Jill Adler & Kobus Eloff

Jill20Adler1Jill Adler is the First Rand Foundation-National Research Foundation Chair of Mathematics Education at the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as the Chair of Mathematics Education at Kings College, London. She is recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in mathematics education research. Her book, Teaching Mathematics in Multilingual Classrooms, was instrumental in leading research internationally in the field. Her work is that of the ‘engaged scholar’, doing rigorous and theoretically rich research at the cutting edge of international work in the field which at the same time contributes to critical areas of local and regional need in education. Included in the latter is her enormous contribution to research capacity development – her work with research teams and graduate students has made a substantial contribution, particularly in southern Africa. Adler has provided South Africans and Africans in mathematics education with an exemplary role model in leadership and research excellence. Her message has always been that we do not only have a role to play in participating in the international arena of mathematics education, but also have a role to play in leading research internationally.  

Kobus20Eloff1Kobus Eloff is Head of the Phytomedicine Programme in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria. He has made significant contributions in several areas that are important to society.  These include areas such as soil fertility, toxic plant and cyanobacteria metabolism and ecology, as well as the use of compounds from plants as medicines and biopesticides. He was appointed as the Executive Director of the eight National Botanical Gardens with the Head Office at Kirstenbosch.  He changed the research culture of the organisation and established a new focus area of indigenous plant utilisation.  He succeeded in combining the National Botanical Gardens, a statutory body, with the state department Botanical Research Institute to form the National Botanical Institute (NBI) and was appointed Director of Research of the NBI.  After retiring he was appointed at the University of Pretoria where he started working on using compounds in plants to increase the quality of life of people in South Africa in the Phytomedicine Programme. A major contribution to society was the training of previously disadvantaged students. Coming from a very large and relatively poor family and being the first family member ever to attend a university, he has empathy with struggling, especially black, students.  His life motto: “Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est” (Where there is caring and love, God is present) plays an important role in his work with students.