CST-SA 3rd New Voices Symposium – 11 September 2019

The main purpose of New Voices Symposium is to give MSc and PhD students studying cereal science the opportunity to present papers at a national level. The symposium was sponsored by FoodBev SETA, Sensako, Corteva and Agri-Enviro Solutions.

A record number of 28 students attended and presented their research work to study leaders and peers. CST-SA presented two awards at this event – one for the best PhD presentation and one for the best MSc presentation.

The winners were:

Best PhD presentation: Ms. Lisa A. Rothmann, University of the Free State

Research Title: A quantitative summary and spatial hierarchy characterisation of white mold prevalence in South Africa from a decade of observations.

Lisa Rothmann is finalising her doctorate in Plant Pathology at the University of the Free State. Her co-supervisor is Professor Emerson Del Ponte from the Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil. Lisa enjoys focusing on applied and computational epidemiological research. Her studies involve field trials, disease monitoring and measuring, as well as data science. She has the hope of generating regional risk models for Sclerotinia disease onset in South Africa. Lisa is an advocate of open and reproducible research and a junior leader at Open Plant Pathology.

Runners up: Marlese Meiring, Gerhard Engelbrecht

Best MSc presentation: Ms. Ayesha Shaikh, University of Stellenbosch

Research Title: Fumonisin deposition by Fusarium verticillioides depends on timing and progress of fungal infection.

Ayesha Shaikh is studying at the University of Stellenbosch and is focusing on Fusarium verticillioides, a fungus commonly associated with maize. It also produces harmful toxins called fumonisins that have noxious effects on both humans and livestock, once ingested. Her work aims to gain a better understanding of the infection cycle and toxin production, including masked fumonisins, of this fungus by identifying physico-chemical changes, during kernel maturation.

Runners up: Chanel Pretorius, Raymond Lesley Collet

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