Release your inner scientist!
Nearly every outdoor activity you do in the Western Cape Province is an opportunity to contribute to our research. You be the Scientist. Go outdoors for science! Next time you are near a river, you could collect a jug of water and record the GPS location or take note of the spot on a map. Similarly, next time you peak a mountain, you could look for a sick/dead plant and collect some soil underneath. Just remember, some areas require permits to collect samples, so contact us if you are unsure whether you have permission. Please be respectful of park and reserve policies.
Phytophthora can be found in many environments.
Phytophthora species can be collected from plant tissue, soil, or water samples. They produce swimming spores called zoospores, which can be recovered from moist soil or water samples through a process called baiting. 'Baiting' is a method where we use leaves as bait for the zoospores. Thus, we can fish for Phytophthora! We can also collect zoospores from water with filters that have tiny pores, smaller than the actual zoospores.
Click here for a MS Word version of the above instructions.
Have a sample you want to send us?
We will accept all kinds of samples. You can submit soil samples from your garden/farm, water from your dam, water from a nearby stream, a dying plant you come across on a hike, or from any other activity.
Please send samples to:
We are in the process of creating a sampling handbook with more information about how to collect samples. In the mean time, please contact us if you have any questions.