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Newsletter July 2015
Friends of UKZN Agriculture | July 2015
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31 July 2015

Hello friends & alumni

Lots of things have been on the go recently, with a lot to look forward to in the second half of the year. We can't wait to give you all the updates of what we've been up to at our Networking Function next week, and hear from you about what you think of our activities so far and what some of your ideas for this association are. The next time you hear from us we'll also be bringing you all the updates from the second annual PMA Agri-Food Career and Bursary Fair, taking place on the 26th of August, which it's still not too late to get involved in.

In the meantime, here's a look into what the month of July brought us, and an overview of one of our exciting disciplines.


Featured Discipline


Horticultural Science

A little history

Horticultural Science has been part of the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (formerly the Faculty of Agriculture) since the Faculty's introduction to the then-University of Natal. The first Chair of Horticultural Science was expert in pecan nuts and avocados, J.C. 'Sas’ le Roux, who held the position from 1948-1969. Following him was Peter Allan, a widely-travelled academic renowned for his research, and also one of the first two doctoral graduates of the department. During his time his future successor Nigel Wolstenholme was a senior lecturer in the department, which also consisted of Gerry Gimalla (for a time), Irwin Smith, Pete Hofman and Jonathan Cutting. Wolstenholme was known for his contributions to knowledge on the improvement and production of sub-tropical fruit and nuts. Other staff included Renate Oberholster, John Bower and Keith Cowan in the late 1990's, and John Klug who was also active in Pasture Science.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Horticultural Science was the most popular BSc Agric major thanks to an introductory agro-ecology course which was taught to all BSc Agric students at that time thanks to Professor Peter Booysen. It produced graduates who were in high demand in industry, with many working across the continent in the horticultural sector. At one time, it had more final year students than those in finals year at its counterpart departments at Stellenbosch, Pretoria and the Free State combined.

The discipline was widely known for the excellent training it provided, but also for its outstanding research which contributed to more effective production of a wide range of crops farmed in the region. Its very active staff members, high number of postgraduate students and numerous publications (both academic and non-academic) boosted the reputation of the discipline as it contributed enormously to the horticultural sector.

Agribusiness options were introduced in 1998 in order to create a space for students with diverse academic backgrounds and interests. This option allows students to take Agricultural Economics as a co-major with disciplines like Horticulture. Since 2003, the discipline has also been closely aligned with Crop Science, with whom it shares part of the third floor in the Rabie Saunders Building, as well as Plant Breeding.

Elements of the training that Horticultural Science provided and continues to provide include  landscaping, aesthetics, sport facilities and floriculture.

The department has carried out much of its field research at both Ukulinga Research Farm and the Baynesfield Estate, in addition to the tunnels on campus at times.

* You can read more about the history of the entire School's history in Bill Guest's A Fine Band of Farmers Are We and in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science's Celebrating 60 Years of Agriculture, from whence the information above came.

Staff today

Isa Bertling
Associate Professor Isa Bertling joined the discipline of Horticulture in 1998. Bertling studied her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Hohenheim in Germany, where she is from. She undertook part of her Honours work in south Africa at Westfalia, and while here fell in love with the country thanks to the warmth of its people.

Bertling undertook her PhD through the University of Hohenheim, but did part of her research in Israel, Botswana and Germany on the propagation of marula. She also worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the
University of California Riverside for two years and returned to the University of Natal as a postdoctoral fellow and took up a post in the discipline after the departure of John Bower.

Bertling is actively involved in the supervision of students and is also involved in research concerning flowering in temperate crops, fruit quality, growth and development, and the colour of fruit and vegetables.
Sammy Tesfay
Dr Samson Tesfay obtained his BSc  in Crop Science  from the University of Asmara in his home country of Eritrea, and completed his Masters and PhD in Crop Science and Horticultural Sciences respectively at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Following the achievement of his PhD degree from the University in 2010, Tesfay worked at in Horticultural Science at UKZN as a postdoctoral fellow for two years. He was employed as a lecturer in the discipline in 2013.

