Systematics is defined as the science of organismal diversity. It entails the discovery, description and interpretation of biological diversity, as well as the synthesis of information on diversity in the form of predictive classification systems (Judd et al, 1999)
Judd WS, Campbell CS, Kellogg EA & Stevens PF (1999). Plant systematics: A phylogenetic approach. 1st edition, 1999. Sinauer Associates Inc., Sunderland, USA.
SABI was created with the purpose to provide a framework and strategy to:
- Address dwindling national capacity in systematics.
- Provide leadership and co-ordination to promote innovative research in the field of systematics.
- Empower South African systematists to employ and develop modern scientific technologies and approaches with regard to the documentation and use and of biological resources.
- Enhance the ability of South African systematists to contribute to the National System of Innovation and the information society, and thus to respond to national priorities in agriculture, health, sustainable development and conservation.
- To assist the broader scientific community and government in the fulfilment of national and global biodiversity-related commitments.
- To promote awareness of the importance of systematic research in the broader community through education and outreach projects.
SABI supports the Farmer to Pharma and the Global Change Grand Challenges of the DST’s 10 Year Innovation Plan, and its Biodiversity Science mission in that biosystematics research forms the very foundation upon which all down-stream biological endeavour is based. Bio-systematics research therefore underpins economic activities such as agriculture, health and eco-tourism, etc.
SABI is organised into four main but interlinking thrusts namely:
- Education and Training (student bursaries, student international travel grants, and workshops/training courses)
- Infrastructure (not funded directly through SABI)
- Public Understanding of Science
For more information please contact Frank Mazibuko at FMazibuko@nrf.ac.za