RESEARCH

Miss P.K. Letebele obtained her Bachelors of Science Honours (Biochemistry) and Bachelors of Science (Genetics and Biochemistry) degrees from the University of the Free State.

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Her current research entails investigating the morphological characteristics and virulence of the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans in different host niches.  She has also contributed to a research project, which focused on the transcriptome analysis of the fermentative yeast Kluyveromyces marxianus. Her research involvements has given her extensive insight into the transcriptomics, metabolic fluxes and proteomics of the different yeast.

She is an active member of the South African Society for Microbiology (SASM). Her research goal is to contribute towards human diseases treatment options.

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Mr R Modiba holds a Masters (Zoology), BSc Hons (Zoology) and  a Bsc (Biodiversity and Conservation) from the University of Venda.

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Mr Modiba has carried out his post graduate research in the field of aquatic ecology looking at the influence of riparian alien trees invasions on benthic invertebrates and Adult Odonates  at both small and large spatial. He is now enrolled for PhD in Entomology. His research project is based on chemical communication among social insects, in particular the chemical defence strategies used by termites against their natural enemies.

His research interest is Wetland ecology and river health. Biomonitoring, conservation ecology and chemical ecology.

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Dr T Musvuugwa holds a PhD (Botany) Stellenbosch University, MSc (Conservation Biology) University of Cape Town, BSc Hons (Forest Resources and Wildlife Management) National University of Science and Technology Zimbabwe.

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Dr Musvuugwa has experience in plant-fungal-arthropod interaction systems. Some of her work focused on ecology of ophiostomatoid fungi on South African indigenous trees, and determining arthropod associates of these fungi. She described several new fungal species, some of which are pathogenic on several tree species. Her work has been published in accredited peer reviewed journals and her research has been recognised by the African German Network of Excellence in Science (AGNES), which awarded her an excellence grant supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Currently she is in the steering committee of a South African team collaborating with colleagues from the United States of America, awarded the NRF-NSF grant to look at revolutionising the field of bark beetle-fungus symbiology.

http://www.bbmycobiome.org/wiki/index.php?title=Project_overview

http://www.bbmycobiome.org/wiki/index.php?title=Network_members

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Elelwani Nenzhelele, Lecturer (Biology)

Ms Nenzhelele holds an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Cape Town, BSc in Biochemistry & Biology and Honours in Botany from the University of Venda.

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Elelwani has extensive experience in plant ecology. She has worked on the diversity and distribution of the alien invasive plants species in several of South African nature reserves developing strategies to reduce the alien invasive species.  

For her MSc research project, she focused on the long term impact of livestock grazing in the Succulent Karoo. The long term-study has highlighted the conservation status of the rare succulents in this biodiversity hotspot and the potential threat posed by heavy grazing. The results of the study will also form a baseline for land reform policy and will highlight the potential consequences of heavy grazing on the vegetation of the region since people in Namaqualand are in the process of on-going land re-distribution.

Her research interests lie in plant ecology, invasion ecology, climate change, conservation and society, conservation planning and GIS and ethnobotany.

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Adekunle Adebowale, Senior Lecturer

Dr Adebowale holds a BSc Hons and MSc in Botany from Obafemi Awolowo University Nigeria, and a PhD in Biology (Plant Systematics) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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His research interest is at the crossroad of systematics and ecology, specifically looking at the evolutionary and ecological drivers of plant speciation and biogeography. Coupled closely to this is the effects of climate dynamics on plant distribution and the inevitable link to food security.

Dr Adebowale adopts a multi-disciplinary approach including, but not limited to, molecular phylogenetics, geometric morphormetrics, RNA secondary structure modelling and plant anatomy.

He is part of an ACCESS-funded team investigating the impacts of changing seasonal cycles and elevated CO2 on production and dynamics in managed and natural biological systems.

His research have been published in several leading journals, including Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Kew Bulletin, Genetica, Plant Systematics and Evolution and South African Journal of Botany.

 

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Godfrey Rudolph

Godfrey holds a Master’s Degree in Information Technology (Cape Peninsul

University of Technology). His Master’s these title is:

INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY FOR THE TEACHING OF NOVICE PROGRAMMERS AT A UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

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He is currently undertaking PhD studies in Educational Studies at the University of the Free State. His PhD these title is:

LECTURERS’ PERSPECTIVES ON THE USE OF BLENDED LEARNING:

A CASEOF A SOUTH AFRICAN UNIVERSITY

 His research interest is Teaching & Learning as well as the study and ethical

practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and

managing appropriate technological processes and resources.

Research Topics include:

  • Integrating Technology into Teaching & Learning;
  • Challenges experienced by novice programmers; Knowledge construction;
  • Active learning techniques; Assessment

His research niche area is Instructional Technology; Blended Learning in Higher

Education; Student Learning.

 

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NRF funding

The following academics in Natural and Applied Sciences have been National Research Foundation grants:

This was made up of one new grant which was awarded to NAS’ Dr Kamila Sekonya. 

The remaining two grants made to NAS’ Dr Jeremia Sefadi and Ayanda Zungu are continuations of current grants.

All NAS grants were made to academics in the Department of Physical Sciences.

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