Tesfay is currently engaged in teaching fruit production and postharvest technology modules and supervises postgraduate students both at MSc and PhD levels. He is 
also passionate about his research, where he specialises in plant antioxidants, mainly in fruit and vegetables. His research focuses on the roles of antioxidants and carbohydrates in fruit production and in enhancing fruit quality during postharvest storage. Recently, he has been busy promoting a research focus on underutilised vegetables and moringa crops. He has published more than 10 articles in highly-rated international journals.
Asanda Mditshwa
Mr Asanda Mditshwa joined the Horticultural Science discipline at the beginning of July, replacing Mr Xolani Siboza who joined HortGro Science in Stellenbosch as a Regional Fruit Production Researcher in January.

Mditshwa studied a BSc Agriculture in Crop Science and Horticultural Science at the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape, and then did his Masters of Agriculture through UKZN looking at postharvest citrus. The Citrus Academy-funded PhD candidate is doing his PhD through the University of Stellenbosch. He began his PhD in 2013 and it is ongoing, and also spent time working as a research assistant in the postharvest
research laboratory at Stellenbosch. His research is focused on postharvest apples and temperate fruit. He has also worked as a consultant lecturer at Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute and looks forward to contributing to the discipline of Horticultural Science at UKZN.

The discipline at a glance

Horticultural Science still maintains the high standard set by those who instituted and grew the discipline, despite facing some challenges. With Bertling as the incoming president of the Southern African Society for Horticultural Science, there is constant interaction with other institutions, both locally and internationally, with UKZN students feeding into other institutions and still being sought-after recruits, both  at other universities and in industry. There is a regular cross-pollination process on the go, a sure sign of a healthy discipline! Horticultural Science enjoys strong relationships with other disciplines in the School, particularly Agrometeorology, Crop Science, Plant Breeding, Plant Pathology and Soil Science.

Much of the research being undertaken by the discipline is on topics supported by industry and in turn this research supports the industry in reaching its objectives. Bertling spoke of some of the solutions to black spot that have been investigated in this discipline, which need long-term investment by industry as well if they are to take off.

Horticultural Science is not quite as popular as it was in the 1980's and 1990's, largely due to a shift in focus of bursaries and funding incentives for students to other areas. Many students also elect to go for the agribusiness focus of Horticulture, moving them away from a purely horticultural focus.

There is a need to draw students back into Horticultural Science, particularly since there is ample room in industry for them. Universities like UKZN also need to help fill the generation gaps in industry where older experts retire and new recruits haven't acquired sufficient experience yet, making the need for a steady stream of students an important one. Initiatives like the PMA Agri-Food Career & Bursary Fair will assist in raising the profile of Horticultural Science as it will expose their work to high school students, however there is a lot industry can do to support the drawing in of students to this field.

There is a good uptake of students into postgraduate studies in Horticultural Science, with students coming in from both streams of the discipline offered: the 3 year BSc with Honours as well as the 4 year BSc Agriculture.

The discipline makes use of 3 laboratories, which it shares with Crop Science, and has a postgraduate office available to its students.

A highlight of the discipline is one of the fourth year modules, which is purely based on field trips that the students report on through a SWOT analysis on an industry of their choice.

There are opportunities for industry to step in and get involved in Horticultural Science in a number of ways; either by sponsoring awards for top students, initiating contract research or funding students to encourage them to pursue careers in the horticultural industry instead of taking their skills elsewhere.

With new staff and new enthusiasm, Horticultural Science is looking to its future optimistically, with plans to broaden its scope into other crops, increase industry collaborations and focus on research on the postharvest side to help mitigate food waste and save resources.

News

UKZN Supports GSSA 50th Annual Congress

GSSA Congress 50
Professor Kevin Kirkman, Professor Roland Schulze, Professor Scott Collins, Professor Albert Modi and Dr Tony Palmer on the opening day of the Congress              [Photo: Stuart Demmer]

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has shown its support for the Grassland Society of Southern Africa (GSSA) on the occasion of the Society’s 50th annual Congress, held in Pietermaritzburg from the 19th to the 23rd of July at the Royal Agricultural Show Grounds.
 
The GSSA, founded in 1966, held its first Congress in 1966 in Pietermaritzburg, with a Congress being held every year since then, with the exception of one year when two Congresses were held.
 
On the opening morning of the Congress, Professor Albert Modi, Dean and Head of UKZN’s School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES) addressed delegates at the Congress. Some visitors came from as far afield as the United States of America and the United Kingdom, with many flocking to the auspicious occasion from countries all over the African continent.
 
