The Department of Plant Production and Soil Science is a multidisciplinary department and consists of four broad disciplines:
To provide high-quality teaching, research and community service in order to play a significant role in the advancement of the agricultural sciences as the basis for prosperity of the peoples of South Africa and the African continent.
To prepare graduate and undergraduate students in agronomy, horticulture, pasture science, and soil science for fulfilling careers in academia, industry or government
Develop thorough research, new knowledge and techniques that are relevant to the production and management of economically important plant species, and the management of soil and water resources on a sustainable basis
Communicate research findings through scholarly publication and educational programmes of value to stakeholders
Support the scientific community and serve the broader public through outreach activities such as problem-oriented research and extension.
First in-depth look at West Coast’s own Heaviside’s dolphins - 17/04/2014
All Heaviside’s dolphins found along southern Africa’s West Coast are related, and belong to one of two major populations. This is one of the findings of the first in-depth genetic study about this endemic dolphin species that is only found from Table Bay to southern Angola. The species may be sensitive to overharvesting by the hake fishing industry.
The world beyond 2015 – is higher education ready? - 17/04/2014
‘We are very good at communicating to a scholarly audience, but one of our challenges is how to transfer that information to a broader audience, in other words the general public. There is definitely room for us [universities] to do more of that.’ This was the response of Prof Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria (UP), to one of the questions posed by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) as part of a new international campaign.
Record number of post-graduate degrees for UP’s Class of 2013 - 16/04/2014
The Autumn 2014 graduation figures for the University of Pretoria (UP) confirm that the institution which last year was ranked among the Top 500 universities globally by the prestigious QS World Ranking of Universities, is on track to deliver on its vision of being a leading research-intensive university. A record 4214 post-graduate degrees are being awarded across its nine faculties and business school.
Prof Tiaan de Jager gives an African perspective on environmental issues in Geneva - 15/04/2014
Prof Tiaan de Jager, Deputy Dean: Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Director of the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Sustainable Malaria Control, is an expert on the effect of the presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment in Africa. It was on account of this expertise that he was invited by the German Federal Government Environment Protection Agency and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) to address them on the effect of pharmaceuticals on the environment in Africa.
Study asks for ban on 4x4s in protected areas - 15/04/2014
Soil damage caused by 4x4 vehicles is underestimated, long term – between 5 and 1000 years - and mostly irreversible. Due to their negative environmental impact, vehicles should not be allowed to do off-road driving in protected areas. Strict legal measures should be applied to regulate 4x4 use in such areas, while very sensitive areas such as wetland areas should be classified as absolute no-go areas.