Ms Leandri Klynsmith

MSc student


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Primary Supervisor
Bernard Slippers

Co Supervisor
Jeremy Allison
Tuan Duong


After completing a BSc undergraduate degree in Genetics and Entomology at the University of Pretoria, I joined the FABI team for a BSc Honours (Genetics) degree. My Honours project investigated plant-fungal interactions at a molecular level which was titled: Characterising the genetics of an asymptomatic, endophytic infection of Eucalyptus grandis by the fungus Botryosphaeria dothidea

Following from the Honours degree, I completed a Masters (Genetics) degree. With the support and guidance of Prof Bernard Slippers and the Sirex research group, I investigated the expression profiles of Sirex noctilio chemosensation genesThis information can open the way for novel chemical, pest control strategies of this invasive woodwasp that have been pestering South Africa for decades.




FABI through the magnifying glass!

This year the inhabitants of FABI stepped through the magnifying glass to find themselves in the weird and wonderful Wonderland at ther annual SPOOF gathering.

FABI students and staff shine at Bio2022 Conference

FABI shone at the recent South African Society for Bioinformatics and the South African Genetics Society's first joint hybrid conference.

Easter tea at FABI

FABI’s traditional monthly Tea party returned on 20 April after a 26-month COVID-induced hiatus.

It’s all about what we Love on Valentine’s Day

FABI celebrated love on Valentine’s Day with a fun photo competition and movie night where FABIans could enjoy watching some romantic movies.

YEF 2021

FABI ended the year on a high with a hybrid Year End Function on 19 November.

TREE House launched in FABI

On 20 October, FABI launched a new project called the TREE House. This initiative aims to create a safe space for all FABIans to discuss social issues and to make FABI a more inclusive place.

Phyloge-Know-Its take gold in the FABI Quiz Night

FABI’s popular online Quiz Night had 12 teams battling for honours once again on 25 July.

FABIans uphold SPOOF tradition with an historic virtual meeting

For the first time in its 23-year history, FABI hosted a virtual Society for the Presentation of Outrageous Findings (SPOOF) event on 17 July. FABIans submitted nine pre-recorded videos, which in the spirit of the time, reflected the lighter moments of a nation under lockdown. The Gene Jockeys took the prize for the Best Abstract (with the subliminal message “Vote for us. FABI Director Prof.

PSHB survey in Northern Cape Pecan orchards

A team of four FABIans, together two staff members of the South African Pecan Producers Association (SAPPA), spent last week surveying pecan orchards in the Northern Cape for the presence of PSHB (Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer) infestations.

FABI shines at SASBi/SAGs conference

The Biennial joint SASBi/SAGS (South African Society for Bioinformatics/South African Genetics Society) Conference was held at Golden Gate National Park in the Free State Province from 16-18 October.

SPOOF 2018 delivers on guffaws and profoundly outrageous science!

For the third year running, PhD student Quentin Guignard walked away with the Best Dressed Male award at the 2018 annual meeting of the Society for the Presentation of Outrageous Findings (SPOOF).

The end of an era when reprints of scientific articles dominated research

For many decades, researchers depended on collections of reprints of scientific papers to maintain easy access to the literature. It was common practice for researchers to purchase reprints of their papers and to share these with colleagues globally.

FABI hosts the first TYRLP bring-and-share lunch

FABI hosted the first Tuks Young Research Leader Programme (TYRLP) bring-and-share lunch on 27 June. The group of early career researchers gathered under the winter sun to share lunch with colleagues from different UP faculties and departments.

Tree health specialists converge on the University of Pretoria for the 29th annual meeting of the TPCP

Tree health experts shared the stage with researchers and forestry industry stakeholders at the 29th annual meeting of the Tree Protection Co-operative (TPCP) Programme at the University of Pretoria on 15 and 16 May.

Fabulous FABI 20th Anniversary Symposium

FABI celebrated two decades of research excellence with a science symposium held on 24-25 January in the Aula Theatre on the Hatfield Campus of the University of Pretoria. More than 300 FABI alumni, academics, Government and forestry industry representatives, as well as many current FABI researchers, staff and students, attended the two-day celebration, themed “The Road to Research Excellence”.

FABI starts 2018 on a high note

FABIans gathered for a breakfast to celebrate the start of their academic year on 15 January.

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.