Page 2 - UCT2012 Science

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for his research work on earthquake dynamics and Dr
Hamilton for his research related to the discovery of
the Higgs Boson via the ATLAS consortium at the Large
Hadron Collider. In total, 152 staff in the faculty are
At the university level, associate professors Merle
Sowman and Rachel Wynberg received the newly
instituted Social Responsiveness Award for their
leadership of, and research conducted through, the
Environmental Evaluation Unit, aimed at uplifting
poor communities in the Western Cape and further
afield. Two of our younger scientists, Drs Will Horowitz
(Department of Physics) and Åke Fagereng (Department
of Geological Sciences), received prestigious UCT
Fellows’ Young Researcher Awards, Dr Horowitz for his
significant contributions to the determination of the
properties of matter microseconds after the Big Bang,
through demonstrating the importance of novel physics
mechanisms in tomographic analyses, and Dr Fagereng
for his studies on faults and fractures in the Earth’s
crust, aimed at understanding how the Earth deforms
and particularly the processes that lead to earthquakes.
The faculty was privileged to be awarded two DST/
NRF SARChI Chairs in 2012, one in Environmental and
Social Dimensions of the Bioeconomy, awarded to
Associate Professor Rachel Wynberg (Department of
Environmental and Geographical Sciences), the other in
Stable Isotopes in Archaeology and Paleo-enviromental
Studies, awarded to Professor Judy Sealy (Department
of Archaeology). These two additions now bring the
number of DST/NRF SARChI Research Chairs in the
faculty to 10.
Staff of the faculty continued to garner national and
international awards for their research contributions.
Professor Jill Farrant of the Department of Molecular
and Cell Biology received the L’Oréal-UNESCO Women
in Science Award in Life Sciences (region: Africa and
Arab States), at a ceremony in Paris in April 2012 for
her work on desiccation tolerance in plants. Other
notable achievements by staff in the faculty were the
receipt of the prestigious Humboldt Foundation
Georg Foster Research Award by Professor Daya
Reddy (Department of Mathematics and Applied
Mathematics), and the Humboldt Foundation In
Memory of Neville Alexander Research Award
received by Emeritus Professor Césareo Dominguez
of the Physics Department. National honours went to
Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan (Department of
Zoology), who was awarded the NRF Special Category
Award for Transformation of the Science Cohort in
recognition of her excellent research performance
and international standing as a palaeobiologist, and
Professor Kelly Chibale (Department of Chemistry), who
received the NRF’s Champion of Research and Capacity
Development at Higher Educational Institutions in
South Africa Award. Professor Ed Rybicki, Department of
Molecular and Cell Biology, was successful in obtaining
a prestigious Harry Oppenheimer Trust award for his
work on Rift Valley fever virus and Crimean-Congo
haemorrhagic fever virus proteins in plants, as reagents
and potential vaccines.
The quality and research performance of the academic
staff in the Science faculty is ably supported by many
highly skilled and dedicated administrative and technical
staff. They make an invaluable contribution to the research
endeavour of the faculty and their skills are critical to the
wide range of exciting research activities reported on in
this 2012 Research Report.
Department of Archaeology
Department of Astronomy
Department of Botany
Department of Chemistry
Department of Computer
Department of Environmental
and Geographical Science
Department of
Geological Sciences
Department of Mathematics
and Applied Mathematics
Department of Molecular
and Cell Biology
Department of Oceanography
Department of Physics
Department of
Statistical Sciences
Department of Zoology