Dr Rouxlene van der Merwe
Position
Associate Professor
Department
Plant Sciences
Address
LG 4.108A
Plant Sciences
IB 63
Telephone
0514019672
Office
Agriculture Building: Block 4 4.109A
Information

Short CV

Narrative

I grew up in Bloemfontein, in a family with a history of vegetable gardening. The love for nature, plants and vegetable gardening were always part of my being.

Since my appointment as a lecturer in 2011, I have developed as a teacher, researcher, supervisor, professional scholar and a leader. I belief that in order to be a good teacher, you need to be a good researcher.

Over the years, I integrated my own research examples and experiences with my teaching approach. I have been successful in securing funding for a number of research projects focused on my field of interest, which is soybean breeding.

In 2014, a vegetable-type soybean breeding programme was established with the aim to develop South African cultivars that show improved yield, pod-shattering resistance, drought tolerance and improved nutritional quality. The success of this programme is attributed to collaboration with both national (Edamame Development Program) and international institutions (Chinese Academy of Sciences) and local breeding companies who assist with field trials. I regard myself an established researcher who is enjoying national and international recognition based on my research outputs and professional work.

Since my postgraduate studies I have authored and co-authored 17 peer-reviewed papers (twelve ISI and five DHET), three chapters in books, twelve non-accredited articles and 29 conference contributions (21 national and eight international).

Up to date I have been supervising five PhD students (of which four has graduated and one submitted) and co-supervised four PhD students (of which two has graduated and two is continuing). Regarding Master’s students, I have been supervising seven students (of which three has graduated and four is continuing) and co-supervised nine Master’s students (of which seven graduated and two is continuing).

I regard myself as a dedicated and hard-working employee, who accepts a challenge and is able to successfully perform my teaching duties, supervision responsibilities and research-related activities. I am able to adapt, just like plants, to the changing environment.

 

Qualifications 

2003, BSc Agriculture (Plant Breeding and Genetics). University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

2005, MSc Agriculture (Plant Breeding). University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

2011, PhD (Plant Breeding). University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Publications

Journal publications (last 5 years)

  1. Mbuma NW, Zhou MM, Van der Merwe R. 2018. Comparing family with individual genotype breeding parameters for cane yield in sugarcane populations. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 1–9 (online available). DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2018.1465135
  2. Bah, S, Labuschagne M, Van der Merwe R. 2018. Genetic diversity of improved varieties of intraspecific (O. sativa and O. glaberrima) and interspecific (O. sativa × O. glaberrima) rice. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 65:797–809. DOI: 10.1007/s10722-017-0573-6
  3. Mbuma NW, Zhou MM, Van der Merwe R. 2019. Evaluating parents for cane yield in sugarcane breeding using best linear unbiased prediction analysis of progeny data derived from family plots. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 36(1): 21–28. DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2018.1465136
  4. Mbuma NW, Zhou MM, Van der Merwe R. 2019. Comparing family with individual genotype breeding parameters for cane yield in sugarcane populations. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 36(1): 11–19. DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2018.1465135.
  5. Mwenye OJ, Van Rensburg L, Van Biljon A, Van der Merwe R. 2019. Seedling shoot and root growth responses amoung soybean (Glycine max) genotypes to drought stress. In: Kasai M (ed.), Soybean biomass, yield and productivity (2019), INTECHOPEN LIMITED, ISBN 978-1-78985-373-5. London, EC3R 6AF, UK. Pp 59-68.
  6. Mbuma, N.W., Zhou, M.M. and Van der Merwe, R. 2019. Determining the breeding values of parental genotypes of sugarcane for biomass yield. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, volume 41, 74–78, 2019. 41st Annual Conference, Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, 30 April to 3 May 2019, Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre (CBRC), University of Southern Queensland (USQ)
  7. Mbuma NW, Zhou MM, Van der Merwe R. 2020. Family × environment interaction for sugarcane yield and its components in South Africa. Crop Science 60(3): 1239-1253
  8. Mbuma NW, Zhou MM, Van der Merwe R. 2020. Estimating breeding values of genotypes for sugarcane yield using data from unselected progeny populations. Euphytica (2020) 216:2. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10681-019-2540-0
  9. Chiipanthenga MK, Labuschagne MT, Fandika IR, Van der Merwe R. 2021. Combining ability of soybean (Glycine max L.) yield performance and related traits under water-limited stress conditions. Euphytica 217:41 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10681-021-02780-5
  10. Moloi, M.J. & Van der Merwe, R. 2021. Drought tolerance responses in vegetable-type soybean involve a network of biochemical mechanisms at flowering and pod-filling stages. Plants 10:1502. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10081502
  11. Van der Merwe, R., Van Biljon, A., Hugo, A. and Van der Merwe, J. 2021. Relationships between yield and nutritional components of vegetable-type soybean genotypes using correlations and principal component analysis. MOL – Science Society of Galicia (December 2021) Volume No 21:2 Pages 1-12;ISSN: 1133- 3669
  12. DE Ron, A.M., Cartea, E. and Van der Merwe, R. 2021. The challenges of some horticultural crops in the international year of fruits and vegetables. MOL – Science Society of Galicia (December 2021) Volume No 21:1 Pages 1-10; ISSN: 1133- 3669
  13. Hlahla, J.M., Mafa, M.S., van der Merwe, R., Alexander, O., Duvenhage, M.-M., Kemp, G., Moloi, M.J. 2022. The photosynthetic efficiency and carbohydrates responses of six edamame (Glycine max. L. Merrill) cultivars under drought stress. Plants 2022(11):394. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11030394

