Following discussions on the way forward for FABI in 2020, the Tree protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) management committee members briefed students and staff at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa campus on 17 January.
The United Nations (UN) has declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH-2020). This will be "to raise awareness of the importance and impacts of plant health in addressing issues of global importance, including hunger, poverty, threats to the environment and economic development".
Professor Mike Wingfield, Founding Director of FABI and Prof. Brenda Wingfield (NRF SARCHi Chair in Fungal Genetics) had the honour of being invited by His Excellency Mr Lin Songtian, the Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, to attend a celebration of the 2020 Lunar New Year.
FABIans look forward to outstanding science and exciting developments at 2020 opening and welcome breakfast
FABI will be the place to be in 2020 for plant health research and events marking the United Nation’s International Year of Plant Health (IYPH 2020) said Prof. Bernard Slippers at the Institute’s opening on 13 January.
The First Annual Meeting of the HOMED project was held from 27-29 November in Padova, Italy.
The University of Pretoria's Department of Zoology and Entomology held its annual general meeting on 28-29 November.
Andi Wilson has become the 15th FABIan to successfully complete their PhD, thereby closing off a remarkable year for the Institute.
The French-South African Science and Innovation Days was held in the CSIR from 2-3 December.
The Australasian Plant Pathology Society (APPS) celebrated its 50th anniversary at their 22nd Biennial conference in Melbourne from 25-28 November. They met up with a number of FABIans at the meeting.
FABI has ended the year on a high with the promotion of staff members and international recognition as leaders in their field.
FABI congratulates Miekie Human, who on 25 November marked the successful completion of her PhD thesis with a prestige seminar.
As a fun alternative to the usual Monday Morning Meeting (MMM) presentations, FABI Deputy Director Prof. Fanus Venter invited FABIans to present a short review on their favourite books they have recently read at MMM on 25 November.
FABI celebrated the completion of the Institute’s 13th PhD candidate in 2019 with David Nsibo successfully defending his PhD on 21 November. David’s project was done under the supervision of Prof. Professor Berger praised David as a self-starter who has not let challenges in his project stop him from achieving his goals. His PhD project focused on the fungal pathogen Cercospora zeina that causes gray leaf spot disease of maize, responsible for major yield losses in commercial and smallholder farms throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
The IUFRO Working Party 7.03.13 meeting on the ‘Biological Control of Forest Insect Pests and Pathogens’ was hosted by FABI from 5-8 November.
From 3-5 November, participants from Government research institutes and universities gathered at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Campus, for a Forest Invasive Species Network for Africa (FISNA) workshop on the implementation of classical biological control to manage insect pests in plantation forests.
FABI’s Dr Trudy Paap and collaborator Dr Alberto Santini (CNR ISPP, Italy) attended and contributed to a workshop on “Frameworks used in Invasion Science” organised by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (CIB) in held in Stellenbosch from 11-13 November.
FABIans celebrate the end of a fruitful year at the Institute’s year-end function and awards ceremony
FABI Director Prof. Guests included Vice-Principal for Research and Postgraduate Education at UP Prof. In his address, Prof. Dr Irene Barnes presented a number of awards on the night, with the premium award, FABIan of the Year going to PhD student Stephanie van Wyk. In the new category, Best Postdoctoral Fellow, two awards were given to Dr Marc Bouwer and Dr Victoria Maloney. For their creativity,Prof. Prof.
The prestigious PeerJ feature collection highlights novel and innovative developments in the field of biotechnology. The RIPper was chosen for the PeerJ bioinformatics feature collection by senior editors Professors Claus Wilke and Keith Crandall.
What does the average biologist have to do with programming microprocessors? Prof. The GCRF pump-priming funding has allowed Prof. Photo caption: November Biomaker workshop participants.
The annual International Macadamia R&D Conference was held in Lincang City, Yunnan, China from 5-9 November. Macadamia Protection Programme research leader Dr Gerda Fourie and FABI postdoctoral Fellow Dr Arista Fourie joined 300 delegates from 12 countries, consisting mostly of senior researchers, institute directors and consultants.
FABI congratulates Mohammad Sayari for successfully completing and defending his PhD thesis on 12 November.
Two leaders on biological control presented seminars at FABI on 12 November.
A leading expert on ambrosia and bark beetles, Prof. Jiri Hulcr, presented a special seminar at FABI on 1 November.
FABI research Fellow Dr Neriman Yilmaz and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) outreach team recently visited Laerskool Menlopark within the “Fungi for future” Citizen Science project. The project has so far included three schools: Laerskool Menlopark, Nwa’vhangani and Tlakukani Primary Schools.
Several members of the Rhizobial Research Group (Prof. Emma Steenkamp, Prof. Fanus Venter, Dr Chrizelle Beukes, Juanita Avontuur and Derick Claassens) joined Polish collaborators Prof. Tomasz Stępkowski, Joanna Banasiewicz and Rafał Banasiewicz on a sampling trip to Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal from 27-31 October.
Thirteen students who completed eight months of mentorship in the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology(CTHB) received their certificates of completion on 1 November at a small ceremony in FABI.
University of Pretoria Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof. Tawana Kupe collected soil samples at the Future Africa campus on 30 October as part of a FABI-hosted Citizen Science project “Fungi for Future”.
The biennial meeting of the IUFRO’s Working Party 7.02.09 – ‘Phytophthorain Forests and Natural Ecosystems’ was held on the Italian island of Sardinia from 17-25 October 2019.
Five women led a discussion at FABI on the challenges faced by women in the biotechnology sector on 29 October.
Former Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Pretoria Professor Jean Lubuma joined FABIans at the Monday morning meeting on 28 October, giving them an opportunity to wish him well on his retirement.
Two FABI PhD candidates, Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry and Jane Ramaswe recently returned from a three-month exchange visit to Pennsylvania State University. The visit is part of a strategic partnership between the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiologyin Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria.
The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) outreach team from FABI was involved in a ‘Fungi for Future’ initiative which forms part of their citizen science project.
On Friday 18 October, the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) Outreach Team had the privilege of handing over five bicycles to learners from the N’wa-Vangani Primary School for their outstanding academic achievements.
The Plant Genome Evolution Conference is a biennial event and the 2019 meeting, which marked the fifth meeting, was held in Sitges (Barcelona), Spain.
FABI PhD candidate Joséphine Queffelec recently visited two research labs in Argentina to talk about insect ecology and reinforce the collaboration between FABI and other entomology and forestry research labs.
This year FABI PhD candidate Joséphine Queffelec participated in this effort and helped to plant over 200 native trees on the snowy slopes of the Patagonian mountains.