Over the past decade I have played an active role in fungal genomics research. I was awarded a PhD (Genetics) degree in 2013 whilst concurrently being employed at the Genetics department as academic support staff and understand the need for academic advancement in a tertiary environment. I worked towards this goal by facilitating undergraduate modules at a practical and academic level. I have mentored many under- and postgraduate students whilst pursuing my own research. I was appointed as an academic staff member in early 2015. I have published in internationally recognized journals and have successfully secured funding to further enhance my research programme.
As a young lecturer, I believe I have the ability to make the greatest impact on the future scientists of our country. I currently lecture the largest service entry module offered by five Biological Sciences departments in our Faculty, Molecular and Cellular Biology, with an enrollment of ~1400 students. My passion for lecturing in the field of Genetics goes beyond a lecture hall. I always encourage science communication and community engagement as it is our duty as researchers to inspire and stimulate young minds. I strive to maintain the highest teaching quality and excellence.
I chaired the Centre of Excellence for Tree Health and Biotechnology (CTHB) Mentorship programme for five years and gained invaluable experience working with students from diverse backgrounds. It is our responsibility to empower and inspire the young generation, to challenge critical thinking and learn to solve problems both domestic and internationally in ways that lends itself to a sustainable growth. I continue to mentor postgraduate students directly through my research programme.
I place a high value on scientific communication and engagement, most especially with the learners in our country. I represent the Genetics department in the UP with Science programme which aims to engage and encourage science development and communication. I lead talks about the “fun in science research” to school groups and have participated in the National SciFest programme. I am responsible for the department’s display at the UP Open Day, where many potential student enrolments to the Natural and Agricultural Sciences are received. These levels of engagement has focused me to what is current to learners, what grasps their attention (e.g. social networking platforms), to what enthuses them to become scientists and ultimately ensure that they in turn inspire future generations.