UP researcher wins Best Presentation Award at Oppenheimer De Beers Research Conference

Posted on October 23, 2017


Dr Riaan Rifkin, a research fellow at the University of Pretoria Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics, recently won the Best Presentation Award at the 8th Oppenheimer De Beers Research Conference.

The symposium was held at De Beers Headquarters in Ormonde, Johannesburg and featured a diverse group of researchers from around South Africa. The aim of the two-day meeting was to showcase compelling research undertaken on the properties owned by De Beers and E. Oppenheimer & Son and supported by both the Oppenheimer family and De Beers. For more information about the event, please click here.

Dr Rifkin is an anthropologist and prehistoric archaeologist and presented his paper on ancient human and pathogen DNA found in South African archaeological sediments at the recent meeting. Riaan's conference paper was entitled:' Ancient human and pathogen DNA persists in South African Pleistocene archaeological sediments.' The paper addressed the question – 'Which pathogens were brought from Africa to the rest of the world, following the departure of Homo sapiens from the sub-Saharan Africa?' For more information about Dr Rifkin's publications, please click here.

Dr Rifkin has the following to say about his award: 'It is a great honour to have been selected to receive the award from such an esteemed group of delegates. The quality of research exhibited at this conference was simply astounding. I would like to thank all the collaborators and co-authors for their contributions to this work.'



- Author Alacia Armstrong

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