Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of AgriSciences is growing from strength to strength.
During the December graduation ceremony, a total of 247 students in the faculty received their first degree, 10 received post-graduate diplomas and 13 students received HonsBSc degrees. Furthermore, 31 Masters degrees and 15 PhDs were awarded in the faculty.
Dr Lara Alexander, a food scientist, investigated phenolic compounds in both “unfermented” (green) and fermented honeybush tea as potential indicators of bitterness in honeybush tea.
Dr Bonginkhosi Edward Dlamini, an entomologist, considered the use of nematodes and fungi to control the banded fruit weevil (Phlyctinus callosus). This insect can cause huge economic damage in vineyards and orchards.
Dr Sune Henning, a food scientist, focused her research on marine fish species infested with parasites (Kudoa thyrsites and K. paniformis). Although harmless to humans upon consumption, these parasites cause considerable losses in the local fishing industry.
Dr Carlien Vorster, a conservation ecologist, conducted a dragonfly study that provided a new tool to determine freshwater health in Africa. This tool, called the African Dragonfly Biotic Index can be used to assess the ecological state of freshwater resources.
Dr Spepherd Maduvanhu, an agricultural economist, investigated sustainable land use planning in areas where invasive alien plants have been removed. His research can help decision makers to improve land use planning in future.