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45th Annual SAAB, AMA AND SASSB Joint Congress – First Announcement

Johannesburg 8 – 11 January 2019

Congress Theme:  Biodiversity and conservation for a better tomorrow

The Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology at the University of Johannesburg invites you to the 45th Annual Congress of the South African Association of Botanists. This congress will be affiliating with the African Mycological Association and the Southern African Society for Systematic Biology. The congress will be held at the University of Johannesburg Kingsway campus in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. On campus accommodation will be available within walking distance of the conference venue and there are additional lodging available off campus.

The meeting will provide an exciting opportunity to present new research, interact with colleagues in respective fields and attend workshops linked to the congress. The conference theme is ‘Conserving biodiversity to ensure our future’. We would like to invite you to submit ideas/proposals for workshops, special sessions or symposia around this theme or in a related field.

An exciting evening programme is planned to allow attendees the opportunity to interact in a relaxed atmosphere.

The following sessions are considered:

  • Invasion Biology
  • Ecology
  • Plant Conservation
  • Savannah ecology
  • Ecophysiology, Physiology and Biotechnology
  • Plants interacting with other organisms
  • Systematics and taxonomy
  • Ethnobotany and medicinal plants
  • Plant anatomy, development and structure
  • Mycology

Associated Symposia:

Wood anatomy: an African perspective

Date of this symposia to be announced soon.

University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

This symposium “Wood anatomy: an African perspective” will be held on 7-10 January 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the annual Conference of the South African Association of Botanists (SAAB). The program will include different topics of wood and bark anatomy as structural diversity, formation, functions, evolution and identification of these tissues with the focus on the exploration of African woody plants. The symposium will be associated with IAWA.

For more detail, please contact Alexei Oskolski (


Accommodation will be made available at the Sophiatown residence located next to the Auckland Park campus. Additional Bed and Breakfast/Self-catering accommodation is available around the University of Johannesburg campus.

Local conference organisers

Dr Eduard Venter (Chairperson)

Prof Annah Moteetee (Co-chairperson)

Ms Mildred Muller (Secretary; Hospitality Officer)

Mr Thinus Fourie (Treasurer)

Ms Janice Williamson (Registration Officer)

Prof Michelle van der Bank (Fund raising Officer)

Prof Ben-Erik van Wyk (Scientific Programme Officer)

Prof Bettine van Vuuren (Scientific Programme Officer)

Prof Fanus Venter (Adjudication Officer)

Dr Kelsey Glennon (Scientific Programme Officer)

Dr Aleksei Oskolski (Workshop Coordinator)

Ms Estherna Pretorius (Publicity Officer)

Ms Rene Tong (Venues and Facilities Officer)

Important dates

  • Registration: 27 August to 14 October 2018
  • Abstract submission deadline: 27 August to 14 October 2018
  • Late registration:15 October to 30 November 2018


Please visit the conference website ( for additional information and online registration.

Conference contact information:

Ms Mildred Muller


Tel: +27(0) 11 559 2436


Nominations for SAAB Gold and Silver medals

bronze medal1

The SAAB council hereby wishes to invite all corporate members (ordinary, life and honorary members) to nominate candidates for the following medals and award:

The South African Gold Medal for Botany
This medal will only be awarded in exceptional circumstances, to outstanding candidates and is the premier award for Botany in South Africa and will be awarded to any Botanist on the grounds of outstanding research and contributions to the advancement of Botany in South Africa.
Nominations:  A curriculum vitae of the proposed candidate must be submitted, as well as a complete list of publications and an evaluation of the candidate’s scientific contribution to Botany.

The SAAB Silver Medal for Botany
This medal may be awarded to any Botanist on the grounds of outstanding research and/or other contributions to the advancement of Botany in South Africa.
Nominations:  The same as those laid down for the South African Gold Medal for Botany.

The SAAB Certificate of Merit
The certificate will be awarded for outstanding contributions in the scientific, technical, artistic, and educational or any other botanical field, made by persons not in possession of a university degree in Botany.
Nominations:  The same as those laid down for the South African Gold Medal for Botany.

Further information regarding the nominations is explained in the SAAB constitution, Nominations must reach the secretary by email ( by no later than 31 August 2018. These awards will be presented at an awards ceremony in January 2019.

2017 SAAB Conference

The 2017 SAAB Annual Congress has come and gone after a precarious start.  The venue had to be changed from the UWC campus to the four star Lagoon Beach Hotel at the last minute. Most delegates didn’t mind the unexpected luxury although costs were considerably higher.  To see who won awards, click on the awards tab and page down to SAAB Awards 2017.

Big Thanks to UFS

The 42nd SAAB Congress hosted at the University of the Free State was attended by 215 delegates from all corners of South Africa. Five plenary lectures were given with special guest Jacques Vervoort from the Netherlands delivering a keynote paper on Chemical defence mechanisms in plants.  Prof William Bond was presented with the SAAB Gold Medal while Dr Rob Skelton won the Bronze.  Rabia Mathakutha cupped both the Best MSc oral presentation and the Best Young Scientist award for her paper on Understanding the role of functional traits in plant invasions in the sub-Antarctic islands. The best oral paper by a PhD went to Margaret Hulley; Honours award to Monja Berber and the Best Poster over all categories to Nelly Black. See PDF for details: First_Circular.pdf