𝗖𝗢𝗡𝗚𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗨𝗟𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦 to Old Unionite Marcel van der Merwe (Class of 2011) on earning his doctoral degree!
Marcel grew up in Graaff-Reinet and was a learner at Union High School from pre-primary through to Grade 12. He matriculated from Union in 2011 and started his BSc the following year at Rhodes University in Makhanda.
He graduated with a BSc in 2015, majoring in Microbiology and Biochemistry. Thereafter, he did his honours in Microbiology, where his project looked at the genetic stability of a baculovirus used to control the false codling moth, a major pest of citrus. He obtained his Honours with distinction in 2016 and started his MSc with the Centre for Biological control (CBC), funded by Citrus Research International (CRI).
The project focused on yeast baculovirus synergism for the enhanced control of the false codling moth. He obtained his MSc with distinction in 2019 and started his PhD, which was a continuation of the research he conducted during his MSc.
Marcel submitted his doctoral dissertation in 2021 and graduated that same year. However, no in-person graduation was held due to COVID-19 regulations at the time but he was fortunate enough to attend this year’s graduation ceremony, where he could walk across the stage in his red gown.
Marcel has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow for the past two years at CRI in Gqeberha, working on biological control agents and citrus pests.
𝘕𝘦𝘹𝘵 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘙𝘩𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘦 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘥𝘰𝘤𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘉𝘊 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘦𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘡𝘰𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘌𝘯𝘵𝘰𝘮𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘧𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘣𝘪𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘭 𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘨𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘴.