22 April 2015
Volume: 3
Issue: 21
Professor Michael Savage was presented with a Distinguished Teacher Award for excellence in teaching and learning.

Veteran Academic Awarded Distinguished Teacher’s Award

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Professor Michael Savage of the discipline of Agrometeorology has been awarded a Distinguished Teacher’s Award (DTA) for 2014 in recognition of his excellence in Teaching and Learning.

The latest crop of graduates from the African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI).

Healthy New Crop of PhDs for ACCI

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The African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI) at the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES) at UKZN saw eight of its PhD students graduate with their Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Breeding at this year’s graduation ceremonies.

Dr Lindy Thompson gained a PhD in Ecological Sciences.

Birds on the Brain but Definitely no Bird Brain!

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Doctoral graduate Dr Lindy Thompson grew up with a deep appreciation of the South African bushveld and all the wonders it offers thanks to her parents who instilled in her a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature, and the importance of protecting the natural environment and conserving indigenous plants and animals.

Master of Science graduate and Academic Development Officer, Mr Shivan Augustine at work in his Physics lab.

Staff Member Breezes through Master’s Degree in Atmospheric Physics

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Completing a Masters Degree in Atmospheric Physics in the space of 11 months and then embarking on a PhD was a 'breeze' for Mr Shivan Augustine.

Summa cum laude BSc Honours in Statistics graduate, Ms Kivanya Naidoo (second), with her proud family.

Statistics Honours Student Achieves Summa Cum Laude Distinction

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Ms Kivanya Naidoo graduated with her Honours in Statistics degree summa cum laude, earning herself the distinction of being the only Honours graduate in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science in Pietermaritzburg to do so.

Dr Robert Mutwiri's PhD in Statistics produced valuable data on elephant movement patterns.

Statistics PhD Thesis Produces Valuable Data on Elephant Movement Patterns

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Dr Robert Mutwiri graduated with his PhD in Statistics in this week’s graduation ceremonies, with a thesis titled: Statistical Distributions and Modelling of GPS-Telemetry Elephant Movement Data Including the Effect of Covariates.

Statistics lecturer Dr Sileshe Melesse with his beautifully bedecked family.

Successful PhD for UKZN Statistics Lecturer

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Multitasking has become the norm for newly-capped PhD graduate, Dr Sileshe Melesse.

Dr Balungile Madikizela’s doctoral research in ethnobotony investigated alternative methods of treating tuberculosis using traditional medicinal plants.

Doctoral Research Investigates Potential Use of Traditional Medicinal Plants in Treatment of Tuberculosis

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The use of traditional medicinal plants in the treatment of tuberculosis was investigated by Dr Balungile Madikizela who graduated with a PhD in Ethnobotany at this week’s ceremonies on the Pietermaritzburg campus.

Dr Xander Combrink was awarded a PhD for research done on the Nile crocodile of Lake St Lucia.

Crocodile Stalker Captures PhD With Bare Hands!

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Dr Xander Combrink has always had an avid interest in reptiles – especially crocodiles. This passion led to an MSc on the subject and now the crocodile stalker has successfully captured his PhD!

Dr Keiron Audain’s PhD in Human Nutrition examined the role nutrition plays in preventing disease.

Human Nutrition PhD Research Focuses on the Role of Nutrition in Preventing Disease

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Dr Keiron Audain of Trinidad has been awarded his PhD in Human Nutrition after completing his thesis on the topic: A Comparative Analysis of the Nutrition Status, Nutrition Knowledge and Food Frequency of Adolescents Attending an Urban Versus a Peri-Urban School in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal.

Master of Science graduate in Physics, Mr Derrick Griffith, with his supervisor, Dr Naven Chetty.

Reviving a Forgotten Dream

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Optical systems analyst Mr Derek Griffith (52) graduated with his Masters in Physics cum laude after registering to undertake his studies under the GR7b University rule...

Dr Sabine Stuart-Hill graduated with a PhD in Hydrology.

PhD Thesis Emphasises Vital Water Resource Management

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A seven-year journey reached a successful conclusion for Dr Sabine Stuart-Hill when she graduated with a PhD in Hydrology.

Modern-day Renaissance man, Mr Roger Martins, who already holds two Humanities degrees, has been awarded a Bachelor of Science summa cum laude degree with majors in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics.

