but also bacterial communities.
Dr Wayne Hancock of Southern Cross University, Australia visited Dr Gerda Fourie, research leader of the Macadamia Protection Programme in FABI, from 25 to 28 March.
Congratulations to Quentin Santana on fulfilling all the requirements for a PhD degree! Quentin is the third candidate at FABI to achieve this feat in 2019.
A team of about 40 students spent the morning on 21 March replanting 1600 cuttings into potting bags at the FABI nursery on the University of Pretoria’s experimental farm.
FABI hosted a delegation of officials from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), academics and forestry students on 19 March.
FABI PhD candidate Darryl Herron cast the spotlight on tree health matters during an interview with VOC FM, a community radio station based in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, on 14 March.
Thirteen undergraduate students will get their first taste of life as researchers as mentees in the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology’s undergraduate mentorship programme.
Professor Steven Chown of the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University in Australia visited FABI on the 27 February to engage with academic colleagues and students.
FeiFei Liu successfully defended her PhD thesis on 29 January, becoming the second FABIan this year to earn the title “Dr”. This after she presented her prestige seminar, titled “Species diversity and host associations of plant pathogenic Ceratocystis species in China”.
Elrea Strydom fulfilled all the requirements for a PhD degree after successfully defending her thesis on 28 January. She became the first FABIan in 2019 to achieve this accolade.
Members of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme(TPCP) met at the Future Africa campus on 17 January for a briefing on developments affecting the management and work done in the programme in 2019.
The excitement was palpable as FABI Director Professor Bernard Slippers welcomed staff and students to their first gathering in the Institute for 2019.
Runlei Chang delivered the last prestige seminar of the year at FABI on 3 December, bringing the number of PhD theses completed at the Institute in 2018 to 13.
Students and staff at FABI got their hands dirty and spent the morning on 23 November replanting 3,000 cuttings into potting bags at the FABI Nursery on the University of Pretoria’s experimental farm.
FABIans reflected on the gains of the year and looked forward to 2019 and beyond at the annual year-end function and awards ceremony on 17 November.
Vou Shutt successfully defended her PhD thesis on 21 November, marking the final stage of completing her degree by delivering a prestige seminar at FABI. Her presentation was titled “Bacterial pathogens of tomato in South Africa: Identification, population diversity and cultivar susceptibility”.
Mentorship at undergraduate and high school level have been the cornerstone of the CTHB’s outreach programmes since its founding 14 years ago. Staff, postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students in the CTHB have mentored more than 200 undergraduate students, introducing them to the basic tenets of laboratory etiquette and postgraduate research.
The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) celebrated the end of another successful year of mentoring and outreach at its annual lunch on 29 October.
Professor Robert Park of the Plant Breeding Institute at the University of Sydney shared highlights of almost a century of research on cereal rust pathogens in Australia in his special seminar titled “Approaching 100 years of cereal rust research at the University of Sydney: Lessons learnt and the way ahead” on 8 October.
Professor Randy Ploetz and Dr Michelle Ploetz treated FABIans to two seminars on 15 October. An authority on tropical fruit diseases at the University of Florida, Prof Ploetz discussed the re-emergence of Fusarium wilt of banana, while Dr Ploetz discussed the dynamics in the use of English in academy by second and third language speakers.
Professor Virginia Morales Olmos presented a special seminar at FABI on 10 October, titled “An estimate of the economic impact of Teratosphaeria nubilosa on Eucalyptus globulus plantations in Uruguay”. Reported in Uruguay in 2007, T. Prof Morales Olmos said a study using a cost/benefit analysis model showed economic losses of between one and 20 percent, depending on the location.
To celebrate 10 years since its launch in 2008, students and postdoctoral Fellows of the Avocado Research Programme at FABI presented lectures on their research at the Plant Sciences Auditorium on 9 October.
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.
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.
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.
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.