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Groundbreaking research at UP 

The Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology is engaged in two exciting new research projects that will not only empower the community, but will also protect them against the most dangerous diseases of the century. In the first project, indigenous knowledge systems are being utilised to develop educational content for use in schools and even at university level. This project aims to build strong and sustainable relationships between the members of the community and the University. The second project could mean that relief is in sight for millions of people in Africa who are affected by malaria, thanks to research that aims to put management and adaptation structures in place to curb malaria.

Indigenous knowledge systems research project empowers the community 

The development of educational content utilising indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) from a multidisciplinary perspective is an exciting new research project in the Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology. The aim of the project is to put together educational material for use in schools and even at university level. 

Dr Otsile Ntsoane, the only person in South Africa with a doctoral degree in IKS, has been appointed as extraordinary lecturer in the department to coordinate this project. Prior to his appointment at the University, he was the Manager: Knowledge Management in the IKS Office of the national Department of Science and Technology. 

Dr Ntsoane says, “This research project will empower the community in which the research takes place. We want to build strong and sustainable relationships between the members of the community and the University.” 

The project is funded by the National Research Foundation. 


UP takes the lead with research on malaria 

Relief for millions of people in Africa who are affected by malaria might be in sight through a research project at UP that aims to put management and adaptation structures in place to curb malaria. 

The three-year project, launched at the University of Liverpool in June, will look at the role of climate and climate change on health in southern, central and western Africa. Of particular importance to the UP team is malaria, and especially how the distribution of malaria is affected by climatological variables such as temperature and rainfall. 

The department will be using ultramodern technology to generate computer-simulated projections of future regional climates under conditions of greenhouse warming. Dr Jane Olwoch of the department will link these climate projections to the world’s best malaria model to project the future distribution of malaria in Africa. 

The international project team will engage with scientists and communities in Malawi, Sudan and Ghana for the duration of the project.

Prof Hannes Rautenbach and Dr Jane Olwoch
Prof Hannes Rautenbach and Dr Jane Olwoch.