Top biological sciences graduate off to Rhodes

SPU biological sciences graduate Tshepiso Seshuwane has been awarded a prestigious Rhodes University bursary to complete his honours.
This follows a strong recommendation from SPU’s Dr Adebowale based on the student’s exemplary academic track record. The bursary was awarded as part of the Access climate change programme in Rhodes University’s Department of Botany.
Tshepiso will specialise in research on the impacts of elevated carbon dioxide on C3 and C4 plants, including crops. C3 and C4 plants are those that fix carbon from the atmosphere (via photosynthesis) in different ways to maximise their carbohydrate production.
His interest in life sciences started at high school where it was his favourite subject and where he was fascinated with human biology. A love for wildlife wasn’t too far behind.
This interest and fascination led to an outstanding undergraduate performance where Tshepiso has excelled and caught the attention of his lecturers.
In his first and second year, he achieved distinctions for biology. Another distinction followed in his second year for zoology with good performances in the first semester of his third year. Consistent good performance were also evidenced in life sciences where he has ranked second in his class.
Head of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Sciences Dr Doug Harebottle says Tshepiso is diligent, studious and extremely conscientious.
“He works hard, and is able to grasp concepts and knowledge easily and then apply these in all areas of his studies. He has shown dedication in all tasks given to him and was always punctual when handing in assessment work.”
Harebottle explains that Tshepiso has shown great maturity for a third year student that is extremely encouraging. It displays a confidence that has allowed him to excel in his academics over the last three years.
Tshepiso says that he is very happy to have received this award as it allows him to work with one of the global experts Prof Brad Ripley on the climate change impact of plants. “SPU’s staff have been helpful and worked hard to make the courses stimulating and interesting.
“Being a new university small classes were particularly advantageous – they were intimate, and I was able to form close relationships with the lecturers and classmates.”

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