Presidential Award for Dr Tesfamariam

Posted on March 11, 2016

Dr Eyob H Tesfamariam, a senior lecturer in the Department of Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Pretoria was recently awarded the Presidential Award from the Soil Science Society of South Africa, in the category Best oral presentation, at the Combined Congress of the Soil, Crop, Horticulture and Weed Science Societies of Southern Africa, that was held in Bloemfontein.

The Society evaluates all presentations made during the congress for their quality and novelty and the best paper is selected for the Presidential Award. The title of Dr Tesfamariam's presentation was ’Municipal sludge as low grade fertilizer for maize production in South Africa: crop yield, nitrogen and phosphorus balances’.

Dr Tesfamariam is an agricultural systems modeller with research focus on water, nitrogen and carbon cycles in agricultural lands and the impact of climate change on crop and pasture production. His current research emphasises beneficial agricultural use of wastewater sludge and the impact of extreme weather events on maize production in South Africa.

Since 2010 he is involved in multidisciplinary research projects, funded by the European Union FP7 program, Department of Science and Technology, Water Research Commission (WRC), and East Rand Water Care Company (ERWAT). He collaborates with several research organisations nationally and internationally, including the French National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA), and the Research Council for Agriculture and the Analysis of Agricultural Economies of Italy (CREA), all related to climate change. His research has led to the development of a user friendly decision support tool for sludge application in agricultural lands across South African agro-ecological zones, as well as assessing the impact of extreme weather event under changing climate on maize production in South Africa and potential adaptation and mitigation measures.

Dr Tesfamariam has supervised and co-supervised nine postgraduate students who have successfully completed their master’s and PhD degrees. He is currently the supervisor and co-supervisor of 11 master’s and PhD students.


- Author Martie Meyer

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