Dr Benice Sivparsad joined the ICFR after working as a post-doc in Plant Pathology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where she also completed her PhD. Benice's expertise lies in plant virology (virus identification and characterisation), molecular biotechnology (transgenic virus resistance) as well as biological control. Benice is a member of the Southern African Society for Plant Pathology, where she currently holds the position of secretary for council. While at UKZN, Benice supervised honours and masters students and has also published a number of peer-reviewed publications.
Nkosinathi Kaptein is a Research Scientist in the Sustainable Production group, with skills in all fields of forestry research appropriate to soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. His research interests include ecophysiology, nutrition, water and biomass research. He is the project leader of the site resilience research project which ascertains the level of site nutrient loss needed to produce measurable evidence of the onset of a nutrient depletion threshold over multiple sites.
Philip matriculated at Northlands Boys High school Durban and was employed by Standard Bank before being accepted at Saasveld Forestry College in 1983 and completing his diploma in forestry in 1985. He obtained a National Higher Diploma in silviculture and harvesting in 1995. His employment opportunities up to this point were in plantation management. In 1999 Philip relocated to Pietermaritzburg and was employed in forestry planning and silviculture technical support. From this his interest and work involved pest control and in particular the Sirex woodwasp.
Dr Richard Burgdorf is the Laboratory Manager for the ICFR analytical and research laboratory facilities, contributing to research projects that utilise these services. Routine laboratory tests include soil and plant nutrient analysis. In addition, he coordinates method development for research projects, such as the use of near infrared technology for rapid diagnosis in forestry applications, including soil and plant nutrient status and wood properties.
Tammy has 20 years’ experience in Forestry Tree Improvement and has recently been awarded her PhD, which focussed on developing an advanced generation breeding programme for Eucalyptus nitens using quantitative genetics. Her MSc was on the development of biotechnological techniques (tissue culture and the use of isozymes for fingerprinting) for the investigation of aluminium tolerance in white clover (Trifolium repens).