Against All Odds – #AfricanWomenInScience

Science Diary of a Single Mum


White Rhinos in Lake Nakuru National Park, 2015

It is estimated that there are only about 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild in Africa – making the black rhino right up on the top of the CRITICALLY endangered species list. In comparison, there are about 20,000 white rhinos left in the wild with the largest population of these being in South Africa. Against all odds the white rhino population has been “revamped” due to concerted efforts and the loud conservationist voices crying out SAVE THE RHINO! By 1993, the black rhino population had declined by about 96%, and again, against all odds that number has risen to ~5,000 in the recent few years. Even more interesting, against all odds the Southern white rhino was saved from the brink of extinction where we had only about 50 surviving in the wild at one time to the current numbers. Surely against…

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Fall armyworm – and how viruses could help combat the plague.


Kenneth Wilson of the Univ of Lancaster has recently written a blog post on the plagues of African and “Fall” armyworms (aka caterpillars, larvae of moth species in the genus Spodoptera) that are currently chewing their way through southern African maize and other crops. I wrote the following as a comment to his blog.

Nice article – which very ably demonstrates the perils of importing agricultural pests from elsewhere!

I am interested that you wrote:
“There are non-chemical, biological pesticides that could also be effective. These are pesticides derived from natural diseases of insects, such as viruses, fungi and bacteria.”

Some years back (OK, nearly 30) Barbara von Wechmar in the then Microbiology Dept was instrumental in our finding a number of insect viruses that were seriously lethal to aphids and green stinkbugs. These were inadvertent discoveries, which happened three times – twice with different viruses for aphids which…

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Evelyn Nguleka shattered the agricultural ceiling

trailblazer, and all we can do learn to emulate her positive traits. polarising even in death, one wishes she could live to see the last day in court.

Sincerely Zambian Human Interest



evy Former Word Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) and  Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) president, Evelyn Nguleka is remembered as a bold advocate for the small scale farmer.

THE agricultural world has lost a pioneer and the smallholder African farmer, a fierce advocate who used her passion and influence to speak on their behalf.
Evelyn Nguleka, who died in Lusaka on Saturday after an

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