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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Double achievement for Prof. Paul Grobler
2012-04-25

 

Prof. Paul Grobler
Photo: Supplied
25 April 2012

Early this year, two journal editions appearing almost simultaneously in Europe featured cover photographs based on papers by Prof. Paul Grobler of the Department of Genetics and his collaborators.

These papers stem from collaborations with Prof. Gunther Hartl at the University of Kiel (Germany) and Dr Frank Zachos from the Natural History Museum in Vienna (Austria). Both papers cover aspects of the genetics of southern African antelope species.
 
The first paper appeared in the Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research” (from the Wiley-Blackwell group). This was titled “Genetic structure of the common impala (Aepyceros melampus melampus) in South Africa: phylogeography and implications for conservation”.
 
In this paper, the team analysed impala from various localities in South Africa to determine the relationship between distribution and genetic structure. The results suggest a clear relationship between genetic characteristics and habitat features that regulate gene flow.
 
The second appeared in the journal Mammalian Biology (from the Elsevier group), with the title “Genetic analysis of southern African gemsbok (Oryx gazella), reveals high variability, distinct lineages and strong divergence from the East African Oryx beisa”.
 
Here, the researchers looked at various aspects of the genetics and classification of gemsbok. Among the notable findings is that gemsbok populations on the game farms studied are less inbred than previously predicted.
 
Proffs. Grobler and Hartl initiated these projects on gemsbok and impala, with sub-sections of the research later completed as M.Sc. projects by students from both South Africa and Germany.
 
Prof. Grobler has been involved with aspects of the population genetics of various mammal species since the early 1990s, and continued with this line of research after joining the UFS in 2006. Current projects in this field include work on wildebeest, vervet monkeys and white rhinoceroses.

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