The Veldkos | Field Food DNA Project

This schools’ training initiative focusses on generating a genome sequence for a Veldkos | Field-food species that lacks genetics or genomics information. At the same time, it introduces high school learners to the exciting  field of plant genomics and showcases what a career in science really looks like.

The learners’ generated data will also make a valuable contribution towards the creation of a draft reference genome for DIPLOMICS’ 1KSA: Decoding SA’s Biodiversity initiative. Grootnoemnoem (Carissa macrocarpa) was chosen as the inaugural plant species for this project.

In a research team, there are typically various members, each with specific roles that complement one another. Research teams often consist of members from different institutions, contributing specific skills to the project, as indicated below.

Scientific Team

  • Lizelle Abbott (La Rochelle Girls’ High)
  • Isabella Douglas (Hoërskool Robertson)
  • Josua du Plessis (Paul Roos Gimnasium)
  • Marise du Toit (Paarl Girls’ High)
  • Kaitlin Ernstzen (Rhenish Girls’ High School)
  • Daniella Ferreira (Hoër Meisieskool Bloemhof)
  • Darrsh Govender (Paul Roos Gimnasium)
  • Caitlin Henderson (La Rochelle Girls’ High)
  • Xenia McLachlan (Rhenish Girls’ High School)
  • Heidi Muir (Paarl Girls’ High)
  • Jody-Claire Slamat (Hoërskool Robertson)
  • Anouk Van der Bank (Hoër Meisieskool Bloemhof)
  • Petrus Lombard (Drostdy Technical High School – Observer)

Cape Winelands Education District Guidance

  • Lucy Olivier (SES Life Sciences)
  • Jo-Mari Schülz (Supervising teacher, Paarl Gymnasium)

John Innes Centre Data analysis trainers

  • Burkhard Steuernagel (Head of Informatics)
  • Martin Vickers (Senior Bioinformatician)
  • Roland Wouters (Senior Genomics Specialist)

Babylonstoren Farms and University of the Western Cape

  • Ernst van Jaarsveld (Botanist and chief horticulturist)

Gallery of the First Practical Week of the Veldkos | Field Food DNA Project (March 18-22, 2024)

Gallery of the Second Practical Week of the Veldkos | Field Food DNA Project (July 1-5, 2024)