2 Jul 2020

Dr Osmond Mlonyeni appointed as a Trustee of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation

FABI was delighted to learn that a colleague and Manager for Partnerships and Programs for Innovation at Future Africa, Dr Osmond Mlonyeni has been appointed as a Trustee of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation. The Trustees of the MRF officially welcomed him at the annual Board meeting held on 8 June. Osmond is an alumnus of FABI at the University of Pretoria where he completed both MSc and PhD degrees and he remains deeply involved in the activities of FABI.


30 Jun 2020

Dr Matthew Kasson presents the second FABI International Seminar

FABI’s second monthly International Seminar had Assistant Professor of Forest Pathology at West Virginia University Dr Matthew Kasson present a talk entitled: Deciphering fungus-arthropod interactions: from ambrosia fungi to cicada-killing “Zygomycetes".


26 Jun 2020

Scientists warn of increasing threats posed by invasive alien species

orestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) founding Director and immediate past IUFRO President Prof. Mike Wingfield joined a global group of invasion biologists to compile an important study warning of the threats posed by invasive alien species.


25 Jun 2020

"Crop Rotation” An important disease management strategy

In the latest issue of the magazin Pula Imvula, Dr Mahlane Godfrey Kgatle a postdoctoral Fellow at FABI has authored an article on crop rotation and its importance as part of a disease management strategy.


19 Jun 2020

Fungi in FABI lockdown! Discovering unexpected and hidden mycological gems

As we move to more relaxed lockdown regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools, businesses and offices are starting to re-open. Recently, a leatherwear and accessory store in Malaysia reopened their doors after two months of lockdown, only to find fungi growing on all their products.


18 Jun 2020

#LockdownSA: Boldly going back to the spaces we enjoy

After what felt like an eternity in lockdown, FABI and the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) were finally able to send their first team back into the field. Field work, like space exploration, allows us to collect data and samples, establish important trials and gives us the opportunity to educate as we work. The expedition to Mpumalanga was a success. We are especially thankful to Forestry South Africa and the University of Pretoria for providing permits for us to continue with field trips.


11 Jun 2020

Why it’s so critical to continuously monitor and manage plant diseases

Why it’s so critical to continuously monitor and manage plant diseases.


8 Jun 2020

Stephanie van Wyk becomes the first FABIan to present her Prestige Seminar online

FABI congratulates Stephanie van Wyk who presented her PhD prestige seminar and thesis defence on 2 June, the first FABIAN to do so using the online meeting platform, Zoom.


4 Jun 2020

First online stage gate meetings at FABI

Postgraduate research activities have continued at FABI despite the COVID-19 lockdown. FABI has recently been allowed to partially open its doors and resume research activities.


2 Jun 2020

Professor Bernard Slippers awarded the prestigious Havenga Prize for Natural Sciences

The FABI team was delighted to hear that the Institute Director Prof. The award recognises Prof.


1 Jun 2020

FABI maintains science engagement with research community through the FABI International Seminar Series

FABI launched its first virtual International Seminar Series on 28 May, with more than 160 participants from 20 countries around the world tuning in. Dr Joey Tanney, a research scientist at the Pacific Forestry Centre in Canada, kick-started the series with his seminar “Endophyte insights: Modulating tree microbiomes and the new paradigm of forest tree health”. The FABI International Seminar Series is co-ordinated by Prof.


27 May 2020

Two FABIans among 17 FameLab SA finalists

Two FABI PhD candidates are among 17 young science communicators from South African universities who will compete for a place in the FameLab International Finals scheduled for October. The FameLab SA finals will be held at a future date ahead of the international contest scheduled for October.


22 May 2020

FABI's Blanket Drive brings warmth to the community

FABIans opened their hearts and wallets in April and collected more than R11,000 to buy blankets for community organisations in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg.


21 May 2020

Introductory Microsatellite Workshop hosted online during lockdown

The DNA Sanger Sequencing facility at the University of Pretoria (UP) hosted an annual in-house Introductory Microsatellite Workshop (IMW) for UP postgraduate students and staff from 4-11 May 2020.


20 May 2020

Donating re-usable cloth face masks for the children at Steve Biko hospital

With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, many hospitals are running low on personal protective equipment, not only for their staff but also for their incoming patients. If anyone would like to contribute to this good cause, please contact FABI Deputy Director Prof.


19 May 2020

Big data, biotechnology and the future of tree health management at FABI

Harnessing the rapid advances in biotechnology and ‘big-data’ processing will open up new possibilities for future tree health management.


