31 January, 2017
New Staff at the ICFR
Two new staff members have recently
joined the ICFR team. Benice Sivparsad started at the ICFR on 1 September 2016,
as a Senior Research Scientist in Forest Protection research. Benice will be
working on existing Forest Protection projects with a specific focus on
Eucalypt pests and pathogens.
Benice has a PhD in Plant Pathology
from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg). Prior to starting at
the ICFR, Benice was working on her Postdoc on research and development of
biocontrol agents against major pathogenic fungi.
Asked about her new role at the
ICFR, Benice said "I am excited and enthusiastic to be involved in dynamic
research that finds solutions to those factors that threaten the forestry
industry". She is interested in developing integrated pest management
strategies aimed at minimising risk to tree plantations from pests and
Benice has already been meeting
with peers from ICFR member companies, and learning about current pests and
pathogens impacting the South African forestry industry. She is currently
investigating methods for controlling white grub in forestry plantations.
Benice can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
or on 033-386 2314
Richard Burgdorf joined the ICFR on
1 November 2016, as Senior Laboratory Technician. His previous position was at
the University of KwaZulu-Natal as the Senior Technician for Plant Pathology.
Prior to that, Richard spent several years working in the United Kingdom and in
Thailand before returning to South Africa to further his studies.
He has a BSc degree in Microbiology and
Biochemistry from Rhodes University and a BSc Honours degree in Microbiology
from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is currently completing his PhD in
Microbiology at UKZN on
DNA analysis of fungal endophytes and on the symbioses between plants and
Richard has a strong interest in near infra-red analysis
and related technology, and the huge potential that this has for a wide range
of research areas. He enjoys looking at existing analytical approaches and
where necessary and possible, working out how they can be adapted or optimised
further. He is excited about his new role and is looking forward to
contributing to the work being done at the ICFR.
Richard can be contacted at email@example.com
or on 033-386 2314