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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Dr Alastair Potts, a Senior Lecturer and Researcher from Mandela University’s Department of Botany was last night awarded a National Research Foundation (NRF) P research rating at its annual Awards ceremony. This is the first time that a researcher from this University has been awarded such status.

At the event, South African academic and research excellence was feted and celebrated, with the added significance of the NRF celebrating 20 years of advancing knowledge, transforming lives and inspiring a nation. 

In addition to the special achievements, the evening saw the awarding of A and P ratings. The NRF rating system is based on peer review and is a valuable tool for benchmarking the quality of our researchers against the best in the world.  NRF ratings are allocated based on a researcher’s recent research outputs and impact as perceived by international peer reviewers.

The P ratings, which are awarded to researchers (normally under 35 years of age) and who are considered likely to become future international leaders in their respective fields, on the basis of exceptional potential demonstrated in research performance and output during doctoral and/or early post-doctoral careers. They would normally have held a doctorate or equivalent qualification for less than five years at the time of application.

Dr Potts is interested in many aspects of South African œcology, including palaeovegetation distributions, plant phylogeography, drivers of biome boundaries and Albany Subtropical Thicket œcology (e.g. physiology, seed dispersal and restoration). He also spends time exploring the interface between phylogenetic trees and networks, as evolution is often poorly described using a bifurcating tree.

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Ms Zandile Mbabela
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