12 June 2018 Photo Thabo Kessah
Young researcher to jet out to UK
Mamosa Ngcala who leaving for the United Kingdom on 31 July 2018.

When Mamosa Ngcala jets out to the United Kingdom (UK) on 31 July 2018, she will not only be doing research and improving herself academically at the Durham University, but she will also put yet another feather in the growing research profile cap of the Qwaqwa Campus.

“I am looking forward to my study visit under the mentorship of Dr Steve Chivasa, my supervisor’s co-researcher in the Department of Biosciences at the renowned Durham University. This will enable me to grow academically as much as it will get me closer to concluding my research on climate change and food security,” said Mamosa, a master’s student in Science (Botany). Her supervisor is Dr Rudo Ngara.

“Going there will fast-track my research that looks at how food security can be enhanced in as far as growing sorghum is concerned. This study in Plant Biotechnology aims to identify heat responsive genes in sorghum, which is the fifth most important cereal crop in the world. The information obtained in this study will serve as fundamental knowledge regarding molecular responses of plants to heat stress and will be used in breeding programmes to develop crops that can tolerate high temperature stress conditions caused by climate change, thus resulting in high crop yield in agriculture as well as food security,” she said. She will be in the UK until 12 September 2018.

Mamosa has recently won the 3-Minute thesis competition for graduates that was part of the ‘Sorghum in the 21st Century’ international conference held in Cape Town.

Talking about this achievement, she said: “Going head-to-head with PhD students from all over the world gave me extra motivation and drive to do well, and I did. This goes to show that we can achieve whatever we put our minds to. Having to summarise my entire study in three minutes for a non-specialist audience, using one PowerPoint slide, was a challenge that had to be overcome,” said Mamosa. The conference was organised by the Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet and the University of Pretoria.

Mamosa graduated with distinction in Botany for her honours degree. She is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and Chairperson of the Postgraduate Student Council and is looking forward to advancing her studies to PhD level.