MSc and PhD bursary opportunities in the Plant Health domain
 
The DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Plant Health Biotechnology (CPHB) at FABI invites applications for two-year MSc and three-year PhD scholarships for full-time study at the University of Pretoria, starting in February 2021. The available projects span a range of disciplines in the biological sciences, including microbiology, entomology, genetics, bioinformatics, botany, genomics, plant pathology, plant breeding, plant production, agricultural extension ecology, biostatistics, biochemistry and chemistry.  
 
South African graduates who intend to do an MSc must hold or be close to completing a BSc Hons degree (or equivalent). Those who intend to do a PhD must hold or be close to completing an MSc degree. In both instances a mark of at least 60% must have been obtained or be expected. Note that preferred applicants are those whose appointment would contribute towards achieving demographic representation in the CPHB.
 
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One-year internships in Phytosanitation and Biosecurity
 
The CPHB Internship Programme, starting in February 2021, is designed to expand the depth and breadth of the interns’ previous academic learning in the plant health domain. The Programme draws from the expertise of multiple stakeholders and the training is coordinated with the needs of relevant industries, organizations and government. Our vision is that this Programme prepares interns for careers in the forestry and agricultural sectors. Interns will be trained to provide technical support to improve the updating of outdated import requirements; assist with a higher turnover of completed pest risk information packages and pest risk assessments, as well as to contribute to pest and disease diagnostic and extension, surveillance and biological control programs. 
 
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M.Sc. position: Use of entomopathogens in integrated pest management of forest insects pests

A M.Sc. position is available in FABI to investigate the use of entomopathogens for the control of insect pests in plantation forests. The use of entomopathogens as biopesticides has been effective in controlling various insect pests of economic concern. The study aims to characterize the diversity of B. bassiana and other entomopathogens in South Africa and determine their efficiency against selected insect pests of plantation trees. In addition, different application methods will be evaluated and the effect on relevant biological control agents will be assessed.

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Postdoctoral Position in Applied Chemical Ecology of Forest Plantation Pests

We seek to hire a postdoctoral research Fellow to conduct mission-oriented research to develop and improve integrated pest management tactics and strategies for insects affecting plantation forests in South Africa.  This position is part of an ongoing collaboration between FABI, the University of Pretoria and the Canadian Forest Service’s Great Lakes Forestry Centre, and partially supported by funding from Sappi. The successful candidate will conduct research with a primary focus of improving our understanding of the chemical, behavioural and/or population ecology of insect herbivores and their natural enemies in pine and Eucalyptus plantations.  

Click here for more information about eligibility and how to apply