Page 109 - University of Pretoria RESEARCH REVIEW 2016
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Professor van Onselen’s current interests lie in the phenomena of crime-as-politics and politics-as-crime. His most recently published work, Showdown at the Red Lion: The Life and Times of Jack McLoughlin, 1859–1910, is a case study of crime-as-politics set against the background of the emergence of social banditry in southern Africa at the turn of the 20th century. If offers a vivid example of the biographer’s craft by tracing the career of an Irish- Mancunian within the wider context of a South Africa’s industrial
revolution and exploring his life as an example working class consciousness and behaviour.
Showdown at the Red Lion was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award and Professor van Onselen was the recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Book Award at the University. In 2016 he also presented, as part of the University’s Expert Lecture Series, a lecture titled: ‘Sunny Places for Shady Characters. The Making of Work Class Cultures in Southern Africa’s Mining Revolution, c.1886–1914’.
  Professor Charles van Onselen is Research Professor in the
Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria.
Professor Van Oort’s areas of research are the rise of Christianity in its Hebrew/Aramaic, Greek, Latin and Coptic contexts; the history of the Early Church, with particular attention to Gnostic-Christian movements; and the theology, sources and influences of the African church father Augustine of Hippo (354–430). In the past few years, the focus of his research was on Gnostic-Christian influences on
a number of Augustine’s theological and philosophical doctrines. Presently he is preparing a new commentary on the Confessions as well as new editions of Augustine’s anti-Manichaean writings in the UNESCO supported series Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum of which he is an editor-in-chief.
  Professor Johannes van Oort is Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Church History in the Faculty of Theology at UP.
Professor Brenda Wingfield’s research focus is on speciation and evolution of fungi, predominantly non model Ascomycetes. This includes research on genetic variation within as well as between species. Her research group enjoys substantial international recognition with respect to research on the molecular systematics and population genetics of fungal pathogens, and is considered as one of the leading teams worldwide that is involved in
the development of molecular diagnostic techniques for the identification and classification of pathogenic fungi. Professor
Wingfield also has an interest in basic evolutionary biology based on ribosomal RNA-genes which extends beyond fungi, and has a variety of collaborations with research groups working on a range of organisms. Much of this collaboration is in association with the tree pathology research group and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology in FABI.
In 2016 Professor Wingfield received the Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award to pursue her research field.
  Professor Brenda Wingfield holds the SARChI Chair in Fungal Genomics in the Department of Genetics. She is a member of the DST-NRF Centre for Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology and the Tree Protection Cooperative Programme in FABI.
Professor Mike Wingfield’s research focuses on fungal diseases that threaten forests and forestry globally. Using a broad range
of approaches (especially molecular genetic techniques), pests
and pathogens arising in many different countries of the world
are identified – often for the first time. Research efforts seek to understand the drivers of tree pest invasions and to find methods to reduce the damage that they cause. His research programme falls under the umbrella of two major programmes: The Tree Protection Cooperative Programme, a cooperative venture between the University of Pretoria, all forestry companies in South Africa, the industry body Forestry South Africa (FSA), and the government
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). The second major programme is the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology where the research focus is on the health of native trees and native woody ecosystems in South Africa. As IUFRO President, he actively promotes efforts to enhance evidence-based policy formulation on which the future of forests and the associated ecosystem services and global food security depend.
Professor Wingfield was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award for International Scientists for 2016, by his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, and the Herschel Medal from the Royal Society of South Africa.
  Professor Mike Wingfield is the founding Director of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at UP. He is also President of the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO), one the largest and oldest scientific unions representing more than 15 000 forestry scientists globally.
Professor Xia heads the South African National Hub for the Postgraduate Programme in Energy Efficiency and Demand-side Management, hosted by Centre of New Energy Systems (CNES) in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT). His research interests are control systems and automation, and more recently, the modelling and optimisation of
energy systems. This includes non-linear feedback control, observer design, time-delay systems, hybrid systems, modelling and control of HIV/Aids, control and handling of heavy-haul trains and energy modelling and optimisation.
In 2016 Professor Xia was re-awarded his NRF A-rating, which he has held for a number of years.
  Professor Xiaohua Xia is Director of the Centre of New Energy Systems (CNES) and holds the Exxaro Chair in Energy Efficiency. UP Research Review 2016 | 107

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