Modi, who is also Chairman of the South African Agricultural and Life Sciences’ Deans’ Association (SAALSDA) and a Senior Fellow of GreenMatter, congratulated the Society on reaching this milestone and applauded those who founded the Congress. He also touched on the feelings of leadership and community shared by the Society and the University, especially given that the first Congress was conceived in and hosted in Pietermaritzburg by GSSA members who were part of or linked to the then-University of Natal.
 
Many current and past members and students of the School of Life Sciences and SAEES at UKZN attended the Congress, with some presenting their research and posters. Professor Emeritus Roland Schulze gave a plenary presentation on the opening day of the Congress on the topic of climate change, considering the effect human activities have had on the climate and, in turn, the consequences of these effects on humans and on important systems like grasslands.
 
Professor Scott Collins of the University of New Mexico and Professor Heather Throop of Arizona State University were two of the special international guests at the Congress, giving presentations on topics concerning the use of trends in grassland science to predict its future and carbon cycling in dryland grasslands of the future.
 
The Congress included tours to various examples of grasslands, one of which was to the University’s Ukulinga Research Farm, where visitors were given an overview of the renowned long-running mowing and burning trials and the veld fertilisation which were initiated in 1950 and are still being maintained.
 
The University also lent support by way of contributing the services of its Friends of UKZN Agriculture alumnus association to the organising committee of the Congress, which was headed by College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science Director Professor Kevin Kirkman and included GSSA members from UKZN, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife.
 
‘It is an honour and a privilege for the University to host the Congress in this province,’ said Modi, ‘and it continues in the tradition of the love and wisdom of those who first conceived the Congress; long live the GSSA!’

Congress Delegates Revisit Famed Ukulinga Trials

During the Grassland Society of Southern Africa’s (GSSA) 50th annual Congress held recently at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg, Congress delegates took time to visit the renowned long-running mowing and burning trials and the veld fertilisation trials which were initiated in 1950 and are still being maintained today.
 
Kevin Kirkman, Professor of Grassland Science and Director of Professional Services in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) took a group of around 40 visitors from the annual Congress along to the trials and guided them through the unique project. The tour was one of a few mid-Congress tours intended to give delegates an overview of various types of grassland and biodiversity projects underway in KwaZulu-Natal.
 
‘Research conducted on the Ukulinga long-term trials has contributed critically to the core knowledge of sustainable management of humid grassland in South Africa,’ said Kirkman.
 
The tour was particularly special, given that the first annual GSSA Congress was held in Pietermaritzburg in 1966, where many Society members at the time were linked to the then-University of Natal, whether as lecturers, students or collaborators. Two of the tour delegates, Professor Winston Trollope and Mr Koos Kappeyne van de Coppello, were at the University during the 1960’s, and had fond memories of time spent at Ukulinga as students. Trollope remarked on how the fire exclusion plots had changed, with distinct bush growth and alien plant invasion.
 
Professor James Donald Scott, the first Dean of what was then the Faculty of Agriculture, started the trials in 1950, with the veld fertilisation trial set up as the Masters project of Peter Booysen, who would later become a Professor in the Faculty and Vice-Chancellor of the University. The trials were set up to run indefinitely, and the visitors were impressed with the infrastructure of the trials and the professional manner in which they had been managed.
 
Kirkman commented on the benefits of having delegates visit the trials, saying that attendees had put forward the useful suggestion of a reversal experiment where the veld fertilisation trials are split in half and only half fertilised to observe the effects on nutrient reduction. He added that the visit had sparked conversations about potential collaborative research that could take place.
 
The trials are still extensively used in teaching and research, with second and third year Biology students doing practicals based on the trials, and a number of Honours, Masters and PhD students undertaking research on site.
 
As for the future of the trials, Kirkman outlined the plans of the Discipline of Grassland Science to expand the trials’ international exposure and recognition through the publication of research papers in prestigious international journals and by registering the trials on the International Long-Term Ecological Research Network (ILTER).

