Institution: Stellenbosch University (SU)
Department: Department of Agronomy, Faculty of AgriSciences
Research field: Agronomy
Supervisors: Dr PJ Pieterse, SU (main supervisor); Dr Ethel Phiri, SU (co-supervisor); Dr NP Mothapo, SU (co-supervisor)
Chuene was born and raised in Genoa Village, Limpopo. He completed both his undergraduate BSc (Agriculture) and his MSc (Agronomy) at University of Limpopo (UL). Over his master’s studies, he assessed various plant growth regulators (PGRs) for modulating growth of the seedlings of the drought-resistant tree Moringa oleifera, and established suitable concentrations that could be used in raising strong seedlings in nurseries. For his PhD at Stellenbosch, he will be studying Moringa oleifera in South Africa, investigating conflicts between its potential as an invasive species and its socioecological, socioeconomic, and sociocultural benefits. The study will reveal the extent to which M. oleifera species exclude other species from co-occurring, and also assess the familiarity and perceptions of drumstick trees among people living in established populations. As a student at UL, Chuene presented his research findings at two local and national conferences. He enjoys travelling, road trips, reading and sharing the word of God.