Adversity Builds Determination – MSc Graduate

‘An expert in anything was once a beginner.’ These words by American actress Helen Hayes were inspirational for Ms Nombuso Majola who graduated with a Master of Science in Physics. Majola, of UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus, said she was motivated to help solve some of South Africa’s challenges through scientific intervention. Her MSc research, supervised by Professor

Dream Comes True for Cum Laude Honours Degree Graduate

Ms Nomzamo Msomi always wanted to be a student and earn a degree from UKZN, even during her years as a learner at Silver Heights Secondary School in Durban. Her dream was realised when she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Chemistry during a ceremony on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus of the College of

Skincare and Beauty Researched for Doctoral Thesis

Dr Vuyisile Thibane graduated with a PhD in Ethnobotany after conducting an ethnopharmacological study on plants used for skincare and beauty by some Xhosa communities. Thibane, from the small town of Botshabelo in the Free State, explained that his project was aimed at promoting the use of natural products formulated from indigenous South African plants

Snakes are Hissss Passion

Mr Warren Schmidt, author of Reptiles & Amphibians of Southern Africa, has enjoyed a lifelong interest in reptiles and amphibians which led to him receiving an MSc degree summa cum laude in Ecological Sciences. His thesis, supervised by Professor Colleen Downs, investigated snake population declines and conservation and provided a global synthesis and perspectives from Southern Africa based

Mammals in Durban Forests Subject of PhD

Investigating the presence and persistence of mammals in urban forest fragments in the eThekwini Municipality Area (EMA) is what Dr Manqoba Zungu of the School of Life Sciences did in research for his PhD which forms part of the Durban Research Action Partnership (D’RAP). Zungu explained that the biodiverse yet urbanised EMA, populated by 3.5 million people and comprising

Fern Study Harvests Cum Laude Degree

Mr Kwanele Mkhize’s friends and colleagues describe him as an ambitious, goal-driven person – qualities that assisted him complete his studies and receive an MSc degree in Biology cum laude from UKZN’s School of Life Sciences. Mkhize, who said the accomplishment was reward for his hard work and dedication, credited his late father for instilling an excellent work

Chemistry Honours Cum Laude Graduate Hoping for Career in Pharmaceutical Research

‘Hard work is always rewarded and doesn’t go unnoticed,’ says cum laude Chemistry Honours graduate, Mr Shabaaz Abdullah. Abdullah’s father, Ebrahim, instilled that ‘core life principle’ in him and now, almost like a prophecy, the words have become reality. Pietermaritzburg born and bred Abdullah has excelled in Chemistry, although he originally registered for a Bachelor of Commerce

Antidiabetic and Toxicological Properties of Medicinal Plants Focus of Biochemist’s PhD

Dr Ochuko Erukainure has earned a PhD in Biochemistry for research conducted on the antidiabetic and toxicological properties of some South African medicinal plants used in the treatment of diabetes and the complications involved. It is predicted that his research will contribute significantly to the development of novel antidiabetic drugs. ‘Ochuko has conducted several research

Woolly-Necked Storks – To Feed or Not to Feed, That is the Question!

Dr Vuyisile Thabethe graduated with a PhD from the School of Life Sciences following her research on a familiar urban species in South Africa: the African woolly-necked stork (Ciconia microscelis). Thabethe investigated aspects of their ecology in an anthropogenic changing landscape in KwaZulu-Natal, ie a landscape caused by the influence of human beings on nature. The large wading bird

Doctoral Thesis Examines Effects of Eco-Estates on the Eco-System

Dr Jarryd Alexander graduated with a PhD in the School of Life Sciences – with the support of the Durban Research Action Partnership (D’RAP) – after investigating the effects that eco-estates (a relatively new form of urban greening) developed on sugarcane land have on the functional diversity of amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles and connectivity along the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) North