FABI cel­e­brates 20 years of tree health re­search ex­cel­lence

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Larry Bent­ley

THE Forestry and Agri­cul­tural Biotech­nol­ogy In­sti­tute (FABI) at the Uni­ver­sity of Pre­to­ria (UP) turns 20 in 2018.

Vice-Chan­cel­lor and Prin­ci­pal, Prof Ch­eryl de la Rey wel­comed the au­di­ence of FABI staff, stu­dents, alumni and a host of in­ter­na­tional re­searchers and aca­demics who ac­cepted the in­vi­ta­tion to cel­e­brate FABI’s mile­stone.

For­mer UP Vice-Chan­cel­lor and Prin­ci­pal, Dr Jo­han van Zyl, ex­plained his role and vi­sion in en­sur­ing that FABI found a home at UP.

Prof Mike Wing­field, founder and for­mer Di­rec­tor of FABI, spoke on the chal­lenges and achieve­ments of FABI over the course of its his­tory and how it had con­trib­uted to re­search ex­cel­lence, di­ver­sity, and its sus­tain­abil­ity.

Unique in­sti­tute

FABI is a unique re­search in­sti­tute that is a col­lab­o­ra­tive space which be­gan with a broad man­date to be a stand-alone post-grad­u­ate struc­ture that fo­cused on forestry and agri­cul­tural biotech­nol­ogy.

FABI’s re­search out­put touches on facets that af­fect many as­pects of daily life, for ex­am­ple, pa­per, food se­cu­rity, tree health and tree life.

FABI’s ini­tial re­search pro­gramme fo­cused specif­i­cally on tree health, and the forestry in­dus­try was a ma­jor stake­holder in es­tab­lish­ing FABI.

In­ter-dis­ci­plinary re­search has been at the core of FABI’s suc­cess.

The re­search con­ducted by FABI has been cru­cial in find­ing in­te­grated so­lu­tions to pest and dis­ease man­age­ment to en­sure tree health.

Re­search pro­grammes

The Sirex Wood­wasp prob­lem af­fect­ing pine trees in South Africa is one such ex­am­ple of FABI’s re­search res­cu­ing an in­dus­try and the jobs forestry sup­ports.

FABI is home to one of the first six DST-NRF Cen­tres of Ex­cel­lence for Tree Health Biotech­nol­ogy.

In 2017, FABI’s long term re­search and achieve­ments saw UP awarded a spot in the top two univer­si­ties in the world for the study fungi (my­col­ogy).

‘FABI has achieved a very ob­vi­ous na­tional and in­ter­na­tional foot­print as well as recog­ni­tion for re­search and ed­u­ca­tional ex­cel­lence,’ says Prof Mike Wing­field.

Prof Mike Wing eld, the founder and di­rec­tor of the Forestry and Agri­cul­tural Biotech­nol­ogy In­sti­tute

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.