7 May 2019

PSHB survey in Northern Cape Pecan orchards

A team of four FABIans, together two staff members of the South African Pecan Producers Association (SAPPA), spent last week surveying pecan orchards in the Northern Cape for the presence of PSHB (Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer) infestations.


2 May 2019

Dr Cobus Visagie to join FABI

The University of Pretoria (UP) has appointed Dr Cobus Visagie as Associate Professor and will join FABI from June 2019. Dr Visagie currently works as senior researcher at the ARC, and hold extraordinary positions at UP and Stellenbosch University.


30 Apr 2019

FABI shines at the Autumn Graduation

Congratulations to those FABIans that were capped at the Autumn Graduation Ceremony of the University of Pretoria.


29 Apr 2019

Danielle Roodt successfully defends her PhD thesis

Danielle Roodt successfully defended her PhD entitled “The evolution of xylogenesis in the vascular plants” during her Prestige Seminar on 23 April, becoming the sixth FABIan to be awarded their PhD this year.


28 Apr 2019

Shothole Borer meetings in the Cape Peninsula

Profs Wilhelm de Beer from FABI, and Francois Roets from Stellenbosch University, participated in a number of PSHB related meetings in the Cape Peninsula during the past week.


26 Apr 2019

Congratulations to Eric Visser on successfully defending his Ph.D

Erik Visser successfully defended his Ph.D. after he presented a Prestige Seminar entitled “Transcriptomic model of resistance mechanisms in the Pinus-Fusarium circinatum interaction” on 18 April.


25 Apr 2019

FABIans attend the Black Women in Science inaugural gala dinner

FABI Ph.D. candidates Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry and Khumbuzile Bophela attended the inaugural Black Women in Science (BWIS) gala dinner on 6 April.


25 Apr 2019

The Mondi Chair in Forest Pathology: Celebration of a 25 year investment

Mondi South Africa, part of the leading international paper and pulp company began its investment in the Mondi Chair in Forest Pathology in 1994. On Monday 17 April Mondi held a celebration at their Homeleigh Guest House in Kwambonmbi to recognize the contributions of the Mondi Chair in Forest Pathology.


23 Apr 2019

Fourth FABI Ph.D. for 2019

Caryn Oates become the fourth FABIan to be awarded their Ph. Leptocybe invasa is a gall wasp that causes significant damage to Eucalyptus plantations in South Africa.  It was found that L.


18 Apr 2019

FABIans celebrate Zander Human’s prestige seminar

Zander Human successfully defended his PhD thesis after presenting his prestige seminar in the FABI auditorium on 16 April, meeting all the requirements for a doctoral degree. Protea repens grow on nutrient-poor soil in the fynbos biome, a habitat prone to fire. Zander identified not only fungal communities present in the structures but also bacterial communities.


17 Apr 2019

FABI PhD student wins prize at Joint Genome Institute User Meeting in San Francisco

FABI team members Prof. Lazarus Takawira, a PhD student under the supervisor of Dr Steven Hussey and the author of the paperback Imagine Africa, flew the FABI banner high by scooping the Best Student Poster award. Lazarus’ research made extensive use of a JGI Community DNA Synthesis Grant awarded to his supervisor, Dr Hussey, in 2016. Captions: 1. 2.


12 Apr 2019

Exciting initial results towards the management of the pine emperor moth

FABIans Dr Marc Bouwer, Luki-Marie Scheepers and Rosa Knoppersen had a short field trip to Bulwer in April to to service and remove pine emperor moth pheromone traps that were previously deployed in that area.


10 Apr 2019

Guide on biological control of insect pests in forests published

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has published a “Guide to the classical biological control of insect pests in planted and natural forests”. The guide includes information on the processes leading to classical biological control (CBC), the implementation of CBC and post-release monitoring and evaluation of CBC agents.  


9 Apr 2019

FABIans participate in a Biosafety symposium

The second annual Biosafey SA symposium was held in Pretoria at the beautiful Diep in die Berg conference centre on 14 March. Michael Pepper from the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Health Sciences kick-started the symposium with a thought-provoking presentation addressing the ethical, legal and social implications of human genetics and genomics.


8 Apr 2019

FABI researchers co-organize international low-cost viral diagnostics workshop featuring open-source technologies

A Global Challenges Research Fund-supported international collaboration, aiming to develop point-of-care low cost viral diagnostic (LCVD) assays, convened at Future Africa for a three-day workshop from 13-15 March 2019.


5 Apr 2019

New UP Vice Chancellor visits FABI

The University of Pretoria’s recently inaugurated Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Tawana Kupe visited FABI on 1 April, addressing staff and students at the weekly Monday Morning Meeting.


