Ever-increasing human populations and increased industrialisation exert great pressure on our natural resources. Some of the greatest challenges both developed and developing countries around the world face are sustainable food production and soil utilisation, as well as the protection and reclamation of soil and groundwater resources. These challenges can be met through a broad understanding of plant and environmental interactions and insight into soil chemical, physical and biological processes. The Department of Plant Production and Soil Science is a multidisciplinary department and consists of four broad disciplines:
Each discipline has specific focuses, which in many instancesinvolve cross-cutting research projects. We believe that multidisciplinary training, as well as specialisation in Agronomy, Horticultural Science, Pasture Science and Soil Science, will enable graduates and postgraduates from our Department to embark on a diverse range of careers in both the agricultural and environmental fields.
The various disciplines of the Department of Plant Production and Soil Science are presently complemented by 14 academics, two emeritus professors, one honorary professors, seven extraordinary professors and 10 support staff. The diverse disciplines and the strong complement of academics attract many postgraduate students locally and from the rest of Africa. The highly qualified academics also attract substantial external project funding to the Department.
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.
University of Pretoria honours the legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela - 12/12/2013
The University of Pretoria joined the world in mourning the passing, on 5 December 2013, of the first democratically elected president of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. On Wednesday, 11 December 2013, staff and students of the University attended a memorial service in the Musaion. Prof Wiseman Nkuhlu (Chancellor), Prof Cheryl de la Rey (Vice-Chancellor and Principal) and Mr Leo Haese (Chairperson of the Convocation) were also in attendance.
Prof Brenda Wingfield received A-rating from NRF - 10/12/2013
Prof Brenda Wingfield, a researcher of high international standing received an A-rating from the National Research Foundation (NRF), effective from 2014. She is also the first women in the Faculty to receive this rating.
This achievement is even more exceptional because both she and her husband, Prof Mike Wingfield, Director of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) will now be A-rated scientists in the same faculty.
Prof Wingfield is the Deputy Dean for Research and Postgraduate Studies in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and was elected to the Council of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) for the 2012 to 2016 cycle. She is also the Secretary General of the International Society for Plant Pathology (ISPP).
CGIS student wins prestigious Isibalo award - 06/12/2013
Stefan de Bruin, a BSc (Hons)( Geoinformatics) student from the Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology (GGM) at the University of Pretoria was awarded first prize in the category Best Student Project at the first annual Isibalo Award Evening on 4 December 2013.