German Researcher Collaborates with UKZN on Micropalaeontology Environmental Change Research

Geography Micropaleontology Visit
Above: Prof Trevor Hill, Dr Peter Frenzel, Ms Kate Strachan, Ms Kirsty Spershott, Mr Craig Cordier & Dr Jemma Finch 

Dr Peter Frenzel, a researcher and lecturer of Palaeontology and Geology at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany, recently visited the discipline of Geography in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

His week-long visit in early July, which included the delivery of a Royal Society of South Africa lecture, was part of an ongoing German-South African research collaboration between groups working on the Regional Archives for Integrated Investigations (RAiN) project, which sees researchers using micropalaeontology concepts, methods and case studies to reconstruct environmental change. The South African aspect of the study focuses on mapping Holocene climate and coastal evolution by comparing sediment cores from coastal lakes within the summer, winter and all-year-round rain zones of South Africa.  Samples are being collected from 3 sites in South Africa that include both coastal and terrestrial areas: Mbafeni Swamp in KwaZulu-Natal, the Wilderness lakes in the southern Cape and Verlorenvlei on the west coast. The broader RAiN collaboration involves scientists from UKZN and Jena, together with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), the University of Cape Town (UCT), as well as the Centre for Marine Environmental Sceinces (MARUM) in Germany.

The work which Frenzel is involved in, together with researchers and students from UKZN, involves the study of ostracods (seed shrimps) and foraminifers (testate amoebians). The tiny, mostly aquatic organisms are amongst the most versatile tools of micropalaeontology, with easily fossilisable hard parts and narrow environmental tolerances. By sampling these small bioindicators, researchers are able to reconstruct environmental conditions under which the organisms live or lived by examining species composition, abundance, morphological variability, population structure and geochemical signals preserved in their shells. This helps to assess and predict current and future climate change.

This area of research has applications in a wide range of disciplines, including archaeology and forensics, with potential, unexplored applications in areas such as water quality monitoring.

According to Dr Jemma Finch, one of Frenzel’s collaborators at UKZN, this research will assist in giving researchers an idea of how precipitation in particular has changed over time and space. Additionally, it will contribute to the body of knowledge about biodiversity, with researchers planning to donate the materials collected during the study to museums in the areas where the samples are taken from.

Finch also pointed out the uniqueness of the research, saying that the pairing of marine cores with terrestrial cores is a novel approach, with scientists traditionally keeping the two elements separate. Progress in this field of research is a boon for South Africa, where research using these organisms has traditionally focused mainly on taxonomy.

So far, this project has enabled the research of two masters’ students, Ms Kirsty Spershott and Mr Craig Cordier, and one PhD student, Ms Kate Strachan, in the discipline of Geography at UKZN. Frenzel is also on the supervisory panel for Strachan’s PhD, in which she makes use of foraminifera to map sea-level changes over time.

In the near future, Frenzel and UKZN collaborators Finch and Professor Trevor Hill aim to host a week-long workshop to train researchers in the use of these micropalaeontology techniques. They held the first workshop of this kind in 2014 on Frenzel’s first visit to UKZN, with staff and students from Marine Biology, Geology and the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) attending. They also plan to participate in a three-week research cruise on the Meteor with MARUM in early 2016 to collect shelf data off the KwaZulu-Natal coast.

This work is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Water Research Comission (WRC) and National Research Foundation (NRF). The RAiN project is embedded in the international research program SPACES (Science Partnership for the Assessment of Complex Earth System Processes).

Geology Student Receives Prestigious Haughton Award

Geology Award

The Council of the Geological Society of South Africa’s 2014 Haughton Award has been won by UKZN Geological Sciences student Mr Keegan Benallack for his Honours dissertation: The Seismic Stratigraphy and Evolution of the False Bay and North Lake Basins of Lake St Lucia, Northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The award recognises an honours dissertation of exceptional merit in Geological Sciences produced at a South African university in the year prior to the award.

 Benallack’s work is the first detailed study made of the geology and geomorphology of the St Lucia system since the mid-1980’s. At the heart of the investigation was the aim to understand the evolution of the two main lake basins within the context of natural changes in climate and sea level - the rationale being an improved understanding of the natural drivers of the system. Results from the study will benefit management practices at the iSimangaliso Wetland Park where there have been several major droughts dramatically affecting the system.

According to Benallack, the two main depocentres or sites of maximum sedimentation in the lake are underlain by a network of ancient river valleys which host successive cycles of sedimentation reflecting changes in sea level and climate. By analysing these important sedimentary layers using very high resolution seismic tools and sediment cores, researchers can uncover the changes to that area. These appear to encompass several cycles of change from rivers to lagoons and finally to the contemporary lake conditions of today.

He hopes his research, using new tools and knowledge about marine depositional systems, will enable him to carry out competent work in the fields of petroleum geology and basin analysis in the future.

