SLU news

Successful research day sparks collaborations between SLU and Nelson Mandela University

Published: 12 February 2024

Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in South Africa, recently hosted a collaborative research day with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), fostering fruitful interactions and laying the groundwork for future partnerships.

The event capitalised on the joint presence of Klara Fischer (associate professor at the Department of Urban and Rural Development, SLU), Charlotte Berkström (associate professor at the Department of Aquatic Resources; Marine conservation and planning, SLU) and Associate Prof. Joris Cromsigt (Dept. of Wildlife, Fish & Environmental Studies, SLU) at the Gqeberha campus of NMU. Fischer and Berkström participated in an Erasmus mobility programme that is currently in place between SLU and NMU. This alignment facilitated vibrant exchanges among researchers spanning various departments.

– We had interactions with researchers from a large number of departments, remarked Joris Cromsigt, highlighting the interdisciplinary nature of the gathering.
– We also presented several existing collaborative projects between our institutions and discussed opportunities for new initiatives as well as broader collaborative endeavors”, Joris said.

Building on the momentum generated by the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two universities last year, the research day sparked initiatives across diverse fields. From rural development to biodiversity, ocean and coastal sciences, agriculture, and beyond, collaborative projects are now ongoing.

– We are excited to see these diverse collaborative research projects and also an increasing number of collaborations on the educational side," expressed Dr. Palesa Mothapo, Director Research Support and Management at NMU, underscoring the impactful research and education already arising from the partnership.

As both institutions continue to leverage their respective strengths and expertise, the collaborative teamwork during the research day sets the stage for innovative solutions to pressing challenges worldwide.

Student exchange

Currently four master students from SLU are writing their theses under joint supervision between researchers at NMU and SLU. A PhD student from NMU will soon come to SLU and visit Charlotte Berkström's group to use SLU's lab facilities.

There are also two PhD students and one postdoc co-supervised by NMU and SLU staff, all based at NMU as part of a collaborative programme, Wilder Rangelands. In the autumn, there will be several NMU MSc students and a postdoc visiting SLU in Umeå.