The French Embassy organised a meeting of French academics working in South Africa on 8 February. The meeting started with a discussion around the importance of partnerships between industry and research in both countries and how to better connect them. The second part of the meeting was dedicated to presentations and discussions about research. Among the other people present at the meeting were FABIans Laure-Anne Poissonier, Elisa Pal, Josephine Queffelec and Raphael Ployet who were all great ambassadors of FABI.
FABI is pleased to announce that Dr Trudy Paap has been appointed with effect from February to manage the field extension services of the Tree Protection Co-operative programme (TPCP), as well as to support the development of a national pest and disease monitoring and management system that links TPCP, Institute for Commercial Forestry Research (ICFR), Industry and Government resources.
FeiFei Liu successfully defended her PhD thesis on 29 January, becoming the second FABIan this year to earn the title “Dr”. This after she presented her prestige seminar, titled “Species diversity and host associations of plant pathogenic Ceratocystis species in China”.
FABI postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Tanay Bose and MSc student Ms. Modjadji Makwela presented their research at theWild Orchids Southern Africa (WOSA) Conference.
Elrea Strydom fulfilled all the requirements for a PhD degree after successfully defending her thesis on 28 January. She became the first FABIan in 2019 to achieve this accolade.
The 2019 meeting of the Southern African Society for Plant Pathology (SASPP) took place on the West Coast, hosted by Stellenbosch University.
In a first step towards understanding this problem, FABI Prof. Mike Wingfield undertook a preliminary survey of Eucalyptus trees in the greater Stellenbosch area, assisted by Dr. Mike Allsopp of the Agricultural Research Council, Plant Protection Research Institute.
Late in 2018, 14 FABIans banded together for the mammoth task of inoculating and disease assessment of 6,360 Pinus patula seedlings with 159 Fusarium circinatum isolates.
Members of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme(TPCP) met at the Future Africa campus on 17 January for a briefing on developments affecting the management and work done in the programme in 2019.
The excitement was palpable as FABI Director Professor Bernard Slippers welcomed staff and students to their first gathering in the Institute for 2019.
The University of Pretoria (UP) has appointed FABI founding-Director Prof Mike Wingfield as Advisor to the Executive, reporting to Vice-Principal for Institutional Planning Prof Anton Ströh.
This year, 10 young women researchers, including FABI PhD candidate Andi Wilson - chosen from more than 500 applicants - were awarded Andi Wilson awarded FWIS Doctoral Fellowships, while a further two were awarded FWIS Postdoctoral Fellowships.
A group of scientists from South Africa and the USA met at the University of Florida (UF), Gainesville, as part of a collaborative network that is jointly funded by the NRF and NSF.
The invasion of the tree-killing Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) in South Africa has gained wide attention in the printed and digital media over the past few months, not only in South Africa, but also abroad.
During the last week of November, a team of scientists from FABI under the leadership of Prof. Wilhelm de Beer hosted the first workshop in Africa specifically focused on the invasion of the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB).
The Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) celebrated the first publication of a paper in an ISI-rated scientific journal by a postgraduate student from the work of either their PhD or MSc at a party on 26 November.
FABI Director Professor Bernard Slippers has joined Prof Mike Wingfield and Prof Pedro Crous on the list of highly cited researchers in the field of Plant and Animal Sciences for 2018.
The University of Pretoria had a University-wide (staff and students) photographic competition with the topic of "Community Engagement”.
Runlei Chang delivered the last prestige seminar of the year at FABI on 3 December, bringing the number of PhD theses completed at the Institute in 2018 to 13.
During a recent visit to Indonesia, a group of staff members and students of FABI were presented with a painting as a gift to FABI from Mr Rob Pallet, a previous member of the Board of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) and now on the staff of the APRIL Forestry Group.
On Saturday 10 November, Dr Fahimeh Jami (Postdoctoral Fellow), Kira Lynn (M.Sc. student) and Nam Pham (Ph.D. student), returned to South Africa after spending almost two months in Sumatra.
Five biologists from the Universities of Stellenbosch, Pretoria and the Free State including Prof Mike Wingfield of FABI, recently undertook a broadly-based mycological foray in the natural forests of the southern Cape.
FABI Management is delighted with the appointment of Prof Fanus Venter as the Deputy Director of FABI. The position was created against the backdrop of the size and expansion of the Institute and the fact that Prof Bernard Slippers currently holds the Directorship of both FABI and Future Africa.
The FIMT website serves as a tool for rapid identification of insects associated with forests, in particular Eucalyptus and Pinus species, and is intended to assist researchers and field-based scientists focussing on forest health.
From 11-14 November the Entomological Society of America, the Entomological Society of Canada, and the Entomological Society of British Columbia held a join meeting in Vancouver. The meeting was attended by FABIan Prof Brett Hurley, who is currently on sabbatical in Canada.
Prof André Drenth of the University of Queensland and a close collaborator and advisor on many FABI projects recently joined Prof.
Students and staff at FABI got their hands dirty and spent the morning on 23 November replanting 3,000 cuttings into potting bags at the FABI Nursery on the University of Pretoria’s experimental farm.
FABIans reflected on the gains of the year and looked forward to 2019 and beyond at the annual year-end function and awards ceremony on 17 November.
Vou Shutt successfully defended her PhD thesis on 21 November, marking the final stage of completing her degree by delivering a prestige seminar at FABI. Her presentation was titled “Bacterial pathogens of tomato in South Africa: Identification, population diversity and cultivar susceptibility”.
Dr Osmond Mlonyeni, who earlier this year completed his Ph.D in Genetics and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at FABI has been appointed to the Board of Directors of The Innovation Hub.
On 11-12 October a team from the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) visited the University of Venda (UniVen) in Thohoyandou in the Limpopo Province.
Between 28 and 31 October Prof Fanus Venter was invited to attend a National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored workshop on “Microbial Systematics for the Next Decade” held in Hood River, Oregon, USA.
Key drivers of the CTHB’s mentorship and outreach programmes in 2018 speak about their inspiration and experiences
Mentorship at undergraduate and high school level have been the cornerstone of the CTHB’s outreach programmes since its founding 14 years ago. Staff, postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students in the CTHB have mentored more than 200 undergraduate students, introducing them to the basic tenets of laboratory etiquette and postgraduate research.
The popular South African current affairs and investigative journalism programme Carte Blanche featured the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme's (TPCP) in FABI's research work on the Polyphagous Shothole Borer (PSHB) on its weekly programme on 4 November.
On 25-26 October, Prof Bernard Slippers attended the 60th Anniversary Celebrations of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAF) in Beijing, China.
The Biennial joint SASBi/SAGS (South African Society for Bioinformatics/South African Genetics Society) Conference was held at Golden Gate National Park in the Free State Province from 16-18 October.