Ms Carol-Ann Segal



MSc student

Department

FABI
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Primary Supervisor
Dave Berger

I am currently an MSc Biotechnology student in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Pretoria. I am part of the Molecular-Plant Pathogen Interactions group in FABI run by Professor Dave Berger. The research done by our group primarily focuses on foliar pathogens of maize and the diseases they cause.

My MSc project focuses on Cercospora zeina, the fungal foliar pathogen that causes grey leaf spot (GLS) on maize leaves. My project seeks to understand the role of candidate effectors in the pathogenicity and virulence of C. zeina. At present, very little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the C. zeina infection strategy, therefore this study will add valuable insight into understanding how this fungal pathogen causes GLS in maize and what solutions can be developed to eradicate this disease.

My BSc Biotechnology and BSc (honours) Biotechnology (cum laude) degrees were completed at the University of Pretoria. My honours project focused on the expression analysis of C. zeina cercosporin toxin biosynthesis (CTB) genes.

I am currently an assistant lecturer at the University of Pretoria looking to gain experience in the field of lecturing and academia. In the past, I did vacation work at Monsanto South Africa and worked as a lab assistant at the University of Pretoria for FABI and the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences (DePSS) as part of a mentorship program. Along with my passion for biotechnology and innovation in the field of science, I am interested in teaching, leadership activities and charity work.