MUT’s NRF-rated Research Professor conducts a series of seminars to boost research in the faculty

Professor Theo Davies, seated, right, with members of the Department of Nature Conservation. Also seated is the Acting Dean of the Faculty, Professor Roger Coopoosamy

The Faculty of Natural Sciences’ Research Professor, Theo Davies has announced that he will conduct a series of seminars to boost research capacity in the faculty. Professor Davies, an NRF-rated researcher, who has published more than 200 research papers, and has taught and carried out research, community engagement and consultancy in Germany, Great Britain, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zimbabwe, said that the main goal for the seminar series was to inculcate a culture of conducting research on all the members of the faculty, and publish in reputable journals.

Presenting his first seminar to the members of the Department of Nature Conservation, Professor Davies said he would like to see members of the faculty’s research papers improving, and the level of rejection dropping “drastically”. Professor Davies also stated that there were several reasons research papers get rejected. Some of these are beyond the researchers, he said. Professor Davies said he was going to focus on what he could control, that is empowering the faculty staff members with techniques that would see papers accepted. Professor Davies also appealed to the faculty staff members to approach the members of the Department of Nature Conservation for some research-related guidance. The Nature Conservation department is leading in the University with the number of research papers it publishes. The Acting Head of the department, Professor Kuben Naidoo, said the department aims to publish about 30 papers this year. To maximise the research input, the department was divided into two, to be able to tap into the different strengths of its members.  Last year’s target was 20, Professor Naidoo said.  The department also has very qualified staff members.