Ms Namhla Tshisela


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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. 


FABIans celebrate another PhD in the bag at Chrizelle Beukes’s prestige seminar

Chrizelle Beukes successfully defended her PhD thesis on 18 June, fulfilling all the requirements for a PhD degree.

FABI Postdoc presents a seminar on the dangers of unregulated plant movement throughout history

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.

Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry beats 40 competitors to win Inqaba Biotec’s mini pipetting contest

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.

FABI ships biocontrol agent to Uganda

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.

Seven FABI researchers honoured at the UP 2019 Academic Achievers’ Awards ceremony

The University of Pretoria honoured its best academics on 21 May, including seven researchers from FABI.

FABI MSc graduate scoops international wood science innovation award

FABI MSc graduate, Martin Wierzbicki scooped the 2018-2019 Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award in Vancouver, Canada, on 14 May.

FABI home to the Mike Wingfield Library

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.

Gearing up for a pest and pathogen arms race

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 power of partnerships, basic research and new technologies highlighted at the 30th Annual Meeting of the TPCP

The Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) hosted its 30th annual meeting at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa campus on 14 May.

Prof. Mike Wingfield shares insights on running a successful tree health programme

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 celebrates 15 years of tree health research

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.

FABIans celebrate Zander Human’s prestige seminar

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 visits the Macadamia Protection Programme and presents a special seminar at FABI

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.

Quentin Santana becomes the third FABIan to earn the title “Dr” in 2019

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.

FABIans flexed their green fingers at 2019’s first tree planting session

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 hosts delegation from DAFF’s International Day of Forests celebrations

FABI hosted a delegation of officials from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), academics and forestry students on 19 March.

FABI PhD student speaks about his prize-winning science communication video and tree health matters in interview with VOC FM

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 students join the CTHB Undergraduate Mentorship Programme in 2019

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.

Prof Steven Chown: Global leader in Antarctic Science and Biodiversity visits FABI

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.

FABIans celebrate two prestige seminars in as many days

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 presents the first prestige seminar at FABI in 2019

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.

Leaders in the TPCP outline strategy for the months ahead

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.

FABIans herald 2019 at the Institute’s welcome breakfast and first Monday Morning Meeting

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 rounds off a baker’s dozen of prestige seminars at FABI in 2018

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.

FABIans complete the last tree planting exercise of 2018

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.

FABI rewards excellence and looks to the future at 2018 year-end function

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’s prestige seminar marks a dozen PhDs completed at FABI

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”.

Key drivers of the CTHB’s mentorship and outreach programmes in 2018 speak about their inspiration and experiences

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 CTHB celebrates flagship mentoring and outreach programmes at its annual lunch

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.

Eminent plant pathologist presents a special seminar at FABI on cereal rust pathogens in Australia

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.

FABIans treated to seminars by Professor Randy Ploetz and Dr Michelle Ploetz

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 Morales Olmos discusses the economic impact of disease to the forestry sector in Uruguay

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.

The Avocado Research Programme hosts a series of lectures to commemorate its 10th year anniversary

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.

FABI alumnus Ryan Nadel makes a pit stop at FABI with students from Auburn University

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.

Ten out of ten for FABI as Gaby Carstensen successfully defends her PhD thesis

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.

Revered population geneticist delivers a special seminar at FABI

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 celebrates the completion of the ninth PhD degree in 2018

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.

FABI hosts a “celebration of science” with a special seminar by three FABI PhD graduates

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.