Ms Claire Randolph
Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
|Wilhelm de Beer|
As a scientist, I am imaginative and ambitious.
As just me, I am assertive and have a sense of endless curiosity.
Combined, these qualities make me who I am today; an MSc(Microbiology) candidate.
After completing my undergraduate studies in Microbiology at the University of Pretoria, I joined the FABI team in 2019 to pursue an Honours degree in the same field, supervised by Prof Wilhelm de Beer. Our research focused on the presence of the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) and its phytopathogenic fungal symbiont, Fusarium euwallaceae, in a plant nursery in Krugersdorp. Given the implications of this disease complex previously experienced in Israel and California, an outbreak in South Africa is of high risk and hence to contribute to the growing pool of research in this regard, this study considered the current pathways of spread of the beetle around the country. Because potted trees in nurseries are routinely purchased and geographically distributed for landscapers etc., we determined if this would spread the beetle throughout South Africa. The results of this small study revealed nursery stock to not be involved in PSHB spread at this stage.
My Master's studies are supervised by Prof Irene Barnes, Prof Wilhelm de Beer and Dr Trudy Paap. Our work has focused on population genetics of Fusarium euwallaceae in South Africa. We are very excited about this project and the knowledge that I have gained throughout this experience is invaluable. I am very proud to call myself a FABIan and be a part of such a dynamic and innovative team!