 

Conference outputs (last 5 years)

  1. Smit A, Labuschagne MT, Van der Merwe R. 2018. Stability of edamame (Glycine max) in South African production conditions. ORAL: 12th Southern African Plant Breeding Symposium, Gateway Hotel, Umhlanga Ridge, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, 11-15th March 2018.
  2. Van der Merwe JB, Van der Merwe R. 2018. Green yield potential and quality of vegetable-type soybean. ORAL: 12th Southern African Plant Breeding Symposium, Gateway Hotel, Umhlanga Ridge, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, 11-15 March 2018.
  3. Mishasha T, Zhou MM, Van der Merwe, R. 2018. Using quantitative genetic parameters to determine sample size for sucrose content in sugarcane breeding. ORAL: 12th Southern African Plant Breeding Symposium, Gateway Hotel, Umhlanga Ridge, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, 11-15 March 2018.
  4. Mbuma NW, Zhou MM, Van der Merwe, R. 2018. Estimating breeding values for sugarcane yield of parental genotypes using best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP). ORAL: 12th Southern African Plant Breeding Symposium, Gateway Hotel, Umhlanga Ridge, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, 11-15 March 2018.
  5. Mishasha T, Zhou MM, Van der Merwe R. 2018. Phenotypic correlations among cane quality traits measured from unselected sugarcane breeding family plots. ORAL: 91st Annual Congress of SASTA (South African Sugar Technologist’s Association): 14-16 August 2018, ICC Durban.
  6. Mbuma NW, Zhou MM, Van der Merwe R. 2018. Evaluating breeding values of genotypes in sugarcane breeding using Best Linear Unbiased Prediction (BLUP). ORAL: 91st Annual Congress of SASTA (South African Sugar Technologist’s Association): 14-16 August 2018, ICC Durban.
  7. Mbuma NW, Zhou MM, Van der Merwe R. 2019. Determining the breeding values of parental genotypes of sugarcane for biomass yield. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, volume 41, 74–78, 2019. 41st Annual Conference, Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, 30 April to 3 May 2019, Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre (CBRC), University of Southern Queensland (USQ)
  8. Mbuma NW, Zhou MM, Van der Merwe R. 2019. Family by environment interactions for sugarcane yield in South Africa. The 92nd SASTA Congress, 20-22 August 2019, ICC, Durban
  9. Mishasha T, Zhou MM, Van der Merwe R. 2019. Using quantitative genetic parameters to determine sample size for sucrose content in sugarcane breeding. The 92nd SASTA Congress, 20-22 August 2019, ICC, Durban
  10. Hills C, Bothma C, Van der Merwe R, Hugo A. 2019. Yebo-mame: its’ a soybean! Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium, 28 Jul - 01 Aug 2019, Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), Edinburgh, UK
  11. Van der Merwe R. 2021. Drought tolerance indices and their correlation with seed yield in vegetable-type soybean. Meeting of the Working Group Seed Science and Certification (GPZ/GPW) & Section IV Seeds (VDLUFA). Topic of the Scientific Seed Symposium: “Seed Production in Times of Climate Change”, 10 March 2021, Online Symposium. https://www.ipk-gatersleben.de/fileadmin/content-ipk/content-ipk-institut/Veranstaltungen/210222_Seed_Symposium_Abstracts.pdf
  12. Coertzen, R.D., Van Biljon, A., Van der Merwe, R. 2021. Evaluering van opbrengs-verwante eienskappe in groente-soja onderworpe aan geïnduseerde droogtestremming. Die 20ste Studentesimposium in die Natuurwetenskappe deur die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (SAAWK), Noordwes Universiteit, SAAWK Studentesimposium, 28 – 29 Oktober 2021.
  13. Vos, J., Van der Merwe, R., Moloi, M. 2021. The impact of heat stress during flowering on the physiological and yield traits of vegetable-type soybean. UJ Virtual Postgraduate Symposium, University of Johannesburg, 9 – 12 November 2021.
  14. Hlahla, J., Mafa, M.S, Van der Merwe, R., Moloi, M.J. 2021. The photosynthetic efficiency and carbohydrates responses of six edamame (Glycine max. L. Merrill) cultivars under drought stress. UJ Virtual Postgraduate Symposium, University of Johannesburg, 9 – 12 November 2021.
  15. Van der Merwe, R., Van der Merwe, J.B., Van Biljon, A. 2022. Combining ability of nutritional components in vegetable-type soybean. Oral presented at the 14th Southern African Plant Breeding Symposium, Protea Hotel by Marriott Stellenbosch, Western Cape, 6-9th March 2022.
  16. Coertzen, R.D., Van Biljon, A., Van der Merwe, R. 2022. Physiological and biochemical responses associated with water-limited-induced-stress tolerance in vegetable type soybean. Oral presented at the 14th Southern African Plant Breeding Symposium, Protea Hotel by Marriott Stellenbosch, Western Cape, 6-9th March 2022.
  17. Basson, H.J., Maré, A., Van der Merwe, R., Minnaar-Ontong, A. 2022. Fusarium sudden death syndrome: A pre-breeding approach for resistance in South African soybeans. Poster presented at the 14th Southern African Plant Breeding Symposium, Protea Hotel by Marriott Stellenbosch, Western Cape, 6-9th March 2022.
  18. Mishasha, T., Zhou, M., Van der Merwe, R. 2022. Family by environment interactions for brix content in sugarcane breeding. Poster presented at the 14th Southern African Plant Breeding Symposium, Protea Hotel by Marriott Stellenbosch, Western Cape, 6-9th March 2022.

