Brenda Wingfield holds the DST-NRF SARChI chair in Fungal Genomics and is a Professor in the Dept. of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Pretoria. She served as Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at UP for seven years and was acting dean for seven months during that time. Her research over the past 20 years focused on the global movement and evolution of fungal pathogens and recently she expanded her research focus to study fungi at the population level. She has supervised and continues to advise a large number of postgraduate students working on plant pathogens. As programme leader at the Centre for Tree Health Biotechnology (one of South Africa’s first six centres of excellence identified by the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation) during the first five years of its existence she played a leading role in the centre’s development. She is also one of the founding members of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) and has played an active role in building the reputation and global footprint of this institute since its establishment. She received the Achiever award for Excellence of the University of Pretoria for ten consecutive years. She has received numerous other significant awards, the most recent being the Harry Oppenheimer Memorial Fellowship and the South African Society of Microbiology Gold Medal 2018 (first female recipient).