FABI was honoured to receive a visit on 11 September by a delegation of forestry industry representatives from Sarawak in Malaysia.
FABIans took to the courts once again on 13 September at the University of Pretoria’s Spring Day celebrations on the LC de Villiers Sports Campus.
Three UP-FABI PhD students, based in Uganda and Kenya, recently published first author papers on results from a Gates Foundation project on the genetics of cassava tolerance to CBSD.
The Annual Centres of Excellence Director’s Forum held in Port Elizabeth from 31 August till 2 September gave South African scientists a platform to discuss the Triumvirate (people, knowledge enterprise and engagement with society) Transformation in the DST-NRF Centres of Excellence. Core team members from the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) engaged young learners from Port Elizabeth at a science outreach forum.
Dr Gerda Fourie from FABI attended the annual Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association (SAMAC) Research Symposium held on 6-7 September at Sibaya Casino, KwaZulu-Natal.
FABI PhD candidate Darryl Herron was highly commended for his poster about “Food Security” in the Annual Young Science Communicators competition organized by SAASTA.
FABI held its annual Spring Tea in the FABI Courtyard on 1 September.
FABI staff and students in Department of Plant and Soil Sciences hosted a School Science Day for Grade 11 learners and teachers from Woodhill College.
FABI hosted Dr Jonathan Plett, a leading mycologist, from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University, Australia from 28-30 August.
FABI had the pleasure of hosting a visit on the 22 August by a delegation of senior management and researchers from the Indonesia-based Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL), a division of the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group of companies.
Extraordinary Professor Gerhard Pietersen says farewell to colleagues and students after 13 years at UP
Staff and students in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology of the University of Pretoria gathered on 21 August to wish Extraordinary Professor Gerhard Pietersen well as he takes up a research position in the Western Cape. Prof. He supervised 16 completed MSc's and two completed PhD's during his time at UP. Prof.
The South African Women in Science Awards ceremony and gala dinner - one of South Africa’s premier Science events of the year, was held at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton on 17 August.
Eight FABIans served on the judging panel of the North Gauteng Senior Science Fair at the University of Pretoria’s LC de Villiers Sports Campus on 18 August.
From 7 to 11 August, the FABI/CTHB tent at the Mondi Science, Career Guidance and FET Skills Centre was a haven for science enthusiasts of all ages who attended the annual National Science Week (NSW) celebrations. The experiments challenged the learners to think out of the box and beyond “magic” as an answer to things they could not initially explain. The CTHB Outreach Team was one of several exhibitors who took part in the initiative spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology. The CTHB Outreach Team this year included postgraduate students Juanita Avontuur, Arista Fourie, Angel Maduke and Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry along with Namhla Tshisela.
Hundreds of leaners from local schools converged on the O.
Prof. Wilhelm de Beer of FABI participated in the Nomenclature Section of the recent International Botanical Congress (IBC) in Shenzeng, China.
FABI was honoured to receive a visit on 28 July by a delegation from the Pretoria Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, led by Counselor Huang Wei. They were shown the research work being undertaken at the FABI Biocontrol Centre at the University of Pretoria’s experimental farm. The Institute has had a long association with China through the CERC-FABI Tree Protection Programme (CFTPP), a cooperative venture between the China Eucalypt Research Centre (CERC) of the Chinese Academy of Forestry in China, and FABI. The CFTPP arose from a long-term collaboration between the two institutions that was formally established in 2014.
The first 'in-house' fungal genome has been sequenced in the halls of FABI using Oxford NanoPore sequencing technology. Photo Caption: Dr Tuan Doung loads the first sample of genomic DNA run on the MinION at FABI.
Professor Fanus Venter recently attended the meeting of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (ICSP) in Valencia, Spain from 7-9 July as representative of the South African Society for Microbiology. He was also invited to present a lecture at the 7th Congress of European Microbiologists (FEMS 2017) in Valencia as one of four invited speakers to a session on the role of genome sequence analysis in polyphasic taxonomy and prokaryotic systematics.
FABI Director Prof.
