Position: Master’s student, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town.
Kelly has an Honours degree in Biomathematics from the University of Stellenbosch where her research focused on investigating the effect of an increasing tuber size during dormancy on an orchid’s fitness under environmental stochasticity. Currently she is a master’s student at UCT and is supervised by Prof. Dr. Nicola Illing, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Robert Ingle and Prof. Dr. Michael Lenhard from the University of Potsdam. Kelly’s thesis aims to determine the genetics behind enantiostyly in Wachendorfia paniculata contributing towards a combined research effort to understand floral asymmetry. While in Nicola Illing’s Lab, Kelly first got the opportunity to engage in the RESIST project by extracting genetic material from various Xerophyta species to contribute to Eugene Kabwe’s genome and transcriptome assemblies. While on secondment, Kelly will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Zoran Nikoloski and Dr. Sandra Correa. Kelly aims to take the lipid-metabolic module, generated by Sandra, and make it specific to Xerophyta. This model will be incorporated into a mechanistic model with the goal of furthering our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of desiccation tolerance in Xerophyta.