Braam van Wyk | Alumni

Prof Braam van Wyk – Back to his roots

 

It’s at his childhood home on a farm near Wolmaransstad that Prof Braam van Wyk discovered his love for natural science and plants. Today, as a world renowned botanist and plant taxonomist, he is an authority on the classification of Southern African trees and has a special interest in plant systematics, biogeography, plant anatomy and palynology.

Prof van Wyk holds a master’s degree in botany and a diploma in higher education from the former Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education. He also has a doctorate from the University of Pretoria, where he is a professor in the Department of Plant Science, incumbent of the Louis Botha Chair and curator of the HGWJ Schweickerdt Herbarium.

He is one of the most productive plant taxonomists in South Africa and has authored or co-authored more than 390 publications on the botany of southern Africa, including several books.

Prof Van Wyk has also been responsible for the training of a significant percentage of the active plant taxonomists in South Africa, many of whom today occupy important positions at tertiary and other institutions. His popular scientific publications on wild flowers and trees have been valuable sources of reference for the general public. He has also produced the first electronic application (app) for the identification of trees in Southern Africa.