PCU team at UCT Postgrad Research Day

10 Dec 2018 - 11:30

On 30 November 2018, two Plant Conservation Unit PhD students, Wesley Bell and Gina Arena, participated in the Department of Biological Sciences Research Day for postgraduates held at Hlanganani Junction in the main library at the University of Cape Town #UCTBioDay2018. The mini-symposium was well-organised with a programme consisting of 19 oral and 6 poster presentations from the marine, botanical, zoological and ecological sciences.

Left: Wesley Bell presenting on his research. Right: Gina Arena presenting on her research.

The day was kicked off with an opening address by Biological Sciences postgrad rep, Dunja McAlister, and was followed by a fantastic line-up of talks interspersed with engaging discussion sessions in which the audience could engage the speakers on their research. Two keynote addresses were given, the first given by A/Prof Ed February. Ed spoke about the Hamilton Naki Award, which he received in honour of, “achieving world-class research performance despite considerable challenges” at the NRF Research Awards held in September 2018. Ed elaborated on what these challenges were in his life and showed us amazing images from the past, especially from his time mountain climbing across the world. Prof Mike Picker gave the second and final keynote address of the day and shared his research highlights and plans for the future as he is retiring at the end of this year.

Left: Session 4 discussion session with Wesley Bell on far right. Right: A/Prof Ed February during keynote address.

Gina said, "The most enjoyable aspect of the Postgraduate Research Day was getting the chance to listen to a host of different postgraduate research projects in the different biological science disciplines, which I would not usually hear about on a normal day while working on my own research. It was also both fascinating and inspiring to hear A/Prof Ed February talk about his journey through life, rock climbing and botany."

Well done to Anthony Lowney for winning best presentation and to runner-up Christiaan Brink; as well as to Zimkhita Gebe for winning best poster and to runner-up Vivienne Coetzee. And a big thank you to the postgraduate team for organising such a fun and interesting event!

~ Article supplied by Gina Arena and Samantha Venter. Images supplied by Wesley Bell and Zander Venter.