Research

  

Projects of the last 5 years: 

 

2021-present   Impact of water-limited-induced stress on the morphology, physiology and nutritional quality of dry bean (Project funded by internal funds)

2020-present Developing a breeding strategy for vegetable-type soybean under abiotic stress conditions (Project funded by Central Research Funds and NRF - CSUR)

2017-2019  Green pod yield and nutritional content of large-seeded (vegetable-type) soybean (Project funded by the NRF Thuthuka grant)

2014-present  Breeding for resistance to pod dehiscence in vegetable type soybean - China / South Africa Research Cooperation Programme (Project funded by the NRF - RISA)

 

Area(s) of Interest

Legumes: Soybean, vegetable-type soybean, dry bean and cowpea

Plant Breeding and Genetics: Improvement of legumes for yield, stability, pod shattering resistance, nutritional value and biotic stress tolerance

Plant Physiology: Drought and heat stress responses

 

 

Courses Presented

BLGY1643 - The Interdependence of Plants and Life on Earth; NQF level 6, 12 credits, 2nd semester module

This module contains fundamental knowledge, theories, principles and practices of Plant Sciences, including: the important role plants played during the development of life on earth. I present two, one-hour, lectures as well as a three-hour practical session (which is repeated six to seven times to accommodate ±300 students) within this course in order to introduce the basic principles and practices of Plant Breeding to the 1st year students.

 

PLPG2623 - Basic Concepts Applied In Plant Pathology And Plant Breeding; NQF level 6, 12 credits, 2nd semester module

The purpose of this module is to equip students with the applied, yet foundational, knowledge of Plant Health and Seed Breeding required to sustainably produce agricultural crops. 


PLTB4854/6854/6874 - Statistics and Advanced Statistics in Plant Sciences; NQF level 8, 16 credits, 1st semester module

This module aims is to equip students with the required knowledge and skills on the application of various statistical principles and techniques and how they are applied in Plant Sciences research.

 

 


Community Service

1. Present public lectures/webinars on invitation

2. Review internal and external Masters Dissertations and Doctoral Theses 

3. Peer-review journal articles

4. Serve on the Editorial Board of the Science Society of Galicia

5. Collaborate on private companies to investigate biostimulants for national registration

6. Externally moderate undergraduate and postgraduate modules for other universities

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BLOEMFONTEIN CAMPUS FACULTY CONTACT

Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531
E:vdberge@ufs.ac.za
QWAQWA CAMPUS FACULTY CONTACT

Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284
E:naturalscienceqq@ufs.ac.za

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