Two UP scientists elected as ASSAf fellows
By Martie Maree
Posted on 29 October 2010
Prof Nigel Bennett
Two internationally acclaimed academics from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences have recently been appointed as research fellows of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).
Prof Nigel Bennett is heading up the Austin Roberts Chair of Mammalogy at the University of Pretoria while Prof Jean Lubuma is Head of the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. With their election they joined the prestigious list of names including those of Prof Jonathan Jansen (Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State), Dr Sibisi Sibesu (Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and Dr Albert van Jaarsveld (President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Research Foundation (NRF)).
Prof Jean Lubuma
Prof Lubuma joined the University of Pretoria in 2000 and initiated and still leads a very successful research group. His research interests include the numerical analysis of differential equations, with the emphasis on differential models that occur in engineering and applied sciences. His current focus is on the mathematical epidemiology of infectious diseases of humans.
Prof Lubuma has contributed to make science work in Africa. He renders a vital service to the scientific community through his extensive involvement as a referee for several journals and as peer-reviewer in the evaluation process of research outputs, research projects, etc.
Among the awards, honours and recognition that Prof Lubuma has received are a NRF B rating; Fellow of the African Academy of Science; Fellow of Die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns; Convener of the NRF specialist Committee for Mathematical Sciences from 2008 to 2009; University of Pretoria Exceptional Academic Achiever for the two consecutive periods 2007 to2009 and 2010 to 2012; as well as a Senior Associate Member of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy.
Prof Bennett currently holds the Austin Roberts Chair of African Mammalogy and the SARChl Chair of Mammal Behavioral Ecology and Physiology in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences in addition to his position as a professor in the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the University of Pretoria.
His research has focused on ecology, animal physiology and animal behavior. Prof Bennett studies the biology of African mole-rats and uses these organisms as model animals for his interdisciplinary studies. Prof Bennett is a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Society of South Africa. He has served as President and Vice-President of the Zoological Society of Southern Africa and is Editor–in-chief of the Journal of Zoology, London, and the Editor of Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences, London. He received the Chancellor’s Medal for Research in 2003 and 2010. The Zoological Society gold medal was awarded to him in 2008 and he received an A rating in 2010.