School of Life Sciences

Scenes of postgraduate research from the five Schools in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.

Spotlight on PRIS 2022

The College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) is hosting its 12th annual Postgraduate Research and Innovation Symposium (PRIS) under the theme: #ClimateChange.

About 200 postgraduate students will share their research through oral and flash presentations at the online event.

It is envisaged that the close to 200 research projects will produce findings that will impact the University community and society at large. ‘We hope that this event will allow our students to present to a wider audience and show how their research impacts their lives in South Africa, the African continent and rest of the world,’ said Professor Neil Koorbanally, CAES Dean of Research.

Attendees can look forward to an exciting 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. Her presentation will examine key findings of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II Report.

The following research projects – by CAES PhD candidates – to be presented at PRIS were highlighted based on their impact on environmental, societal and industrial impact: Ms Mulalo Makhuvha’s dissertation looks into Studying the Effect of Parasite Switching in Optimal Control Analysis of Sleeping Sickness; Ms Silungile Mhlongo delves into the Development of New Quinoxaline-Triazole-Thiazole Derivatives as Potential Antimicrobial Agents; Mr Gaogane Gaogane looks into the Assessment and Feasibility of Converting Municipal Organic Waste into Biogas Using Anaerobic Digestion: A South African Case-Study; Ms Nyashadzashe Masvingwe zooms in on the Modelling and Optimisation of Industrial Lubricant Waste Biodegradation by Achromobacter Aegrifaciens; while Ms Pelokazi Mhlaba focuses on using Community Radio-Based Agricultural Advisory Services towards Influencing Smallholder Farmer’s Decision-Making.

These are some of the projects from our master’s students: Ms Neliswa Gcabashe explores The Effect of Ozonated Cold Storage on Superficial Scald of “Granny Smith” ApplesMr Kiaran Govender looks at The Production of a Sustainable Resin-Free Particleboard from Sugarcane Bagasse; Ms Kirsten McClean’s research examines the Occurrence and Characterisation of Microplastics in Thyone Aurea and Pentacta Doliolum, from Saldanha Baywhile Mr Thuto Ndlovu’s research is based on a Multiwavelength Study of X-Ray Binary Stars. Ms Yukta Harilal will present on Quantum Chaos Theory.

There will also be online exhibitions from 30 CAES industry partners. The College has strong linkages with industry as they believe in its research excellence. ‘We are delighted to be partnering with UKZN for the PRIS event that honours students and celebrates their work,’ said Mr Sid Bwerinofa from BSG.

‘We look forward to seeing all the work being done by the postgraduates. See you there,’ said an excited Ms Daneshree Moodley from Elsevier.

ASSAf’s Dr Susan Veldsman extended her congratulations, ‘We wish you well on your fruitful deliberations during these two days…to celebrate outstanding achievement.’

‘Good luck to all postgraduate students presenting!’ said Mr Philani Mpofu from Allan Gray.

Ms Kavitha Bachu from Whitehead Scientific concluded the round of well wishes, saying, ‘WhiteSci is glad to once again be partnering with the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science in making PRIS 2022 a success.’

The event will then close with a prize-giving ceremony in which all the best oral and flash presentations from all five schools 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

Images: Supplied