Prof Finnie completed his PhD in Botany in 1989 specializing in plant biotechnology using Clivia, Gloriosa and Sandersonia as his research subjects. Since joining the University of Natal in 1990, he has co-authored over 100 research papers and 6 book chapters, primarily about plant tissue culture and ethnobotany. He has supervised or co-supervised over 30 completed MSc and PhD students.
He is a reviewer for approximately 20 international journals.The majority of his research entails the use of some form of plant tissue culture technique or the evaluation of medicinal plants. Initial research entails the establishment of suitable protocols and the development, refining and application of suitable techniques. Once established the principles of tissue culture are applied to a number of plants and other systems.
He has been involved in the culturing of approximately 50 different species of plants. Emphasis is also placed on the culture, evaluation and extraction of secondary metabolites, from indigenous plants, especially those that are either threatened or contain valuable chemicals that are used by the local populations and may be of commercial importance.
Plant tissue culture