Ms Dee Twiddy
Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
I first started my journey in FABI in the final year of my undergrad in the CTHB Mentorship Programme. The following year I complete my Honours in Microbiology in FABI under the guidance of Dr. Gerda Fourie researching the potential impact the dominant fungal symbiont (Fusarium euwallaceae) of a newly invasive beetle, the Polyphagous Shothole Borer (PSHB), may have on macadamia in South Africa.
This year I have started my MSc in Microbiology working on husk rot of macadamia. Husk rot in a fungal disease causing soft black lesions on mature macadamia nuts. This compromise in nut quality, leading to yield loss, and the sporadic nature of husk rot incidence in orchards has resulted in the disease being of concern to growers for a number of years. My research aims to understand the epidemiology of the fungi causing husk rot in South Africa.
The annual International Macadamia R&D Conference was held in Lincang City, Yunnan, China from 5-9 November. Macadamia Protection Programme research leader Dr Gerda Fourie and FABI postdoctoral Fellow Dr Arista Fourie joined 300 delegates from 12 countries, consisting mostly of senior researchers, institute directors and consultants.