Prof Maryke Labuschagne
Plant Sciences
Chair: Disease Resistance and Quality in Field Crops 2016-2020

Prof Maryke Labuschagne is currently professor of Plant Breeding in the Department of Plant Sciences and is also leading the NRF SARChI Chair in Diseases and Quality of Field Crops. She has been involved in the training of PhD and MSc students from all over Africa and South Africa for the past 30 years. She has supervised 75 PhD students from as far as Cameroon, Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Sudan – to the SADC countries, including Angola, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, as well as 63 MSc students. She and her students have authored 220 scientific papers in mainly ISI-listed journals. Her former students have released a large number of new crop cultivars all over Africa, which has contributed to food security in a number of countries. Her own research interest is focused on the genetic improvement of the nutritional quality of staple crops in Africa.

She was the winner of the 2015 Continental Lifetime Achiever Award from Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government programme, in the category Education and Training. In January 2012, she received the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Award for life and earth sciences for the continent.  She was named Grain Scientist of the Year for 2012 by Grain South Africa. Prof Labuschagne was elected as National Agriculturalist of South Africa for 2008 by the Agricultural Writers’ Association of South Africa, and was in 2008 also the winner of the National Science and Technology Forum award in the category of research capacity development in the last 5-10 years. She is on the editorial board of Cereal Chemistry and the Journal of Cereal Science and is Speciality Chief Editor for Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems.


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