Research

The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences strives to be the leading science faculty on the African continent through our postgraduate research. We endeavour to achieve this by contributing significantly to some of the significant challenges the continent faces in relation to poverty and food, energy and water security, climate change and its impact on agriculture, animal and human health, and economic sustainability. In addition, our broad range of disciplines allows us to tackle interdisciplinary societal problems by finding cures for poverty-related and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/ AIDS and Malaria.

The Faculty is the largest of its kind in Africa. This diverse Faculty is renowned for its expertise in forestry and agriculture, food systems, biotechnology as well as life sciences and mathematical and statistical sciences and our international rankings underline this.  

RANKINGS:
QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021:
Agriculture and Forestry – 101-150
Biological Sciences – 301-350 
Environmental Sciences – 301-350 
Mathematics - 401-450 (Domestic leader in Mathematics)
 
Essential Science Indicators (ESI) - Top 1% globally in:
- Agricultural Sciences
- Biology and Biochemistry
- Molecular Biology and Genetics
- Environment/Ecology
- Microbiology
- Plant and Animal Science
 
Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) Leiden Rankings: Number 1 in mathematics and computer science in South Africa 

University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP)
ranking in the field of Zoology (including Entomology) is currently 45th globally in the universities assessed (up from 50 in 2020 and 54 in 2019) and continue to be number 1 in Africa.

The strong research ethos of the Faculty is re-emphasised by the fact that more than 200 of our scientists are formally recognised by the National Research Foundation’s (NRF) peer evaluation system for the high quality and impact of their research, nationally and internationally. Many of our academics and researchers are internationally recognised as leaders in their respective fields. The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences boast nine NRF A-rated researchers: Prof Nigel Bennett, Prof Michael Bruford,  Prof Don Cowan, Prof Pedro Crous, Prof James RafteryProf Jean LubumaProf Yves Van de PeerProf Brenda Wingfield and Prof Mike Wingfield.
 

Niche research focus areas in NAS:

TRADITIONAL MEDICINES AND NATURAL PRODUCTS:
Bioprospecting, medicinal plant science

PHYSICAL SCIENCES:
Radio astronomy, biophysics, green chemistry, drug discovery, separation science, renewable energy

BIG DATA AND DATA SCIENCE:
Bioinformatics and computational biology, mathematical modelling in bioengineering and biosciences

Published by Martie Meyer

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