Agri Kultuur January / January 2018 - Page 34

Dr Nkululeko Nyangiwe tick(led) about his doctoral studies Engela Duvenage PhD student receives degree for studies about South African ticks B lue ticks, red-legged ticks, brown-ear ticks, bont ticks, bont-legged ticks. Name a tick and Dr Nkululeko Nyangiwe of Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape will probably be able to tell you where in South Africa you will find it, and in what type of vegetation. In the past five years alone, he has painstakingly collected more than 8000 ticks from cattle on 80 farms across South Africa. His studies were supervised by Prof Sonja Matthee in Stellenbosch University’s Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology. She praised his commitment towards his studies. “It is never an easy thing to do to hold down a full-time job while also pursuing studies, let alone a PhD degree,” she said. Since 2012, he has worked part-time on his doctorate in Entomology about the distribution and ecology of ticks that are of economic importance to cattle farmers in South Africa and Namibia, and especially also in the Eastern Cape. Dr Nyangiwe is one of 15 students of the Faculty of AgriSciences at Stellenbosch University who received their PhD degrees on 6 December during the institution’s graduation week. Although Dr Nyangiwe didn’t have the luxury of dedicating his attention 100% to his studies, he says it did help that issues related to ticks and tick-borne diseases are also part of his day job. This production scientist at the Döhne Agricultural Development Institute in Stutterheim regularly conducts research trials, often with the health of livestock in mind. There he has worked himself up through the ranks since joining the institution in 2002 as an animal scientist. Pantropical blue tick (Rhipicephalus micro- plus) Photo credit Nkululeko Nyangiwe Hard work recognised His diligence has paid off. In September 2017 he received the Bronze Medal from the South African Society of Animal Science (SASAS) at the annual congress held at Port Elizabeth for the meritorious PhD study. In the same month, he presented some of his work on the range expansion of the economically important Asiatic blue tick (Rhipicephalus microplus) at the 3 rd International Congress on Parasites of Dr Nkulu