UJ PhD Student Awarded the 2019 American Botanical Council Champion Award

Mr. Thomas Brendler, a PhD student at UJ’s Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology, was announced as the recipient of the 2019 American Botanical Council (ABC) Champion Award. He will receive the award at the 15th Annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony in Anaheim, California, on 4 March 2020.

The ABC Champion Award recognizes individuals who have been outstanding supporters of ABC and have helped the organization promote and achieve its nonprofit research and educational mission. As part of his outstanding support, Mr. Brendler dedicated many hours to ABC and its publications since joining the ABC Advisory Board almost a decade ago. In addition to being part of the ABC Advisory Board, he is an established scientist with various affiliations, including the University of Johannesburg through his PhD studies, which are supervised by Prof Ben-Erik Van Wyk, a UJ Research Professor and the Chair of the DST/NRF SARChI National Research Chair in Indigenous Plant Use.

In response to being announced as the recipient of the 2019 ABC Champion Award, Brendler said: “I feel very honoured to receive this award, as much as I feel honoured to join the ranks of previous recipients. As my friend and colleague Josef Brinckmann once pointed out, we don’t do what we do with awards in mind. We find satisfaction and gratification in the opportunity to contribute to the shaping of the herb, botanical, and phytomedicinal industry. Nonetheless, as this award acknowledges my personal and professional dedication to improving the world of herbs and natural products, I am deeply grateful for the recognition.”

Mr. Brendler’s extensive experience includes being the Founder of the consulting firm, PlantaPhile, a Principal Scientist at Traditional Medicinals, and a Co-Founder of the Association of African Medicinal Plants Standards (AAMPS), where he has served as a Director since 2005. He has also co-authored numerous books, book chapters, and scientific articles, and is on the editorial boards of Phytotherapy Research and the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. He is a member of multiple organisations and committees, including the US Pharmacopeial Convention Expert Committee Botanical Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines, the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA), European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP), International Society of Ethnopharmacology, and American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.

​Parts of this article are based on the press release published by the American Botanical Council on 27 February 2020.

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