NWU Alumni Award of Excellence for Prof Braam van Wyk

Posted on November 10, 2015

Prof Braam van Wyk, a world renowned botanist and plant taxonomist from the Department of Plant Science at the University of Pretoria, was recently honoured with an Alumni Award of Excellence by the North-West University (NWU).

Prof van Wyk is a professor in the Department of Plant Science, incumbent of the Louis Botha Chair in General Botany and curator of the HGWJ Schweickerdt Herbarium in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

He was honoured by his alma mater, the former Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, now the NWU, at a special awards ceremony. During this event the NWU Alumni Award of Excellence was bestowed on seven alumni for their professional accomplishments and service to the University and internationally. Prof van Wyk received the award in the category for Research.

It was at his childhood home on a farm near Wolmaransstad that Prof Braam van Wyk discovered his love for natural science and plants. Today, as a world renowned botanist and plant taxonomist, he is an authority on the classification of Southern African trees and has a special interest in plant systematics, biogeography, plant anatomy and palynology.

Prof van Wyk holds a master’s degree in botany and a diploma in higher education from the former Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education. He also has a doctorate from the University of Pretoria.

He is one of the most productive plant taxonomists in South Africa and has authored or co-authored more than 390 publications on the botany of southern Africa, including several books.

Prof van Wyk has also been responsible for the training of a significant percentage of the active plant taxonomists in South Africa, many of whom today occupy important positions at tertiary and other institutions. His popular scientific publications on wild flowers and trees have been valuable sources of reference for the general public. He has also produced the first electronic application (app) for the identification of trees in Southern Africa.


- Author Martie Meyer

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