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Tlou Masehela is from Mokopane in the Limpopo Province. He is currently employed as a scientist at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) based at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in Cape Town, and leads the programme of work that focuses on monitoring and reporting on the impacts of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on biodiversity. He was recently (14 March 2017) awarded his PhD in Entomology at the University of Stellenbosch. His undergraduate and other postgraduate qualifications were obtained from the University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus. Tlou’s experience in research covers pollinator deficit assessments, crop pollination, honey bee forage resources, apicultural practices and plant ecology. He currently serves on two committees, the Western Cape Bee Industry Association and the GMO advisory committee (established under the GMO Act: Act No 15 of 1997). He is also involved in Environmental (ecological) Risk Assessments for GMOs, development and reviews of various protocols and legislative frameworks that prioritise the management and monitoring of GMO impacts when released into the environment. He was previously involved with the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) – Graduate Student Network (GSN), where he also served on the committee as the coordinator in 2015. In 2014, the South African Bee Industry Association (SABIO) honoured Tlou with an award to recognise his contribution to bee forage research within the South African beekeeping industry. Tlou occasionally takes part in educational outreach programmes around the subject of pollinators (e.g. honey bees) and their role in food production as well as the importance of looking after such pollinators and the resources (habitats) they depend on. His other fields of interests include, but not limited to ecosystem services, conservation biology, invasive alien species, food security, biodiversity management, biotechnology and long term monitoring.


  • –present
    Scientist at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (, South African National Biodiversity Institute