FABIans contribute to the sustainability of a diverse forestry sector at the 7th Forestry Science Symposium
FABI had a significant presence at the 7th Forestry Science Symposium hosted by the Institute for Commercial Forestry Research (ICFR) in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). This symposium, held in Pietermaritzburg from 18-21 July, brought together more than 200 participants from Government, commercial forestry companies, research institutions and universities. All sharing an interest i
The 2017 meeting of the Mycological Society of America (MSA) with the theme “Translational mycology: Putting fungal diversity to work” was held from 16-19 July in Athens, Georgia, USA. Lieschen presented a talk "Analysis of the twelfth chromosome of a representative set of species within the Fusarium fujikuroi species complex". Brenda presented two posters, both with a focus on Mating type genes: "Review and revision of the nomenclature system for MAT genes in the Pezizomycotina" and "Genome sequencing reveals a heterothallic mating system in the Eucalyptus pathogen Chrysoporthe austroafricana". Brenda was also presented a plaque from the MSA to celebrate her recognition as an Honorary Member of MSA.
FABIans attend the 2017 Combined Congress of the Entomological and Zoological Societies of Southern Africa
The 2017 Combined Congress of the Entomological and Zoological Societies of Southern Africa took place from 3-7 July at the CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. Over 400 people attended the congress, moving between four parallel sessions covering a wide variety of thematic areas. The congress hosted plenary presentations by eminent scientists, including Professors Daniel Simberloff, Phil Stevenson and Bill Karasov while lunchtime workshops discussed topics such as career
Delegates participating in the International Forestry Students Symposium (IFSS) 2017 visited FABI on Sunday 16 July.
The 45th International Forestry Students Symposium (IFSS) held its closing ceremony at the University of Pretoria (UP) on 16 July. FABI Director, Prof. The IFSS closing ceremony was attended by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, General Bheki Cele, University of Pretoria Vice-Principal Prof. Incoming IFSA President Salina Abraham spoke passionately of the role of the youth and particularly IFSA members in the future of forestry in her welcome speech. Addressing the delegates and invited guests, Gen. Gen.
On 7 July, the University of Pretoria’s Rautenbach Hall was transformed into “Piney Town”, a small town in the Wild West, for the 21st Annual Meeting of the Society for the Presentation of Outrageous Findings (SPOOF). Scientists presented their findings of varying degrees of outrageousness at this year’s SPOOF meeting. In the "eyes" of the audience, two presentations stood out as most exceptional. The Best Dressed Female award went to Josephine Queffelec who came dressed as a Native American totem pole. For the second year running, Quentin Guignard took home the Best Dressed Male award for his costume as one of the villainous Sirex Brothers terrorising the trees of Piney Town.
FABI congratulates Aquillah Kanzi who successfully defended his PhD thesis at his oral examination on 11 July, a day after presenting his prestige seminar. The aim of his study was to provide insight regarding the mating systems and evolution of Chrysoporthe species, which are economically important fungal pathogens that cause canker diseases on Eucalyptus species and indigenous tree species such as Syzygium. Whole genome sequences of Chrysoporthe austroafricana, C. Dr.
FABI MSc student Thapelo Maboko showed that he is not just and aspiring scientist but also a skilled chess player. The USSA Chess tournament was attended by 198 men and a 99 ladies from 23 institutions from across South Africa with the TuksChess team comprising 10 men and six women. Godfrey also points out that a chess player can burn up to 6,000 calories during an intense chess game.
Several FABI staff members and students participated in the recent SASSB conference in Pretoria.
The FABI and DST-NRF Centre for Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) sponsored project, Cape Citizen Science, has partnered with the South African Education and Environment Project (SAEP) to engage youth from two schools in Philippi, Cape Town.
Read this feature article on the Research Matters webpage of the University of Pretoria.
It was with great sadness that the staff of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) learned of the sudden and unexpected death of our receptionist and long-time FABI team member Martha Thandi Mahlangu on 26 June. Martha will be remembered by FABIans for her friendly smile and sense of humour - always laughing and enjoying a good joke.
FABI Director, Prof. Mike Wingfield received the Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals from his alma mater, the University of Minnesota where he completed a PhD in plant pathology in 1983.
FABI PhD student, Osmond Mlonyeni, recently attended the 2nd Commonwealth Science Conference in Singapore.
During the week of 5 May, FABI Director Prof. Mike Wingfield, in his capacity as IUFRO President, represented the Union at an international workshop on Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) in Puerto Rico.
Prof. Dave Berger of the Molecular Plant Pathogen Interactions research group in FABI attended a workshop in Nairobi to launch the new set of joint bilateral Kenya-South Africa research projects.