College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences

Seeds of curiosity: From DNA to dinner plate

On 22 May 2024, the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences' (CAES) Research and Innovation Day will take place at the Unisa Science Campus in Florida.


Distinguished Professor Michael Pillay

The day will feature, among others, talks by Distinguished Professor Michael Pillay of the Department of Life and Consumer Sciences. With an illustrious academic journey spanning continents and decades, Pillay’s expertise in plant genetics and biotechnology is nothing short of revolutionary.

Starting his career as an educator, Pillay’s relentless pursuit of knowledge took him from South Africa to the prestigious halls of the Louisiana State University and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the United States, culminating in a PhD that set the stage for a career that has had a profound impact on agricultural sciences. His work, especially in the fields of banana breeding and genetics, includes over 104 articles, 8 book chapters and notable editorial contributions to the Journal of Crop Improvement.

Beyond the lab and classroom, Pillay is a voracious reader, currently delving into Yuval Noah Harari’s insights on humankind. His interest in the intricate workings of artificial intelligence mirrors his approach to research – deeply curious and continually evolving.

Whether you are a budding scientist or an established researcher, Prof Pillay’s talks are a beacon for anyone eager to learn about the cutting edge of plant science and the genetic blueprints that could shape the future of our food supply. Join us at the CAES Research and Innovation Day to be inspired and to learn, and connect with one of the luminaries of modern science.  

* By Katekile Gugu Masinga, Marketing and Communication Specialist, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Publish date: 2024/05/10

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