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Fossil discoveries rewrite human history
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 - 14:00

An international team of researchers, including geologists Dr Robyn Pickering and Dr Tara Edwards, from the University of Cape Town (UCT), has reconstructed – from more than 150 fragments – the earliest known skull of Homo erectus, the first of our ancestors to be nearly human-like in their anatomy and aspects of their behaviour. The two-million-year-old fossil was excavated in the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa over five years.

Bells (and whistles) for grad organist
Wed, 25 Mar 2020 - 11:15

At age nine Alexios Vicatos repaired his first clock. By his early teens he was restoring antique timepieces for local antiquarians. His love of things mechanical recently saw him rehabilitate and perform on the City Hall’s carillon, an instrument last played almost two decades ago. Meet the multifaceted University of Cape Town (UCT) PhD candidate in chemistry whose music welcomes scores of students and guests to graduation.

Water in the Anthropocene in South Africa
Fri, 20 Mar 2020 - 11:45

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the global water crisis is one of the greatest threats to humanity. As South Africa’s National Water Week continues and World Water Day draws near, Dr Kevin Winter from the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Future Water Institute considers the critical information available from our national water risk data.

Climate change and southern Africa’s emerging food crisis
Fri, 20 Mar 2020 - 11:30

The early rains have failed this year amidst a multi-year drought in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia, leaving the countries at risk of a major food crisis. While the region has a track record of similar weather conditions over the past 140 years, is it possible that this looming disaster could be ascribed – at least in part – to climate change?  UCT researchers are exploring whether the looming drought and food crisis in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and southern Zambia could be ascribed – at least in part – to climate change.

Gary Marsden Boardroom named to honour visionary professor
Thu, 19 Mar 2020 - 10:00

Colleagues, family and former students of the much-loved and visionary Professor Gary Marsden gathered to name a meeting room in his honour at the Centre in Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICT4D) in the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Department of Computer Science.

Upgraded degree leads to PhD
Thu, 19 Mar 2020 - 09:45

Roxanne Mohunlal, a Postdoc in the Department of Chemistry at UCT describes the rollercoaster journey of attaining her undergraduate, Masters and PhD degrees in Chemistry at UCT.

Inaugural oceanography symposium by and for students
Fri, 06 Mar 2020 - 10:00

At a recent symposium hosted by postgraduates from the Department of Oceanography at the University of Cape Town (UCT), students had the opportunity to showcase their research to their peers, locating their work in global conversations about climate, biodiversity, food production and environmental resource management.

Shedding new light on black hole ejections
Wed, 04 Mar 2020 - 09:15

Academics from the University of Cape Town (UCT) are part of a research group led by the University of Oxford’s Department of Physics that has observed a black hole ejecting material at close to the speed of light out to some of the largest angular distances (separations) ever seen. These observations have allowed a deeper understanding of how black holes feed into their environment.

Biochemistry breakthrough for UCT researchers
Fri, 28 Feb 2020 - 13:00

In a global first, three University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers have visualised – at a resolution close to that of individual atoms – the intact active site of a commercially important biological molecule.

Dr Jeremy Woodward, Dr Andani Mulelu and Angela Kirykowicz gained novel insights into the structure of a group of enzymes known as nitrilases, which have enormous biotechnological potential.

Humble sandprawn: a champion water filterer
Wed, 26 Feb 2020 - 09:45

The unassuming little sandprawn, invisible to many and best known as bait for fishing, has been cast into the international spotlight by three UCT researchers who discovered its ability to filter coastal water, thus combatting eutrophication – one of the major water quality challenges in the natural world.

Touring outer space
Thu, 20 Feb 2020 - 10:30

President of the International Astronomical Union and Professor of Molecular Astrophysics at Leiden University in the Netherlands, Ewine van Dishoeck, led the ‘tour’ of outer space in a talk entitled, "Building stars, planets and the ingredients for life in space" to celebrate 50 years of astronomy at UCT.

‘UCT gave me freedom’
Tue, 18 Feb 2020 - 10:15

Joan Byamugisha’s decision to journey from her home in Uganda to pursue her PhD in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Cape Town (UCT) caught her family by surprise.  Joan overcame the challenges of being visually impaired to pursue her dream of achieving her PhD, which she received in December.

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