Ants, Academia, and Industry Transition with Palesa Mothapo, Ph.D.

Ants, Academia, and Industry Transition with Palesa Mothapo, Ph.D.

In this week’s episode, I’m joined by Palesa Mothapo, Ph.D., Head of Postdoctoral Research Support in Stellenbosch University’s Division for Research Development located in Stellenbosch, South Africa’s Western Cape province, for an informative and interesting discussion of topics including: 

– How Palesa first developed her interest in Zoology and then later, decided to focus on invasive species

– In her role at Stellenbosch University, where she helps postdocs making the transition from academia to industry, the types of skill development strategies and resources she draws upon in working with her trainees

– Which knowledge, skills, or abilities postdocs typically already possess that Palesa finds are most relevant to a transition to industry, and which are often most in need of further development

– How Palesa goes about helping trainees learn to effectively communicate complex scientific topics to general audiences and her own approach to translating and distilling her research work so it’s engaging and accessible to non-experts

– What it was like for Palesa to serve as a Mandela Washington Fellow in 2018 and how she feels the experience may have influenced her perspective and work

– Palesa’s plans and goals for 2021

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