Khesa Pitso: Aquatic health for the future sustainability of essential industries
Faculty of Science University of Johannesburg (UJ) Chancellor’s Medal
Pitso matriculated at the National University of Lesotho in 1998, and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science with biology and chemistry as her majors in 2002. Later, she joined the University of Johannesburg for her postgraduate degree in zoology – and this is where her interest in aquatic health truly began. While doing her masters degree, Pitso became part of an Aquatic Health Research Group led by her current supervisor, Prof Ina Wagenaar. “This equipped me with the necessary skills and knowledge to embark on a research project in aquatic health for my master’s degree.” Pitso refers to her fondly as her mentor and inspiration towards dedication and hard work.
Johannesburg’s water reservoirs in her home country, Lesotho. “I love hiking, and Lesotho is one of the best places for this with a fairly clean environment, clean air and clean water. But Lesotho is also a sleeping giant with vast untapped opportunities in the mining sector.” She says that these opportunities will not remain untapped forever. “These can come with a heavy price on the aquatic ecosystems.” Pitso was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal in the Faculty of Science for the most meritorious master’s study based on academic excellence, an honour which she firmly believes will be an important steppingstone towards a bright THROUGH HER RESEARCH AND DEDICATION, SHE HOPES TO MAKE IMPORTANT STAKEHOLDERS AWARE OF THE PERIL THAT POLLUTANTS POSE TO THE ENVIRONMENT.
Khesa Pitso understands the importance of aquatic health for the future sustainability of essential industries and the better maintenance of healthier worldwide ecosystems. While working towards her master’s degree in aquatic health, she hoped for recognition and the doors of great opportunities to open – both for her own future and for the field of aquatic health at large. “The environment is the most important part of our being and we should protect it at all costs. The field of aquatic health needs more research funding and proper recognition in the crucial role it plays in environmental monitoring and ecological risk assessment.” “All of us have a responsibility to keep our water clean,” she says, pointing out the origin of
“The interesting thing I have learned from my topic is that minute pollutants are highly
likely to go unnoticed in aquatic environments, and that these hazardous substances threaten the life of both humans and wildlife within these environments.” She hopes that further research into aquatic health with her capable future research team at the helm can help to make a difference to the environment and how aquatic health is viewed by the world’s investors, corporations, and people. Through her research and dedication, she hopes to make important stakeholders aware of
future and a healthier earth. “It was my first big academic
recognition after also being one of the country’s top ten achievers for COSC results.”
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