‘I was most impressed with Keegan’s work. He demonstrated a very mature grasp of admittedly foreign concepts that we do not teach at undergraduate level,’ said Benallack’s supervisor, Dr Andrew Green. ‘In addition, he was incredibly hard-working, spending almost eight weeks in the field to help collect data that formed part of a multi-disciplinary project between the School of Chemistry at the University of the Witwatersrand and UKZN’s Geography and Geology disciplines. I am really proud of what Keegan accomplished - he has flown the flag high for UKZN. Our department last won the award in 2007 so clearly the Marine Geology team at UKZN is starting to really get things right,’ said Green. ‘A fitting end to a year of dodging hippos, crocodiles, scorpions and mosquitoes!’

Benallack says his interest in Geology was sparked by his lifelong fascination with the natural environment. He has enrolled for his MSc degree at UKZN but has just learned of his acceptance at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland to undertake an MSc in Integrated Petroleum Geoscience, and will sadly be saying goodbye soon.

Speaking fondly of his time at the institution, he says he will miss the UKZN Geology team. ‘The discipline of geology here at UKZN has provided me with a first class education to rival any other country-wide. The team of highly trained and professional lecturers and staff left no stone unturned - excuse the pun - in making sure we earned an excellent qualification.

‘The combination of comprehensive lectures with extensive field training ensured our progression to competent young geologists. This was bolstered by a really friendly and welcoming atmosphere at the varsity, which I will always remember. My honours year was by far the highlight of my career at UKZN.’

Benallack says his goal is to be a successful exploration geologist in the petroleum industry, hopefully in South Africa’s fledgling energy industry or alternatively overseas.


Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis Course at UKZN

12 - 23 October 2015

Taught by staff from the African Centre for Food Security
Programme Overview and Objectives
Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis The incidence of food security in some Southern African countries remain high. This anomaly of widespread food insecurity amid national food surpluses stimulated the analysis of the nature and causes of food insecurity. Some countries are experiencing production shortfalls due to a series of drought and/or policy failures. Subsequently, national, regional and international organisations have engaged themselves in assessing the impact of such failure so as to better understand the context and take appropriate actions to build the capacity of vulnerable households and communities to respond to any changes in their environment.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has recognised this challenge and identified the African Centre for food security (ACFS) or the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis (VAA). The overall objective of Food Security Analysis is to provide the necessary skills to practitioners who carry out vulnerability assessment activities and build much needed analytical capacity.

How you will benefit. You will learn to:
  • Understand complexities of food security, vulnerability and its indicators in the context of SADC countries.
  • Use food security and vulnerability analysis as a means to promote continuous monitoring rather than the once-off assessments triggered by emergency response.
  • Understand the assessment of crop and animal production, storage and access to food security and vulnerability.
 
Key focus areas:
Module 1: Conceptualising Food Security & Vulnerability
Module 2: Food Production and Availability
Module 3: Food Access, Livelihoods, Policies and Coping Strategies
Module 4: Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E)

Programme fee:
2,495USD or equivalent pp (includes tuition and materials, venue, excursion, lunch and refreshments; excludes accommodation, travel, dinner and incidentals)

Duration:
12 - 23 October 2015
www.ukznextendedlearning.co.za
NQF Level: Level Seven

Contact:
Verona Mohanlal
+27 31 260 8765
Food Security and Vulnerability Assessment Course

Many alumni of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Natal and later the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal have gone on to achieve really remarkable things, making this Faculty/School at the University so particularly special in the memories of its alumni. We, as the alumnus association dedicated to the School, want to make sure these memories and legacies are treasured. It is for this reason that we would like to share tributes to alumni who have left us, as well as the stories and recollections of those still ploughing into their careers and creating their legacies.

We have a tribute below to share about one of the Faculty of Agriculture's early alumni. If you have stories, photos or tributes to share with us, please send them along to Christine; we would really love to hear, see, read and share them.

