The CERC-FABI Tree Protection Programme (CFTPP), is a cooperative venture programme established between the China Eucalypt Research Centre (CERC) of the Chinese Academy of Forestry in China, and the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. To answer long standing questions regarding host relationships in the important group of Ceratocystisfungi, the CERC-FABI team under Dr ShuaiFei Chen initiated a major inoculation experiment at the CERC nursery in the past week.
The week of 28 July to 3 August, saw several FABI postgraduate students descended on Boston, Massachusetts to attend the International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP).
The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) Outreach team participated in the 2018 National Science Week (NSW) - an initiative driven by the Department of Science and Technology and in support of the Mpumalanga Department of Education and takes place in all nine provinces of South Africa - over a one-week period (30 July to 3 August 2018).
Congratulations to FABI PhD candidate Ariska van der Nest who was selected as the lucky winner of the MacBook Air in the United Scientific -80°C Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer competition.
Three FABIans, Prof Bernard Slippers, Dr Irene Barnes and PhD candidate Arista Fourie had the opportunity to attend the ICPP Forest Pathology fieldtrip on New England forest pests and diseases on 28 July.
During the in-between weeks of attending the IMC11 and ICPP2018 conferences, Dr Irene Barnes had the wonderful opportunity to visit with Dr Jim Walla, Northern Tree Specialties in Fargo, North Dakota.
The recent International Congress of Plant Pathology made it possible for Prof Mike Wingfield and Prof Brenda Wingfield to visit with forest pathologist Prof William (Bill) Livingston (and his wife Ulrike) of the University of Maine.
Three FABI alumni headlined a “celebration of science” at the Institute on 7 August. The trio, who completed their PhD degrees at FABI in recent years, presented on their recent research projects and their vision for forestry and agricultural research in the future.
The senior leadership team of the American Phytopathological Society (APS) includes a President, a President Elect and a Past President.
A large group of FABIans participated in the International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP) held in Boston (USA) from the 29 July to 3 August.
At an impressive awards ceremony, Prof.
On the evening of the 26 July, the University of Pretoria hosted the Entomological Society of Southern Africa (ESSA) AGM. Some “insect nerds” and ESSA members from FABI attended the meeting including Prof Stefan Neser, Dr Mesfin Gossa, Samantha Bush, Firehiwot Eshetu and Quentin Guignard as members of the Society. #Weevil,Weevil,RockYou!
The interaction of students with scientists could help inspire and shape their future.
Foliar pests and diseases are a major constraint to maize farmers in Africa.
A large number of FABI staff, postdocs and students - both past and present - participated in the 11th International Mycological Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico from 16-21 July.
Professor Brett Hurley of FABI was invited to participate and present in one of the side events organised during the COFO 24 session, titled “Towards a harmonized global approach for managing forest invasive species”.
FABI’s Mandela Rhodes Scholars celebrate the 2018 selection of 100 Scholars in residence, 100 years after Madiba’s birth
FABI has been home to three Mandela Rhodes Scholars to date: Ms Mmatsepho Phasha (class of 2011), Dr Osmond Mlonyeni (class of 2009), and FABI academic staff member Dr Steven Hussey (class of 2010).
The 11th International Mycological Congress (IMC), was held from 16-21 July in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This is the premier international meeting focused on mycology (the study of fungi) held once every four years and hosted by the International Mycological Association (IMA).
The Phycological Society of Southern Africa held its 31st Annual Congress at Amazingwe Lodge at Hartbeespoort Dam in the North West Province from 14-17 July. The majority of talks revolved around macroalgae and their ecology and taxonomy across southern Africa. Julanie Stapelberg a MSc student from FABI - with a project based at the CSIR - presented both a poster and talk entitled “The recombinant protein production potential within South African Microalgae”. The conference included a large panel discussion on aquaculture, bioremediation and challenges faced in South Africa and how we could address these problems for a more promising future.
The International Mycological Association (IMA) recognises one young mycologist (under the age of 40) from each of five continents for exceptional research accomplishments relating to the study of fungi.
On 4 & 5 July FABI and the University of Pretoria (UP) signed Memoranda of Understanding with the South African National Seed Organisation (SANSOR) and Grain SA. These MOUs formalise an ongoing engagement between these organisations and FABI to enhance long-term research objectives and capacity development programmes.
In recent years, increasing reports of Eucalyptus nitens mortality, as a result of root-rot has been received from foresters across the KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga Provinces of South Africa.
FABI MSc student Julanie Stapelberg, attended the 8th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts in Seattle, USA from 11-13 June. Julanie say that although she knew microalgae was important but her eyes were opened at the future it has. After greenhouse gas emissions are reduced and polluted water is treated, the algae products themselves are extremely beneficial.
The HealGenCAR Conference, with the theme: Clonal forestry and breeding for resistance to pests and pathogens, took place 12-14 June in Höör, Sweden.
In March 2018 four FABIans won prizes at the South African Society of Microbiology Congress.
For the third year running, PhD student Quentin Guignard walked away with the Best Dressed Male award at the 2018 annual meeting of the Society for the Presentation of Outrageous Findings (SPOOF).
For many decades, researchers depended on collections of reprints of scientific papers to maintain easy access to the literature. It was common practice for researchers to purchase reprints of their papers and to share these with colleagues globally.
The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) celebrated 20 years of awardees at the NSTF-South 32 Awards dinner on 28 June.
During the week of 25-29 June, Prof Mike Wingfield and Dr Irene Barnes visited Sappi’s tree health specialists Prof Jolanda Roux and her colleague Kayla Noeth to inspect Eucalyptus trees infected by a species of Ceratocystis.
FABI hosted the first Tuks Young Research Leader Programme (TYRLP) bring-and-share lunch on 27 June. The group of early career researchers gathered under the winter sun to share lunch with colleagues from different UP faculties and departments.
In an effort to nudge a few people in the right direction, PhD candidate Andi Wilson has started a writing club in FABI.
FABI said a sad farewell to Dr Kershney Naidoo who is leaving the University of Pretoria where she completed her PhD and served as a junior lecturer for the past 12 years.
Visiting entomologist introduces FABIans to invasive exotic insect pests in the UK at a special seminar
Dr Chris Malumphy shed light on alien insect species that threaten the survival of various tree species in the United Kingdom in his special seminar, “New and emerging pest threats to trees in the UK” on 22 June.
A group of FABIans enjoyed a colourful spectacle of red, orange and yellow flowers in full bloom at the LC de Villiers campus of the University of Pretoria (UP).
Dr Gerda Fourie, leader of the Macadamia Protection Programme at FABI, and her PhD student, Angel Maduke, recently visited Macadamia growers to sample diseases and plan future experiments.
Congratulations to Esther Andrew Masumba, who successfully defended her PhD thesis on 13 June, becoming the eighth candidate at FABI to reach this milestone in 2018.