FABI Director elected as next President of IUFRO

Posted on June 19, 2013

The IUFRO is ’the global network for forestry research’ and one of the most influential organisations dealing with forestry and linking forest scientists throughout the world. As an international non-profit, non-governmental network it promotes global cooperation in forest-related research and enhances the understanding of the ecological, economic and social aspects of forests and trees. It also unites more than 15 000 forestry scientists from more than 110 countries globally. The organisation was established in 1892 and is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU).

Prof Wingfield has been an active member of IUFRO for more than 30 years. He has served in many positions in the organisation, among others as the Coordinator of Division 7 (Forest Health). For the past four years he has been the Vice-President responsible for the nine divisions of the IUFRO. He has worked in forestry, in particular in the area of forest protection, since his student days and has a passion for protecting these vitally important ecosystems. When Prof Wingfield, with his international scientific reputation, takes on his new role, backed by an extensive network of forest scientists in IUFRO, it will be the start of a new and exciting era for the IUFRO, and especially for the African continent.

His work on the topic of tree health has been widely published in more than 600 research papers and five books. As an invited speaker he has made numerous highly acclaimed presentations globally. Prof Wingfield has been elected as a fellow of several scientific societies, including the Royal Society of South Africa, the Academy of Science for South Africa (ASSAf), the Southern African Society for Plant Pathology and the American Phytopathological Society. He is one of the few honorary members of the Mycological Society of America.

The prestigious African Union (AU) Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award in the Life and Earth Sciences category was bestowed on Prof Wingfield in Addis Ababa in May this year, and other accolades that he has received include the Johanna Westerdijk Award, awarded by the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (CBS) (Fungal Biodiversity Centre, the Netherlands), and honorary DSc degrees from the University of British Columbia in 2012 and the North Carolina State University in 2013.

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