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Professor Annah Moteetee has been the acting Dean of the Faculty of Science since October, 2013,
during which time she was Vice-Dean. She graduated with a BSc in Biology and Chemistry from the
National University of Lesotho (NUL), an MPhil in Botany from The University of London’s Queen
Mary & Westfield College, and a PhD from the then Rand Afrikaans Universiteit.
On completion of her BSc degree, she joined NUL as a Teaching Assistant. After obtaining an MPhil
she continued as a Lecturer at NUL. During this period she served undertook numerous
administrative roles including Head of Department and as Member of Council. She was also
involved in a number of consultancy projects including the Baseline Biological Survey for the
proposed Lesotho National Botanical Gardens. Upon completion of her PhD she joined the
University of Johannesburg as a Technical Lecturer in the Department of Botany and Plant
Biotechnology where she is currently an Associate Professor.
Prof Moteetee’s research interests are two-fold: The first aspect is on Systematics and taxonomic
studies of the African legumes. Plants that are commonly known as legumes belong to the pea and
bean family Fabaceae. The aim of the research is to revise all the under-studied African (with special
reference to southern Africa) genera of Fabaceae. Currently the main focus is on the tribe
Phaseoleae (arguably the most economically important tribe in the family – it includes the wellknown soya bean), with particular attention to the genus Rhynchosia which is very well represented
in southern Africa. Revisions of a number of genera in this tribe (Bolusafra, Dolichos, Ophrestia,
Otoptera, Sphenostylis, and Rhynchosia) have been published. The studies include analyses of both
morphological and molecular data and the latter is producing some exciting insights into the
relationships among this very interesting group of plants. Prof Moteetee’s research interests in this
family were kindled during her PhD studies, during which time she won the prestigious Compton
award for two best articles submitted to the South African Journal of Botany in 2006 (awarded in
2008). The second aspect is on the Ethnobotany of southern African plants. The emphasis has so far
been on the ethno-medicine of Lesotho; having grown up in a very rural area in Lesotho, where
almost every plant was used in some way has provided an excellent platform for the pursuance of
this research area. The intention is also to compare plant use across the different cultures in South
Africa. Several articles have also been published in this regard.
Prof Moteetee is a member of the South African Association of Botanists and the American Society
of Plant Taxonomists and has served the scientific community as reviewer for the Flowering Plants of
Africa, Journal of Botany, and Zookeys.