4 Apr 2019

An “Engaging Plant Scientists” initiative

During the March school holidays, the Plant Pathogenic Bacteria Research Programme hosted a grade 10 learner, Mbali Mogashwa, and a third year BSc Microbiology student, Rose Shabangu for a day.


3 Apr 2019

Mites and malformations close to home

Floral malformation is an important disease problem on mango trees where it is associated with various Fusarium spp.


2 Apr 2019

CFTPP Team at CERC’s 40 km team building walk

The whole year's work depends on a good start in spring, and the work for the year is best begun in spring.


1 Apr 2019

Dr Wayne Hancock visits the Macadamia Protection Programme and presents a special seminar at FABI

Dr Wayne Hancock of Southern Cross University, Australia visited Dr Gerda Fourie, research leader of the Macadamia Protection Programme in FABI, from 25 to 28 March.


29 Mar 2019

Quentin Santana becomes the third FABIan to earn the title “Dr” in 2019

Congratulations to Quentin Santana on fulfilling all the requirements for a PhD degree! Quentin is the third candidate at FABI to achieve this feat in 2019.


27 Mar 2019

Crossing the Equator: A research visit to the National Coffee Research Institute (NaCORI) in Uganda

From 18 to 22 March, Dr Vuyiswa Bushula-Njah visited the National Coffee Research Institute (NaCORI) in Uganda.


20 Mar 2019

International Day of Forests celebrated at Future Africa and FABI

FABI Director Professor Bernard Slippers and FABI founding Director and current IUFRO President Prof Mike Wingfield were amongst the numerous speakers who addressed the theme “Forests and Education” at a symposium celebrating the International Day of Forests held at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Campus on 18 March.


20 Mar 2019

FABIans flexed their green fingers at 2019’s first tree planting session

A team of about 40 students spent the morning on 21 March replanting 1600 cuttings into potting bags at the FABI nursery on the University of Pretoria’s experimental farm.


19 Mar 2019

PSHB fungus tested for pathogenicity on commercial forest trees

During the past week, Prof. Wilhelm de Beer and some FABI students inoculated Eucalyptus grandis and wattle trees with the PSHB fungus on the experimental farm of the University.


19 Mar 2019

FABI hosts delegation from DAFF’s International Day of Forests celebrations

FABI hosted a delegation of officials from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), academics and forestry students on 19 March.


15 Mar 2019

FABI PhD student speaks about his prize-winning science communication video and tree health matters in interview with VOC FM

FABI PhD candidate Darryl Herron cast the spotlight on tree health matters during an interview with VOC FM, a community radio station based in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, on 14 March.


15 Mar 2019

FABI attends the Fungal Genetics meeting

Eight Fabians attended the Fungal Genetics meeting in Asilomar, California during March 2019.


14 Mar 2019

Busy week in the field for the TPCP

In the week of 4 March, the TPCP had three different field trips to the KwaZulu-Natal, Midlands.


6 Mar 2019

Thirteen students join the CTHB Undergraduate Mentorship Programme in 2019

Thirteen undergraduate students will get their first taste of life as researchers as mentees in the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology’s undergraduate mentorship programme.


1 Mar 2019

Prof Steven Chown: Global leader in Antarctic Science and Biodiversity visits FABI

Professor Steven Chown of the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University in Australia visited FABI on the 27 February to engage with academic colleagues and students.


27 Feb 2019

A tree health engagement in Florida

Professor Mike Wingfield spent three days in Gainsville, Florida during the week of the 18 February. This short visit was in part to participate in a workshop seeking to promote forest health research in the southeastern United States.


26 Feb 2019

Fieldwork to understand the emerging Ceratocystis threat to Eucalyptus in South Africa

From 17-19 February, some members of the Ceratocystis team, Dr Irene Barnes, and TPCP students and Postdocs, Arista Fourie, Dr FeiFei Liu and Granny Hlongwane, went on a field trip to Kwambonambi, KwaZulu-Natal to observe the Ceratocystis infection on Eucalyptus hybrid clones in the plantations.


24 Feb 2019

Shot Hole borer projects launched in forests of the Southern Cape

During the past week, Prof. Wilhelm de Beer of FABI and Prof. Francois Roets from Stellenbosch University, visited the southern Cape to launch two research projects on the impact of the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) on native trees in the area.


21 Feb 2019

Chinese student delegation visits FABI

FABI welcomed a student delegation from the Tsinghua University in Beijing on 20 February.


18 Feb 2019

FABI students do well at SA Botany Congress

During January a group of FABIans participated in the 45th Conference of the South African Association of Botanists (SAAB) which was held in conjunction with the Southern African Society for Systematics and Biosystematics (SASSB) and the African Mycological Association (AMA) on the campus of the University of Johannesburg.