Modern-day Renaissance Man

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The only BSc graduate in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science on the Pietermaritzburg campus to be awarded his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics degree summa cum laude was Mr Roger Martins.

A proud moment for the family of Mr Xolani Mbuyise, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Physics and Statistics.

A Long Walk to Graduation

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Despite intense personal challenges, which included walking 20km to and from University every day, Mr Xolani Mbuyise of UKZN’s School of Chemistry and Physics, graduated with a BSc in Physics.

Dr Mena Dos Anjos completed her PhD degree in Animal Science in just four semesters.

Climbing the Ladder to PhD Dream

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Dr Filomena (Mena) Dos Anjos started work on her PhD at UKZN at the age of 53 and completed the degree in just four semesters!

Newly-capped Dr Keenan Stears had his wife, Melissa, and both sets of parents in the academic procession to cheer him on.

Double Celebration for Husband and Wife Team

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Dr Keenan Stears graduated with a PhD degree in Ecological Sciences from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science; while his wife Ms Melissa Schmitt’s Masters cum laude Degree was upgraded to PhD research level status.

Mr Philani Cebekhulu overcame learning difficulties to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics.

Graduate Overcomes Learning Difficulties

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Mr Philani Cebekhulu battles with learning difficulties making university subjects such as mathematics even more taxing.

Ms Tendai Chibarabada, seen here with her supervisor Professor Albert Modi, graduated with a Master of Science in Agriculture degree.

Crop Science Masters Investigates Water Efficiency of Underutilised Crop

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Ms Tendai Chibarabada was awarded her Masters of Science degree in Agriculture (Crop Science) at a graduation ceremony in Pietermaritzburg with her thesis titled: Seed Quality and Water Use Characteristics of a Bambara Groundnut (Vigna subterranea L) Landrace Differing in Seed Coat Colour.

Dr Cathryn Slabber graduated with a PhD in Chemistry.

PhD Research examines use of Natural Compounds to Diminish Painkiller Side Effects

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Dr Cathryn Slabber has graduated with a PhD in Chemistry with research seeking to develop a painkiller without side-effects common to many over the counter anti-inflammatories.

Dr Tiwonge Mzumara earned her PhD studying the Lilian’s Lovebirds of Malawi

In Love With Lovebirds

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‘We shan't save all we should like to, but we shall save a great deal more than if we hd never tried.’ This quote by Sir Peter Scott, the founder of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Nature, inspired Dr Tiwonge Mzumara to pursue her studies in the field of ecology.

The evolution of wind pollination in proteas was the focus of Ms Megan Welsford’s Master of Science thesis in Ecological Sciences.

Masters Student Driven by Love for the Natural World

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A desire to make a difference in the world combined with the knowledge that education is the gateway to change and opportunity, convinced Ms Megan Welsford to pursue her tertiary studies in the ecological sciences.

Masters in Science cum laude Chemistry graduate, Ms Victoria Chiazzari.

Research into Heavy Metal Applications for Anti-Cancer Pharmaceuticals

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Innovative research which examined the possible applications for the use of gold as a heavy metal agent in anti-chemotherapeutical agents, secured.Ms Victoria Chiazzari her Masters in Science (Chemistry) cum laude degree.

Mr Nkanyiso Justice Sithole earned an Master of Science cum laude degree in Agriculture.

Master of Science in Agriculture Awarded Cum Laude to Motivated Crop Scientist

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Mr Nkanyiso Justice Sithole graduated with a Master of Science in Agriculture degree cum laude at the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science’s Pietermaritzburg graduation ceremony held on 21 April.

Research by Mr Sheldon Strydom investigated the relationship between atmospheric dynamcis and wildfires.

Agrometeorology Graduate Investigates Relationship between Atmospheric Dynamics and Wildfires

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Agrometeorology student, Mr Sheldon Strydom, graduated with his Masters in Science cum laude - a remarkable feat for a student who completed his undergraduate degree in the Social Sciences before moving onto postgraduate studies in the Sciences.

Dr Richard Kajombo graduated with a PhD in Food Security.

PhD Study Contributes to Food Security Policy

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The important topic of policy implications arising from strategies for the eradication of poverty and food insecurity was central to the theme of the thesis of Dr Richard Kajombo who graduated from UKZN's Pietermaritzburg campus with his PhD in Food Security.