18 May 2020

Panel discusses the merits of ongoing monitoring in tree health research at the annual meeting of the TPCP and CPHB

Members of a panel highlighted the essential contributions of fundamental research in efforts to maintain healthy plantation of trees.


18 May 2020

Reflections on the application of fundamental research to keep plantation trees healthy

Professor Brett Hurley illustrated how fundamental research had the laid the foundation for the application of management practices for new and established pests and pathogens of plantation-grown forest trees South Africa.


17 May 2020

The Tree Protection Co-operative Programme: 31 years of serving the forestry industry

The situation the world’s population currently finds itself in with the global-spread of the COVID-19 virus – just one invisible pathogen - bears direct parallels to the research work that has been done in the TPCP over the past 31 years in combatting plantation tree pests and diseases.


16 May 2020

Tree health in a changing world: planning for the ‘New Normal’

Climate change is an undisputed challenge to commercial forestry worldwide. It brings with it changes not only to the environment but also the opportunity for pests and diseases to colonize new areas, previously unsuitable for their survival.


15 May 2020

FABI’s first ‘virtual’ symposium successfully connects academia-industry-government networks

The 31st Annual meeting of the TPC and CPHB in FABI was held on the 12 May.


15 May 2020

Stakeholders consider strategic partnerships post-COVID-19 at the first online meeting of the TPCP and the CPHB

articipants attending the first online meeting of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) and the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Plant Health Biotechnology(CPHB) on 12 May contemplated the state of partnerships between academia and industry.


14 May 2020

World-leading work on bacteria, fungi and insects rewarded with prestigious FLAIR Fellowships in FABI

The FABI community is delighted with three of its researchers awarded Future Leaders – African Independent Research (FLAIR) fellowships.


13 May 2020

CERC-FABI Tree Protection Team plant trees for research

On 8 May, the CFTPP Team at CERC planted Eucalyptus urophylla genotypes in experimental plot that will be used for experiments on the biology of Calonectria species that cause a serious leaf blight disease.


11 May 2020

Preparing for the Annual Meeting of the TPCP

In anticipation of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) and DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Plant Health Biotechnology (CPHB) meeting on Tuesday 11 May, various members of the TPCP Management Committee joined FABI and TPCP Director Prof. Bernard Slippers for an online Zoom meeting to test the system.


11 May 2020

FABI’s Social Club 2020 team announced

FABI’s Social Club for 2020 has recently been announced.


8 May 2020

FABI Journal Clubs continue during lockdown

FABI runs numerous Journal Clubs. Importantly these have continued to meet during the COVID-19 lockdown, albeit using virtual platforms.


7 May 2020

Renate Zipfel reflects on working from home

Renate Zipfel, manager of the DNA Sequencing Facility in the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology (BGM) reflects on working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown.


4 May 2020

Research activities continue at the China Eucalyptus Research Centre (CERC)

Despite the many complications relating to the global CoViD-19 crisis, FABI has continued to maintain substantial research momentum.


29 Apr 2020

FABI alumnus appointed to leadership position at Innovation Africa@UP 

The University of Pretoria has appointed Dr Marinda Visser as the Director: Strategic Projects and Partnerships in Agriculture - Innovation Africa@UP with effect from 1 May 2020.


28 Apr 2020

Members of the TPCP Diagnostic Clinic learn more about forestry in Mpumalanga and KZN during their annual training trip

Members of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) Diagnostic Clinic team travelled to Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal in March for the annual Diagnostic Clinic training trip.


23 Apr 2020

FABI extension trip covers two countries

February's extension trip took Caitlin Gevers, Darryl Herron, Daniella Kramer and Jenna-Lee Price to some exotic locations around Mkhondo in Mpumalanga, the wild lands of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Greytown and Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal.


20 Apr 2020

Keeping the TPCP biocontrol research programme alive (literally) during lockdown

At the FABI Biocontrol Centre on the experimental farm of the university, several living collections of organisms are being maintained, particularly for the TPCP Biocontrol research.


20 Apr 2020

The ‘C’ word

Congratulations to Kira Lynn for obtaining her Masters degree cum laude.


17 Apr 2020

No break for insects!

Elisa Pal, a PhD candidate in FABI’s Macadamia Protection Programme explains how she cares for her colony of stink bugs during the Covid-19 lockdown.


15 Apr 2020

Autumn graduation honours for 68 FABIans at the University of Pretoria’s first virtual graduation ceremony

FABI celebrates with the 68 graduates affiliated with the Institute whose degrees were conferred at the University of Pretoria’s first virtual graduation ceremony on 6 April.