UNIZULU Opens its Doors for the SAAB Conference

| A node for African thought

UNIZULU Opens its Doors for the SAAB Conference

UNIZULU Opens its Doors for the SAAB Conference

Excitement hums in the air at the University of Zululand (UNIZULU) as it gears up to host the prestigious South African Association of Botanists (SAAB) Conference from January 7th to 11th, 2024. Nestled amidst the lush greenery of KwaZulu-Natal, UNIZULU is not just a venue; it’s an immersive experience waiting to unfold for every botanist, researcher, and nature enthusiast attending the conference.

This conference will be hosted by the Faculty of Science and Agriculture and Engineering, Department of Botany at the Richards Bay campus.

The conference, themed “Ukunakekela Umhlaba Ukuze Ukhule Okusimeme” a Zulu phrase encapsulating the immense intrinsic value of nurturing the earth (English translation “Nurturing the Earth for Sustainable Growth”).

The SAAB conference will bring together experts and researchers from different niche areas of science such as Traditional medicine, Phytomedicine, Medicinal chemistry and Botanist. The conference also aims to support and develop postgraduate students into emerging researchers and scientists.

The SAAB annual conference has been running for over 40 years. The SAAB was founded in 1976, and the inaugural conference was held in Pretoria in 1978. Since then, the conference has been conducted in several locations around South Africa, offering a venue for plant science researchers, students, and professionals to discuss their research findings, exchange ideas, and cooperate on new initiatives. The Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the Department of Botany at the University of Zululand is thrilled to announce that after more than 40 years of the success of this prestigious conference, University of Zululand will be hosting it for the first time.

The conference will cover a wide range of topics with great impact on African and South African plant science research, where the following sub-themes are invited:


Plant Evolutionary Ecology

Plant Physiology/Anatomy

Plant Systematic and Taxonomy

Plant Pathology & Mycology

Plant Microbiology and Phycology

Plant Biotechnology

Plant-Animal Interactions

Conservation Biology


Invasive Alien Plant Biology

Hosting the SAAB conference aligns with the University’s strategic plan 2027 to become a world-class African university Establish UNIZULU as a key node for African thought. Visibility and prestige: Hosting a major international conference like SAAB can put the University on the map for academics and institutions around the world. This can attract top talent, both faculty and students, and create valuable collaboration opportunities.

Get ready to be inspired, challenged, and empowered at this year’s SAAB Conference! UNIZULU is thrilled to host not one, not two, but three dynamic guest speakers who will bring their unique perspectives and expertise to the forefront. Buckle up because these presenters are guaranteed to spark impactful conversations and ignite your passion. The keynote speakers include the likes of Dr Karel Dolezal who is currently serving as the Deputy Head of Department of Chemical Biology at Pelacky University.

Professor James Stephen Boatwright is also a guest speaker He serves as a Head of Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology (BCB) at the university of Western Cape.

Kaylan Reddy is also a guest speaker e is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Botany at the University of Stellenbosch specializing in phytomedicine and plant molecular biology.

  • Precious Shamase