Prof Madibela and his post-graduate student, Mr Keletso Ntokome at the Southern Africa Mathematical Science Association (SAMSA) Conference in Palapye.
The research presented by Mr Ntokome; titled “Mathematical description of in vitro ruminal degradation of oyster mushroom (Pleurstus spp) spent substrates of maize, millet and sorghum stover” was to test the engagement between biochemistry/microbiology and mathematics. In this research, fermentation or degradation in the rumen, akin to what happen during brewing of beer, was described mathematically depicting the trends in gas production over time. During feed degradation by micro-organisms in the rumen gases produce, the dominant ones being carbon dioxide and methane. These gases are produced as wastes and their measurement can be used as proxy for rate and extend of feed degradation. The other rationale of presenting this piece of work was to let the mathematicians or statistician to scrutinise the model used and advise if it was best for the data. Finally, the other goal was to encourage collaboration between biologists and mathematicians. As expected the presentation evoked active discussion and we intend to engage with Dr. Kgosimore on the data collection dynamics of rumen fermentation of animals that are fed low quality diets.