Professor Brenda Wingfield is Research Leader of the DST – NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology and holds the DST/NRF SARChI research chair in Fungal Genomics at the University of Pretoria. With her husband and collaborator, Mike Wingfield, Brenda started the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI).

Her research programme focuses on the molecular genetics and genomics of plant pathogenic fungi. She and collaborators sequenced the first fungal genome in Africa. Professor Wingfield is former vice president of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), she served as chair of the NSTF (National Science and Technology Forum) and she has been the secretary general of the International Society of Plant Pathology since 2013.

She is also former deputy dean in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science at the University of Pretoria. Prof Wingfield has been a PhD supervisor/co-supervisor to 53 graduates of which 22 were women, all of whom are now successful scientists in their own right. She is also the author of a number of science communication articles to promote the importance of science and the challenges faced by women in science.