South African student’s Masters thesis gets converted to Ph.D

A South African student, Ghanashree Moonsamy, had her Master’s degree thesis turned into a Ph.D. for her breakthrough in the farming of a fast-disappearing foodstuff.

The Biotechnology Master’s student was quoted by the Durban University of Technology saying, “Due to the content and quality of my Master’s, my supervisors suggested that we attempt to apply for a degree conversion from a Master’s to a doctoral degree. I was successful in this application.”

According to This Is Africa, the foodstuff is abalone, an edible mollusc from the sea and it has been highly threatened in South Africa. Ghanashree’s study was focused on developing a probiotic microorganism to aid in the production of abalone.

“Abalone is a seafood delicacy that is cultivated primarily in land-based aquaculture systems. The South African abalone industry is under severe pressure due to illegal harvesting and poaching of this seafood delicacy. In addition to the illegal harvesting, the growth of the abalone is extremely slow, and as a result, supply seldom meets global demand. Probiotics can be used in abalone production as a mechanism to boost the growth rate and limit disease proliferation,” she said.

Moonsamy’s thesis conversion was a first for her University and she was also excited about the news herself saying, “Everything feels surreal. I am unsure how I feel about it because it has been such a monumental journey. So many extreme highs and terrible lows. I am so glad to have made it to the finish line.”

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