Professor Emma Steenkamp

Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology

[email protected]


Fungal Biology and Evolution                     

Emma Steenkamp is an Associate Professor in the Department Microbiology and Plant Pathology and the programme leader of the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology at the University of Pretoria.

Before she joined the University in 2004, she was research fellow the Department of Biology at the University of York in the UK, where she investigated the evolutionary origins of the kingdom Fungi.

She has published more than 40 articles in international journals and she serves on the councils for the Southern African Society for Systematic Biology and the South African Microbiology Society. She currently has an NRF rating of B3.

She currently sits on the editorial board of the European Journal of Plant Pathology.


IRT research projects

Emma Steenkamp investigates the biology and evolution of the Gibberella fujikuroi species complex (GFC). Most of the fung in this complex are important in the medical, veterinary and agricultural sectors due to the production of highly toxic mycotoxins that contaminate food and feedstocks.


Key Publications

Wingfield, BD, Steenkamp, ET, et al. (2012) First fungal genome sequence from Africa: Consequences scientific and regional. SA J Sci. 108: 104-112 

Martin, SH, Wingfield, BD, Wingfield, MJ, Steenkamp, ET (2011).Causes and consequences of variability in peptide mating pheromones of Ascomycete fungi.  Molec Biol Evol. 28: 1987-2003 

Liu, Y, Steenkamp ET, Brinkmann, H, Forget, L, Philippe, H, Lang, BF (2009). Phylogenomic analyses predict sistergroup relationship of nucleariids and fungi and paraphyly of zygomycetes with significant support. BMC Evolut Biol. 9: 272


Published by Alacia Armstrong

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