SA Profile spoke to Dr Tendai Musvuugwa, a senior lecturer in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Sciences within the School of Natural and Applied Sciences at Sol Plaatje University.

After completing her Bachelor of Science Honours degree from the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe, Dr Musvuugwa was awarded a scholarship to undertake a Master of Science degree in Conservation Biology at the University of Cape Town.

Following that, she was awarded another scholarship from the Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) to pursue her PhD research in Botany at Stellenbosch University, where she graduated in 2014.

Her PhD research gave birth to her interests in plant, fungal and arthropod interactions, which is still the focus of her research today.  Some of her notable research work has investigated the biodiversity of ophiostomatoid fungi associated with trees in the Afromontane forests of the Cape Floristic Region, which is a biodiversity hotspot. Most recently, she adopted a multi-disciplinary research approach where she is also building interest and expertise on the effects of climate change on plant phenology over a long period.

Dr Musvuugwa actively collaborates both nationally and internationally with some of the top-rated scientists in this field to tackle the emerging problems in plant pathology. She is part of a team that recently successfully acquired an NRF/NSF funding for research in bark beetle Mycobiome over a period of five years.

Her work has been recognised and presented at several national and international conferences, has been published in several accredited peer review journals and won awards such as the prestigious African-German Network of Excellence in Science.

Besides focusing on her lecturing and research career, Dr Musvuugwa is also passionate about mentoring, guiding, advising and motivating young scientists to help them to achieve their academic goals.



Dr Tendai Musvuugwa

This article was published in partnership with Media Xpose.

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