Dr Julia Sibiya

  Dr Julia Sibiya was appointed to the discipline of Plant Breeding in Pietermaritzburg  as a Senior Lecturer at the beginning of August 2015.  She received her BSc. Honours degree in Crop Science from the University of Zimbabwe, MSc in Plant Pathology from the Ohio State University, USA and PhD degree in Plant Breeding from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa.  Dr Sibiya spent 10 years as a lecturer in Plant Pathology at the University of Zimbabwe before joining UKZN’s  African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI) in 2005 as a PhD student (Plant Breeding), and then as a lecturer from 2011.



Dr Sibiya will be lecturing modules in Plant Breeding such as Biotechnology in Crop Improvement and Plant Breeding Design and Management. She will also continue to supervise PhD students from different African countries in the ACCI.  Her research focus is on breeding for  biotic stresses such as diseases in various crops, particularly foliar diseases of maize and development of unique maize source germplasm, as well as sterile sorghum lines to be used in breeding for sorghum hybrids.  Dr Sibiya is also the project manager of a recently launched (January 2015) MSc in Plant Breeding for Africa project funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The MSc program focuses on training industry-ready, middle level, graduates from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and is a joint project with Iowa State University (ISU) (curriculum development) and African partner universities - Makerere University and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology responsible for training for East and West Africa, respectively.   Since the beginning of her career she has been interested in working with small scale farmers.  She believes that, given the appropriate technologies, the small scale farmers can contribute a lot to the economy of the  country. Dr Sibiya is married and is a mother of two.


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