I knew from a very young age that I wanted to do something that involved science
Stellenbosch University Professor in the Department of Botany and Zoology, Prof Nokwanda Nox Makunga was this week's profile guest.
She gave insights on her father influenced her love for plants at a young age and the unique species that are available in South Africa that seem to be of interest to other countries.
My father used to take me with him when he had experiments and I would help in very simple ways like counting seeds.Prof Nokwanda Nox Makunga, Department of Botany - Stellenbosch University Professor
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to do something that involved science but did not know exactly what field I would ultimately go into. I knew there was a strong sense of understanding the benefits of attending a university because both my parents went to university and I saw how it had an influence on the way we grew up and those around us.Prof Nokwanda Nox Makunga, Department of Botany - Stellenbosch University Professor
Makunga says she realised that she had a passion for plants when she was in her biology class which then influenced her to study botany in university.
I had the privilege to choose what I wanted to do and that in some ways has been quite a privilege; to have the ability to choose an education that I can take to a Ph.D. level.Prof Nokwanda Nox Makunga - Stellenbosch University Professor
We have an abundance of unique species which are even vulnerable to climate change and extinction and we haven't even touched the surface of how they work or interact with the environment. There is just a lot to learn and I think that is why the North is interested in our floral.ProfNokwanda Nox Makunga - Stellenbosch University Professor
Makunga went on to explain how the pandemic together with the lockdown affected research especially when it comes to natural plants that could possibly turn into medicine.
I have had lots of interest in medicinal plants and things started snowballing a bit around March last year when we had a couple of conversations through phone calls with people saying they think they got a new plant or a way of curing COVID-19 or they have dreams etc and it was so difficult because we could not go into labs and test this plants because of the lockdown and having little knowledge of the disease at the time.Prof Nox Makunga, Department of Botany - Stellenbosch University Professor
I think there has been awareness of science in general which is greater human capital and diverse ways of thinking and people in order to encourage the answering and questions of science.Prof Nox Makunga, Department of Botany - Stellenbosch University Professor
Listen to the full interview...
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