31st Congress of the Phycological Society of Southern Africa Amazingwe Lodge, Gauteng 14-17 July 2018


A warm welcome to PSSA 2018. This promises to be an exciting 31st conference of the PSSA and I hope that you find this a rewarding experience with the opportunity to meet friends and colleagues and learn about the activities of phycologists in SA.  There are a few new things to this conference so please read the information that follows. The registration and abstract submission forms are attached separately. On behalf of everyone who has assisted in organising this conference, I look forward to welcome you to Gauteng in Winter!

Venue, accommodation and costs

The conference is being held at Amanzingwe Lodge, close to Hartbeespoort Dam. Details and directions to the venue are available on the website http://amanzingwe.co.za/. Note that the conference venue is only 20 minutes from Lanseria and approximately 1 hr 30 mins from O R Tambo. This would be important when you plan your flights. Space and costs at the conference venue are worked out in detail to minimise expenses. You will notice that the costs are very economical for the venue. To ensure this runs smoothly, please submit your registration and abstract as well as the payment by the relevant deadline as it may be difficult to accommodate late registrations.

If you are staying extra nights in JHB here are some lodges/guesthouses I can suggest.

Sunninghill Guest Lodge at http://www.sunninghillguestlodge.co.za/

Green Gables Guest House, Rivonia at http://www.green-gables.co.za/

Josie’s Guesthouse, Woodmead at https://pathfinda.com/en/sandton/woodmead/accommodation/josies-guesthouse


As usual, there are several prizes available to students. Please remember to make a note on the registration form whether you are a student so that the prize committee members attend your talk or poster.

Prizes will be awarded at the very end over lunch on the last day. The followings awards are available:

PSSA first prize oral presentation: R1000

PSSA first prize poster presentation: R1000

PSSA prize for best article submitted to Forum Phycologicum: R1000

The Royal Society of SA is offering a prize this year for the best poster that deals with any topic at the intersection of evolutionary biology and phycology: R3000. One of the stipulations of the Royal Society is that this must be awarded for a poster, not a presentation.

Sanedi (to be confirmed): TBA


The conference with abstracts will be published in a proceedings book. For some individuals a proceedings publication (as opposed to a conference presentation) helps with funding and outputs. The proceedings publication will not be listed in ISI and does not have an impact factor, so for most people this preparation of a proceedings publication may not be that helpful, but for others it is, so I have decided to go this route.


Please note our sponsors and the times when representatives are available for questions. I have also allocated a few minutes during the poster presentations for sponsors to market their services. Please support the sponsors, their funding makes an enormous difference to our ongoing sustainability,

The sponsors are:

Inqaba Biotec Pty http://www.inqababiotec.co.za/

Taurus Chemicals (Cape Kelp) Pty http://www.tcck.co.za

Kelpak Pty http://www.kelpak.com

Prize sponsors: Royal Society of SA https://www.royalsocietysa.org.za/ and the PSSA https://sanpcc.org.za/pssa/

Programme, registration and excursion

Three nights and four days are dedicated to the conference programme. Every effort is made to ensure preferences for accommodation, however, there are restrictions on choices so please be understanding if your preference is not possible.

The important dates for registration and abstract submission are on the separate registration form. Please submit ONLY the one registration and submission form and email your proof of payment to mark.rothman@uct.ac.za

A provisional programme has also been attached for your interest. The programme will include all the usual topics in phycology, however, a few new topics have been encouraged to increase the conference scope. For example, oral presentations on pathogenic algae and fossilised algae have been requested from specialists in the field.

Session chairs have not been allocated. At the start of each session a volunteer will be requested.

The mid-conference excursions are included in the registration fees and the choices will be AmaZwing Zwing Zipline Tour, Game Drive at Glen Afric or the Safari Tour at the Lion & Safari Park. I have done all three and enjoyed the first two. The Safari Tour is ok, but I wasn’t that impressed, unless you feel the need to see the big game (mostly in enclosures!).