José HT Rocha (MSc), a Forest Engineer at the Faculty of Agronomy and Forest Engineering (FAEF) and a PhD student at São Paulo University - Brazil under the supervision of Professor José L. M. Gonçalves is currently a guest at Stellenbosch University's Department of Forest and Wood Science for a research visit. He will work as an affiliate student researcher under the supervision of Dr. Ben du Toit until February 2017.
Since his MSc study, José has been working with forest residue management, forest nutrition and sustainability of wood production in Eucalyptus plantations in Brazil. His MSc work focused on long term effect of management practices after clear-cutting of eucalyptus plantation in short cycles. In his PhD work, he is investigating the effect of slash use (such as wood chips) and fertilizer application on sustainability of Eucalyptus in short rotation. His main focus in this study is the effect on soil properties and nutrient cycling. José is a lecturer in Forest Soils at Faculty of FAEF, Brazil.
During his time at SU's Forest and Wood Science department, José will work on the development of sustainable tools for fuel load management to reduce the fire hazard in the forest. He will be focusing on the research project entitled "The effect of repeated use of prescribed burning under pines", coordinated by Dr. Ben du Toit. Besides, José will also work on the effect of fertilizer application and controlled release fertilizer application on the productivity of Eucalyptus plantations in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.