Post authored by Dr Letitia Schoeman
This year the graduation ceremony followed a hybrid model where small physical (face-to-face) ceremonies, as well as virtual faculty-specific graduation ceremonies were held. Oluwaseun, one of our M.Sc. students, received his master’s degree in Forestry and Wood Science. His thesis titled ‘Parameter testing and application of the 3-PG model for Eucalyptus grandis x urophylla on the Zululand coastal plain, South Africa’ aimed at using a simple process-based, stand level model called 3-PG (Physiological Principles Predicting Growth) and satellite driven data to calculate biomass production, and provide information on the growth dynamics of Eucalyptus grandis x urophylla hybrids under varying climate conditions in South Africa.
Due to the limitations of conventional empirical growth models and the complexity of process-based models, the 3-PG model was developed to bridge the gap between conventional empirical growth and yield models and process-based carbon-balance models, coupled with the objective of providing a forest management tool with practical value to forest managers. The 3-PG model has gained popularity with researchers and forest managers (especially pulp growers in South Africa) as a practical tool for sustainable forest management strategies. This is because the classical growth and yield models used have become unsustainable as we are in a time where forest growth cannot be reliably predicted from historical bioassays.
The 3-PG model has been adopted in several countries due to its simplicity, availability (free access to the code and software) and practicality. Although it has been tested for Eucalyptus grandis in South Africa, it has not been tested for Eucalyptus clones such as Eucalyptus grandis x urophylla. Therefore, the objectives of this project were to test and set up the 3-PG model for Eucalyptus grandis x urophylla (the most planted hybrid clones in South Africa) and compare its performance with the currently used conventional growth and yield model.
The outcomes of this project will be invaluable as it will provide forest managers with an operational tool that can accurately predict the growth and yield under changing environments and management practices, as well as provide data useful in the economic management of stands and predict the productivity of a new site that has not been previously afforested.
Oluwaseun, who originally hails from Nigeria, also became the proud father of a baby daughter, Michelle, during his studies in South Africa. Congratulations Oluwaseun! This is truly an inspiring example of his hard work, perseverance, and strong work ethic. Oluwaseun’s dedication is commendable and has earned him the respect and appreciation of his peers. His passion and commitment to achieve his goals never failed to amaze the EucXylo team. We are very glad that he can now spend some quality time with his family.
Being back in Nigeria, Oluwaseun is now working on publishing a manuscript from his thesis, and he is also enrolling for online courses to continue developing his skills in R and Python. He is also in the process of applying for forestry positions in South Africa. Oluwaseun has proven himself to be a very skilled individual who has the capacity to do great things in his future endeavours.
Congratulations on your graduation Oluwaseun! We are so proud of you! Best wishes and good luck for your future and the next journey you decide to embark on.