I am a master’s student (MSc Genetics) at the University of Pretoria with Genetics and Biochemistry as my majors. I am interested in microbial genomics, with both my master’s and honour’s projects dealing with microbes. My honour’s research project in 2020, titled “Genome-wide association (GWAS) analysis of fungicide resistance within Fusarium circinatum”, was supervised by Dr. Lieschen De Vos at the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria. The paper is in the process of being edited by the co-authors. The aim of the project was to determine the underlying genetic regions responsible for fungicide (benomyl) resistance in the pine tree pathogen, F. circinatum. I performed a benomyl sensitivity assay using different isolates of the pathogen, then used a Genome-wide association study to determine which regions in the pathogen’s genome were responsible for the observed benomyl resistance.
I am currently a member of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists South Africa (APECSSA). I am also a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, where I received the Golden Key Award for academic merit in 2017 and 2018. This award is awarded to students in the top 15% of the Natural Science faculty at the University of Pretoria during a specific year. I received a minor academic scholarship to the University of Pretoria in 2017 and a bursary from the AtlantECO project in 2021 and 2022.
I completed my undergraduate degree (BSc Genetics) with Genetics and Biochemistry as my majors in 2019. Some of the skills I have gained include computer literacy, where I completed the IC³ internet and computing core certification computer course. I am proficient in Microsoft programmes such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. I have data collection and analysis skills from my experience with compiling logbooks and tax returns, my experience in collecting scientific data in a fungicide sensitivity assay in my BScHons project as well as my experience collecting microbial community samples from the South Indian Ocean in my MSc Genetics project. I have statistical analysis skills from the statistics module I completed in my undergraduate degree, which allows me to do biological statistical computations. I have gained laboratory skills and experience from my undergraduate, honour’s and master’s degrees.
Role in AtlantECO
We collected samples of microbial communities from the Atlantic Ocean, during a voyage aboard the the RV S. A. Agulhas II using a CTD rosette multi-sampler. The cruise took place in October 2021.
This contributes to AtlantECO Working Plan 5.