The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) geographical vantage point at the tip of Africa offers an exhilarating research environment that combines excellence with impact.
As a leading research university, UCT is one of the best places in the world to research Africa-specific problems, from the chemistry of malarial drug discovery to the development of urban Africa. We have strong collaborative networks across the globe and often form a nexus of partnerships between researchers in the global north and global south, particularly Africa. UCT is the first university in Africa to join the International Alliance of Research Universities. It is therefore not surprising that we attract researchers — from postgraduates and postdoctoral fellows to leaders in their field — from all over the continent and the world.
Healthcare for Africa
In a country that faces four epidemics, where most countries only have one or two, UCT has developed expertise in addressing healthcare in Africa. The Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine and the Drug Discovery and Development Centre have produced ground-breaking research, particularly in the areas of HIV, TB and malaria. The Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa is the first of its kind in Africa.
Climate and development
UCT has extensive interdisciplinary expertise in conservation, climate adaptation and community conflict. The AXA Research Fund awarded its first research chair in Africa to the director of the African Climate & Development Initiative, a leading research group. The Future Water Institute builds on UCT’s substantial research footprint in water and encompasses the skills and resources of departments across six faculties. UCT also hosts two Centres of Excellence under the African Research Universities Alliance, which draw together expertise from across the continent: the African Centre of Excellence for Inequalities Research and the Centre of Excellence in Climate and Development.
Experts in the southern skies
Through its global experts in the field, such as Professor George Ellis who co-wrote The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time with Stephen Hawking, and leading role in the Square Kilometre Array, UCT is a growing hub for astronomical and astrophysics research in Africa. Professor Russ Taylor is heading up the university’s involvement in the Square Kilometre Array project and the big-data challenges it brings.
UCT’s latest research
University of Cape Town retains sole responsibility for content © 2020 University of Cape Town.
1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020
Subject/journal group: All
The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for University of Cape Town (UCT) published between 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020 which are tracked by the Nature Index.
Hover over the donut graph to view the FC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.
Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.
Outputs by subject (Share)
|Earth & Environmental Sciences||30||6.77|
|European Physical Journal C||26||0.34|
|Journal of High Energy Physics||31||1.86|
|Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters||5||0.76|
|Physical Review D||1||0.07|
|Physical Review Letters||10||0.27|
|The Astrophysical Journal Letters||3||0.51|
Highlight of the month
Wind stirs the water around Antarctica
© Ray Hems/Getty
Passing storms briefly blow away density differences in the surface waters of Antarctica.
Antarctica’s ice marginal zone, where coastal ice melts and freezes, covers 18 million square kilometres, yet little is known about small-scale ocean surface processes in this region, such as eddies that are 1–10 kilometres wide and that distribute heat and nutrients.
Over three summer months, a team that included researchers from the University of Cape Town used a wind-propelled, solar-powered floating weather station and a remote-controlled diving sensor to continuously monitor the effect of surface winds on water temperature and density at different depths.
During high winds, the eddies become more energetic and the density gradients that were created by freshwater flowing in from melting ice temporarily vanish.
Such agile and robust seafaring robots promise to improve studies of local atmospheric and ocean processes that could affect global ecosystems and climate.
- Geophysical Research Letters 47, e2019GL086649 (2020). doi: 10.1029/2019GL086649
See more research highlights from University of Cape Town (UCT)
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26 Dec 2019
28 Nov 2019
Top articles by Altmetric score in current window
1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020
International vs. domestic collaboration by Share
- 9.42% Domestic
- 90.58% International
Note: Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.
Top 10 domestic collaborators by Share (50 total)
- University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa
- Domestic institution
Stellenbosch University (SU), South Africa
University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa
University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa
Department of Science and Technology (DST), South Africa
National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), South Africa
Nelson Mandela University (NMU), South Africa
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits University), South Africa
SKA South Africa, South Africa
South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), South Africa
South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), South Africa
Top 10 international collaborators by Share (1889 total)
- University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa
- Foreign institution
University of Oxford, United Kingdom (UK)
French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), France
National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), Italy
National Institutes of Health (NIH), United States of America (USA)
European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Switzerland
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), China
Max Planck Society, Germany
Columbia University in the City of New York (CU), United States of America (USA)
University of Washington (UW), United States of America (USA)
University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland
Note: Collaboration is determined by the fractional count (Share), which is listed in parentheses.
Affiliated joint institutions and consortia
- ALICE Collaboration, Switzerland
- Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), South Africa
- Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD), United States of America (USA)
- Comprehensive International Program of Research on AIDS (CIPRA), South Africa
- DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (CoE-MaSS), South Africa
- DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences (CoE-Pal), South Africa
- Functional Annotation of the Mammalian Genome (FANTOM), Japan
- International Centre for Education, Marine and Atmospheric Sciences over Africa (ICEMASA), South Africa
- MRC-UCT Gynecological Cancer Research Centre, South Africa
- More Medicines for Tuberculosis (MM4TB), Switzerland
- Nansen-Tutu Centre for Marine Environmental Research, South Africa
- Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), United States of America (USA)
- SAMRC Risk and Resilience in Mental Disorders Research Unit, South Africa
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