Dr Privilege Makunde

Postdoctoral Fellow


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I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria hosted by Prof. Brett Hurley and Prof. Bernard Slippers. My research centers on pioneering augmentative biocontrol strategies for Euproctis terminalis, a native insect pest wreaking havoc on pine plantations. This project holds immense scientific significance and bears vital implications for South Africa's forestry sector.

Prior to my current project, I played a pivotal part in the National Forest Pest Surveillance system project, dedicated to bolstering Precision Pest Management within South African plantation forests. In the National Forest Pest Surveillance System project, I investigated leafroller diversity (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in South African forestry nurseries and plantations, reporting a new discovery of Strepsicrates sp. Additionally, I documented the first occurrence of the giant conifer aphid, Cinara pinivora (Wilson), and the Monterey pine aphid, Essigella californica (Essig) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in South Africa.

I have extensive experience and expertise in the systematics and management of plant parasitic nematodes. Additionally, I have hands on experience in utilizing entomopathogenic nematodes as biological control agents for various economically important agricultural insect pests.

My journey in academia has been fueled by a passion for tackling pressing ecological challenges and bridging the gap between cutting-edge research and practical applications in forestry conservation and agriculture.


FABIans attend the 23rd Congress of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa

Twenty four FABIans attended and presented at the recent 23rd Congress of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa.

Moving from young eucalypts to young pine for the National Forest Pest and Pathogen Surveillance strategy

A team from the TPCP, together with the Cropwatch Africa team, visited the southern Cape to test and implement protocols to survey young pine stands for pests and pathogens.

Congratulations Privilege!

Congratulations to Privilege Makunde on successfully completing his PhD.

FABI at the Lisbon IUFRO All Division 7 (Tree Health) Meeting

Fourteen FABIans attended the recent IUFRO All Division 7 (Tree Health) Meeting in Lisbon where they contributed 38 presentations.

Tree planting brings the year to a close

Some 40 FABI students and interns working in the TPCP, CPHB and GRP participated in the last tree planting event for 2021.

First publications celebrated at the TPCP publication party

After an 18 month hiatus, FABI celebrated the first publications in an ISI-rated scientific journal of three FABI postgraduate students in the TPCP and CTHB groups

FABI well represented at ESSA

From 28 June until 1 July, academic staff, postdoctoral Fellows and students from FABI attended the 22nd Biennial Entomological Society of Southern Africa (ESSA) Congress.

SAIF recognizes FABI students

Two FABI PhD candidates were recognized for research excellence by the Southern African Institute of Forestry (SAIF).

Researchers from 27 countries meet to discuss biological control of forest insect pests

The IUFRO Working Party 7.03.13 meeting on the ‘Biological Control of Forest Insect Pests and Pathogens’ was hosted by FABI from 5-8 November.

FABI hosts the Forest Invasive Species Network for Africa

From 3-5 November, participants from Government research institutes and universities gathered at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Campus, for a Forest Invasive Species Network for Africa (FISNA) workshop on the implementation of classical biological control to manage insect pests in plantation forests.

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.

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Book Chapters
Makunde PT, Zeng Y, Patel DJ. 2023. Nematode problems in tobacco and their sustainable management. In: Khan, M.R., & Quintanilla, M., Nematode Diseases of Crops and their Sustainable Management. Elsevier, pp 623 - 640.
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Makunde PT, Joubert JC, Slippers B, Hurley BP, Hammerbacher A. (2023) Leaf surface traits may influence host specificity in psyllids of Eucalyptus, Spondyliaspis cf. plicatuloides (Froggatt) and Glycaspis brimblecombei Moore (Hemiptera: Aphalaridae). Chemoecology 33:83-98. 10.1007/s00049-023-00387-x
Makunde PT, Slippers B, Bush SJ, Hurley BP. (2023) Biology of the invasive shell lerp psyllid, Spondyliaspis cf. plicatuloides (Froggatt) (Hemiptera: Aphalaridae). African Entomology 31( e13747) 10.17159/2254-8854/2023/a13747 PDF
Makunde PT, Dimbi S, Mahere TS, Banana S, Chinheya CC. (2021) Evaluation of an improved Katambora grass cultivar G HR1 for root-knot nematode management in tobacco. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 38(1):4. 10.1080/02571862.2020.1849832
Makunde PT, Slippers B, Burckhardt D, de Queiroz DL, Lawson SA, Hurley BP. (2020) Current and potential threat of psyllids (Hemiptera: Psylloidea) on eucalypts. Southern Forests 82:233-242. 10.2989/20702620.2020.1813650
Makunde PT, Dimbi S, Mahere TS. (2018) Leguminous crops as an alternative rotation with tobacco to control Meloidogyne javanica. Journal of Entomology and Nematology 10(1):5. 10.5897/JEN2017.0192