Designation: Lecturer: Department of Botany Expertise: Plant adaptation, biological nitrogen fixation, plant nutrition, soil fertility, ultraviolet-B radiation
I am interested in understanding the physiological mechanisms of plant (especially legumes) adaptation to extreme edaphic conditions and climate change. Legumes are known to be high resource (nutrient) demanding for plant growth and biological nitrogen fixation. And yet, legumes are found in most of the ecosystems of the world including those with infertile and acid soils. The ability of legume species and their micro-symbiont to function under extreme conditions is quite amazing to me. Additionally, I also enjoy studying the influence of edaphic factors on the biogeography of legumes in an area.
Key Research Categories
Legume adaptation to extreme edaphic factors and climate change
Ecophysiology of legumes
Legume biogeography –role of edaphic factors
Phosphorus nutrition of indigenous legumes
Economic use of legumes from natural systems
Estimation of N2 derived from atmospheric fixation by symbiotic legumes in natural and agricultural ecosystems
Enhancing biological N2 fixation in agricultural systems by exploiting legume genotypes and their microbial symbionts
Minimisation of use of inorganic fertiliser in Agriculture by promoting soil microbial activity in:
Biological nitrogen fixation
Organic matter decomposition
Current Research Projects
The role and tolerance mechanisms of indigenous N2 fixing legumes in the acidic and low P environment of the Western Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. (Funded by the NRF, South Africa).
The role of edaphic factors in the biogeography of legumes in the Cape Floristic Region
Rhizobia diversity in the Cape Floristic Region
Improving soil fertility and water retention by using low C:N organic residues in rooibos tea cultivation at Nieuwoudtville, Northern Cape, South Africa.