School of Life Sciences

Spotlight on PRIS 2022 – School of Life Sciences

The College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) is hosting its 12th annual Postgraduate Research and Innovation Symposium (PRIS) under the theme #ClimateChange. Some 200 postgraduate students will share their research through oral and flash presentations at the online event. 

The School of Life Sciences boasts world-class laboratories and research equipment. Enthusiastic and dedicated lecturers ensure that students absorb a well-rounded scientific education and emerge with a first-class degree that will ensure their employability both within South Africa and abroad.

 Thirty students from the School of Life Sciences will be presenting at PRIS 2022 with research projects that have environmental, societal and industrial impact. The following are some of the projects from our Master’s students: Mr Akira Boodhoo will present his research on The isolation and characterisation of proteases from Euphorbia spp and Carica papaya latex; Ms Kirsten McClean’s presentation will uncover the Occurrence and characterization of microplastics in Thyone Aurea and Pentacta Doliolum, from Saldanha Bay; and Mr Sphesihle Mkhize will look into the Cord blood serum exosome isolation and characterization for wound healing and drug delivery.

 The School also has a number of PhD entrants. Mr Rion Lerm will present on why A savannah protected area and its water sources best conserve bird diversity compared with the surrounding anthropogenically modified mosaic landscape. Ms Maria Makwela’s project explores how Carabid beetles are indicators of sustainable agroecosystem management practices, and Ms Nyashadzashe Masvingwe will discuss the Modelling and optimization of industrial lubricant waste biodegradation by Achromobacter Aegrifaciens.

We will also be hosting online exhibitions from 30 of our industry partners. The College has strong linkages with industry because they believe in our research excellence. ‘On behalf of Elsevier we would like to congratulate UKZN on successfully hosting PRIS for over a decade,’ said Ms Daneshree Moodley at Elsevier. ‘We look forward to seeing all the work being done by the postgraduates.’

Some other highlights from PRIS 2022 include the keynote address from Dr Debra Roberts, Head of eThekwini Municipality’s Sustainable and Resilient City Initiatives Unit, and Co-Chair of the IPCC Working Group II. The event will close with a prize-giving ceremony in which all the best oral and flash presentations will be awarded prizes ranging from R3 000 to R15 000. There will also be a number of lucky draw prizes up for grabs for those in attendance.

Register on our website to join us online on 8 – 9 December 2022. 

Words: Londeka Makhoba