Alumnus Tribute
Professor David L'isle Whitehead (18/01/1933 - 26/02/2015)

Prof David Whitehead
Professor David L’isle Whitehead (Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University 1957 - 1960), biochemist and endocrinologist, was born on the 18th January 1933 in Mongu, capital of Barotseland, a province of the former Northern Rhodesia (now the independent Republic of Zambia). He spent his Huckleberry childhood happily in the upper Zambezi valley, schooling at Plumtree in Southern Rhodesia (now the Republic of Zimbabwe) and winning a government bursary to study Biochemistry in the Faculty of Agriculture at the former University of Natal. He also spent time working as a forester for the Chobe Timber Concession from 1953 – 1955. He graduated from the University of Natal in ‪Pietermaritzburg in 1955 and then went on, with financial support from the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), to study for a Master of Science degree which was awarded in 1958 while he was already undertaking research for his Doctorate in Prof Hans Krebs’ (eponym of the Krebs cycle) Biochemistry department. Dr Paul Kent (Christ Church College, Oxford University), his supervisor, and Peter Brunet (Jesus College, Oxford University) can be said to have started him out on his lifelong interest in plant and insect metabolism and endocrinology.
 
Professor Whitehead’s enjoyment of rugby saw him playing regularly at Oxford for the freshman Greyhounds XV and also for the College 1st team for the 3 years he was up. He also opened the bowling for Trinity College 1st XI and Michael MacLagan’s team. In 1960 he was elected President of the Oxford University Africa Society – the first “commoner” to hold this office. He also played in the Cricket 1st XI, and participated in Athletics, specifically Javelin.
 
He moved to Sussex to undertake research for the Government’s Overseas Development Administration (ODA) on glycoproteins in mucous secreted by the molluscan host of the water-borne disease Bilharzia (schistosomiasis). Finding that gastropod snails produced the steroid ecdysterone was a major discovery reported in Experientia, but the function of this hormone in molluscs (apart from accelerating shell regeneration) is still not fully understood. The first ever Ecdysone Workshop was convened by David in 1974 at the Royal Entomological Society, London to which he had earlier been elected a Fellow - see “Ecdysone binding over the Rhine” reported in the Journal Nature.
 
After his Rhodes Scholarship, Professor Whitehead pursued a long and successful career in academia. He focused on zoology, biochemistry and veterinary medicine and spent time in research foundations in Africa. He spent 7 years as Head of Biochemistry at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya. He delivered lectures in biochemistry/physiology and on “Mode of action of drugs” to the Salisbury city pharmacists before the Medical School was established at the UCRN.
 
Professor Whitehead served as Director of the Oxford Group Ltd (diagnostic equipment) and also published books and articles, one of which is the Studies on the Analysis of Lignin in Grasses (1958), sitting in our library on campus, as well as Inspired by the Zambezi: Memories of Barotseland and a Royal River – the mighty Liambai (2014). The latter is a memoir of his time spent growing up in Barotseland, and his fascination with the Lozi people and the Bulozi kingdom. The book features very interesting characters, from the Meikles brothers, after whom the famous Meikles Hotel in Harare is named, the Susman brothers, founders of the modern day Woolworths, and the various members of the royal families of both Bulozi and Lesotho (Constantine Seeiso, later to be King Moshoeshoe II, was Professor Whitehead’s Oxford tennis partner).
 
There is a lovely review of the latter book by Tony Weaver in the Cape Times. All proceeds from the sale of this memoir are going towards the building of a library for an underprivileged school, with only a few of the printed copies left. (For those interested in purchasing one, please let Christine know. Cost is R150 + postage).

Professor Whitehead lived in the Western Cape with his wife, Professor Enid Shephard of the University of Cape Town (UCT). He is survived by Prof Shephard, as well as his son Oliver, who lives in the UK, and his step-children Natalie and Richard Shephard in South Africa.
The 1955 University of Natal BSc Agric graduates, with David Whitehead seated in the front row, second from left (photograph courtesy of Prof Enid Shephard)

Help out a student


A fourth year agribusiness student is looking for one commercial dairy farm in close proximity to Pietermaritzburg at which he can collect some data to inform his project, which is looking at minimising feed cost and farm planning. He would need to come for a visit for at least one day and would need access to certain account information pertaining to his study. He'd like to look at things like feed costs, the costs of culling, labour costs, growing costs, as well as the background of the farm and how land is allocated. His research is being supervised by Professor Ortmann in Agricultural Economics and Professor Ignatius Nsahlai in Animal Science.

If you can and will help, please let Christine know.

We'll see many of you next week at our Networking Function. Have a wonderful weekend!


Kind regards,

Christine Cuénod

Networking Facilitator

cuenod@ukzn.ac.za

033 260 6557

083 314 3317
 

on behalf of
 

Duncan Stewart

Committee Chairman

duncan@lima.org.za

082 491 1912

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