AFRICA – At the recent AOAC INTERNATIONAL Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans, USA, Shandry Mmatsetshaba Tebele, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cape Town, took center stage as she was honored with the prestigious AOAC / EUROFINS “Testing for Life” award.

This global recognition highlights her exceptional research in the field of sustainable agriculture, specifically focusing on the plant microbiome of resurrection plants under abiotic stresses.

Tebele’s work aims to identify microbes capable of conferring drought tolerance to host plants, with the ultimate goal of enhancing food security.

Shandry’s research delves into the intricate web of relationships between plants, soil, and microbes. By understanding these tripartite interactions, she aspires to develop innovative strategies that can bolster drought tolerance in crops vulnerable to water scarcity.

Her dedication to promoting sustainable agriculture has driven her pursuit of innovative solutions to address pressing global challenges.

Upon receiving the AOAC/Eurofins Foundation “Testing for Life” Student Award, Shandry expressed her excitement and gratitude for the international recognition bestowed upon her work.

She views this award as a remarkable acknowledgment of her research’s significance and its potential to make a substantial impact on global agriculture.

Congratulating Shandry on her remarkable achievement, AOAC Africa President Winta Sintayehu praised her dedication and the international recognition it has garnered.

“First and most important, huge congratulations to Shandry from everyone at AOAC Africa for this great achievement – we are all very proud of her,” she said.

AOAC Africa remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting young scientists, recognizing them as vital to the continent’s development and progress. Shandry’s success serves as an inspiring example for aspiring researchers in the region.

Dave B. Schmidt, Executive Director of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, expressed his excitement at having Shandry accept her award in New Orleans.

He congratulated her on her impressive achievement and acknowledged the significance of her work in addressing critical agricultural challenges.

Shandry Mmatsetshaba Tebele’s groundbreaking research not only contributes to our understanding of sustainable agriculture but also serves as a testament to the importance of young scientists in shaping a more resilient and food-secure future for the world.

The “Testing for Life” Student Award is intended to support student researchers who are advancing basic or applied science in analytical or molecular testing for food safety, food security, food defense, food authenticity, or health and environmental protection.

The award is funded by contributions from the Eurofins Foundation, an organization that supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

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