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Biology Staff Members and Research Undertaking

Prof King PH research focus is on freshwater and marine fish parasitology. This includes the description through light and scanning electron microscopy of all of the parasites in the tissue, muscle and intestine of different fish species from many localities. It also involves taxonomic classification of these parasites. He also focuses on snail transmitted trematode parasites studying the various larval stages of the different parasites in order to determine their life cycles.

E-mail: piet.king@smu.ac.za
Tel: 012 521 5662

Prof Welman J’s research focus is on reconstruction of the living and non-living prehistoric paleo-environment of the South African Karoo. Projects include integrated anatomical, embryological and paleontological studies of the braincases of the ancestors of birds and crocodiles. These ancestors include dinosaurs and reptiles with an age between 250 and 190 million years old. Ideas such as that birds evolved from dinosaurs and that the South African dinosaurs are the oldest in the world are tested. Expertise includes the geology of the Karoo Basin rocks in South Africa.

E-mail: johann.welman@smu.ac.za
Tel: 012 521 4306

Prof Olowoyo JO research focus is on biomonitoring of trace metals in the environment and its impact on human health and the ecosystem. This involves the use of plants (lower and higher) as bio monitors of atmospheric pollutants (trace metals) in plants consumed by humans and phytoremediation of soil polluted by trace metals. He is also working on occupational and environmental exposure of toxic metals around different industrial areas with the aim of checking the comparative effects on the ecosystem and health effects on people living around these areas.

E –mail: joshua.olowoyo@smu.ac.za
Tel: 012 521 5843

Dr Moema EBE research focus is on morphological and molecular characterization of digenetic trematodes of both medical and veterinary importance, especially larval stages, in freshwater bodies that are proximal to Tshwane Metropolitan. This interest was brought about by the fact that only adult worms have been studied and documented extensively since they are fairly easy to classify based on their well-developed reproductive system, but their larval counterparts have not been given similar attention. Therefore morphological and molecular characterisation of these larval parasitic stages will assist, not only in classifying these organisms, but also in establishing their relationship with each other.

E –mail: esmey.moema@smu.ac.za
Tel: 012 521 5891

Dr Middleton L research focus is Economic Botany i.e. on plants in the human environment and plant utilization. This involves the use of plants for greening the urban environment (landscape and ornamental plants), food plants, medicinal plants, poisonous plants, weeds and invasive plants and aromatic plants (essential oils).

E –mail: lorraine.middleton@smu.ac.za
Tel: 012 521 5894

Ms Mkolo NM research focus is on cell culture, Phytomedicine and acarology. Her projects include isolation and identification of a novel anti-diabetic compound. She is currently doing her Phd in Paraclinical Science at University of Pretoria.

E –mail: nqobile.mkolo@smu.ac.za
Tel: 012 521 5795

Ms Modise EM research is centred on fish and amphibian parasitology. Parasitic infections are presently becoming threats for fish health in aquaculture, therefore knowledge of parasites, their hosts and prevalence is an essential prerequisite of preventative procedures for the parasite problem in aquaculture. The research involves parasites identification and morphological descriptions using various techniques (e.g. Scanning Electron Microscopy). She also focuses on traditional medicinal plant extracts as an optional chemical to treat and control high parasitic infections on fish.

E –mail: elizabeth.modise@smu.ac.za
Tel: 012 521 4675

Dr Mugivhisa LL research focus is on Environmental Management and Education. She is interested in the use of organic fertilizers as an alternative amendment for soil nutrients in crop production. She is currently working on the effectiveness of organic fertilizers on the growth of leafy vegetables and the toxic effects which might be associated with the use of the organic fertilizers. The goal of her research work is to enhance food security and livelihoods of the peri-urban poor through improved agricultural productivity and sustainable waste management. She is also interested in disseminating information and creating awareness on various environmental issues affecting human health and the ecosystem.

E –mail: liziwe.mugivhisa@smu.ac.za
Tel: 012 521 4675

Ms Lion GN field of interest is in Environmental Health with special reference to trace metal pollution and toxicity to plants, animals and humans. Her research also focuses on how the environment influences human health and diseases. This involves things in the natural environment like air, water and soil, and also all the physical, chemical, biological and social features of our surroundings. Her resent involvement includes the use of biological fluids to check the health status of humans in areas of pollution and link the human race with its interaction between the internal (occupational and/or residential) and external (pollution) environment.

E –mail: ntebo.lion@smu.ac.za
Tel. 012 521 4683

Mr Mavimbela C research focus is on cyanobacteria, fish biology and ecology of aquatic organism, particularly with reference to the impact of freshwater fishes and the influence of anthropogenic factors on aquatic ecosystems. My current research focus at SMU is geared towards providing information with which to better understand the aquatic biodiversity. Current interests are fisheries, aquatic invertebrates like crabs biology, ecology and parasites. The influence of cyanobacteria in relation to human health and impacts; relationship between different mechanisms driving the ability of cyanobacteria to adapt to extreme temperature etc. As a result my research is multidisciplinary and includes not only research on natural systems and processes but also research on understanding how humans alter and benefit from aquatic systems.

E-mail: caswell.mavimbela@smu.ac.za
Tel: 012 521 3919