9 Dec 2018

FABI and CABI jointly host the first Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer Workshop in Africa

During the last week of November, a team of scientists from FABI under the leadership of Prof. The PSHB was first reported from South Africa early this year after it was discovered infesting trees in KwaZulu-Natal. The beetle carries and inserts a fungus that might eventually kill the tree, depending on the tree species. As the invasive PSHB can be confused easily with other common ambrosia beetles, it might go undetected for some time after it was introduced into a new area or country. The workshop, fully funded by CABI, was attended by 25 people from 14 countries that included Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The attendees have now formed a PSHB African network under the guidance of Dr Arne Witt of CABI, that will monitor and report possible PSHB infestations in Africa.


6 Dec 2018

First publications celebrated

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.


6 Dec 2018

Hat trick for FABI researchers

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.


5 Dec 2018

University of Pretoria Community Engagement photographic competition – winning photos by FABIans

The University of Pretoria had a University-wide (staff and students) photographic competition with the topic of "Community Engagement”.


5 Dec 2018

Runlei Chang rounds off a baker’s dozen of prestige seminars at FABI in 2018

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.


3 Dec 2018

A fungus painting gift to FABI

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.


3 Dec 2018

RGE-FABI THP team returns

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.


30 Nov 2018

Expanding an understanding of South Africa’s mycodiversity

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.


29 Nov 2018

Professor Fanus Venter appointed as Deputy-Director of FABI

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.


29 Nov 2018

An online DNA sequence database to support forest-pest management

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.


29 Nov 2018

ESA 2018 Meeting in Vancouver

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.


28 Nov 2018

Prof André Drenth explores tree health issues in the Western Cape

Prof André Drenth of the University of Queensland and a close collaborator and advisor on many FABI projects recently joined Prof.


26 Nov 2018

FABIans complete the last tree planting exercise of 2018

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.


23 Nov 2018

FABI rewards excellence and looks to the future at 2018 year-end function

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.


22 Nov 2018

Vou Shutt’s prestige seminar marks a dozen PhDs completed at FABI

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”.


14 Nov 2018

FABI Postdoc appointed to The Innovation Hub Board

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.


13 Nov 2018

CTHB team visits University of Venda

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.


12 Nov 2018

FABI Professor attends workshop on microbial systematics

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.


9 Nov 2018

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.


9 Nov 2018

FABI research work features on Carte Blanche

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.


8 Nov 2018

FABI Director joins Chinese Academy of Forestry 60th anniversary celebrations

On 25-26 October, Prof Bernard Slippers attended the 60th Anniversary Celebrations of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAF) in Beijing, China.


7 Nov 2018

FABI shines at SASBi/SAGs conference

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.


2 Nov 2018

Multiomics to analyse the soil microbiome

Dr Richard Allen White III, a postdoctoral Fellow at Washington State University, visited FABI where he presented a workshop on metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses during the week of 22-26 October.


1 Nov 2018

FABI presents a workshop on metagenomics and metatranscriptomics

During the week of 22-26 October, FABI hosted a workshop on metagenomic and metatransciptomic analyses.


31 Oct 2018

Chemical ecology field work at FABI

FABI postdoctoral Fellow Dr Marc Bouwer along with Dr Gabrielle Carstensen and MSc student Ashleigh Smith conducted a field trip to the Lothair and Barberton regions of the Mpumalanga province during the week of 23-26 October.


30 Oct 2018

The CTHB celebrates flagship mentoring and outreach programmes at its annual lunch

The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) celebrated the end of another successful year of mentoring and outreach at its annual lunch on 29 October.


26 Oct 2018

FABI PostDocs visit Sappi Research Centre

Dr Tanay Bose and Dr Marc Bouwer are both in Sappi funded postdoctoral Fellowships in FABI, and part of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP).


25 Oct 2018

Eminent plant pathologist presents a special seminar at FABI on cereal rust pathogens in Australia

Professor Robert Park of the Plant Breeding Institute at the University of Sydney shared highlights of almost a century of research on cereal rust pathogens in Australia in his special seminar titled “Approaching 100 years of cereal rust research at the University of Sydney: Lessons learnt and the way ahead” on 8 October.


22 Oct 2018

FABIans treated to seminars by Professor Randy Ploetz and Dr Michelle Ploetz

Professor Randy Ploetz and Dr Michelle Ploetz treated FABIans to two seminars on 15 October. An authority on tropical fruit diseases at the University of Florida, Prof Ploetz discussed the re-emergence of Fusarium wilt of banana, while Dr Ploetz discussed the dynamics in the use of English in academy by second and third language speakers.


19 Oct 2018

Professor Morales Olmos discusses the economic impact of disease to the forestry sector in Uruguay

Professor Virginia Morales Olmos presented a special seminar at FABI on 10 October, titled “An estimate of the economic impact of Teratosphaeria nubilosa on Eucalyptus globulus plantations in Uruguay”. Reported in Uruguay in 2007, T. Prof Morales Olmos said a study using a cost/benefit analysis model showed economic losses of between one and 20 percent, depending on the location.


18 Oct 2018

The Avocado Research Programme hosts a series of lectures to commemorate its 10th year anniversary

To celebrate 10 years since its launch in 2008, students and postdoctoral Fellows of the Avocado Research Programme at FABI presented lectures on their research at the Plant Sciences Auditorium on 9 October.


17 Oct 2018

Diseases of avocado in Australia under the spotlight at a special seminar in FABI

Dr Elizabeth Dann kicked off discussions on avocado research with a special seminar at FABI on 8 October. Dr Dann is a plant pathologist with the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, a research institute at the University of Queensland in Australia.


8 Oct 2018

Hunting for ambrosia beetles in Tzaneen

During the month of September, a team of FABIans went collecting beetles in the natural forests of Tzaneen. This forms part of the PhD project of Wilma Nel, that aims to gain a better understanding of the ambrosia beetles and their fungal associates infesting eucalyptus and pin oak wood in South Africa.


1 Oct 2018

FABI celebrates 11th PhD thesis in the bag at Erika Viljoen’s prestige seminar

Prior her PhD oral defence on 28 September, Erika Viljoen presented her prestige seminar at FABI in the presence of colleagues, family and friends. Highly nutritious anddrought resistant, A. Erika completed her study under the supervision of Professor Dave Berger.


1 Oct 2018

Professor Burton highlights ways to advance SDGs in Africa at FABI

The University of Pretoria’s Vice-Principal responsible for Research and Postgraduate Education, Prof. Professor Burton explored how research can support the SDGs. FABI Director, Prof Bernard Slippers welcomed guests and opened the event.


28 Sep 2018

Blue skies and burnt trees

PhD candidate Darryl Herron shares his experiences on a recent field trip to the Cape.