Puleng Matebesi was born on 4 August 1974 in Quthing District, Lesotho. She obtained a Cambridge Overseas School Certificate in 1993. In 1994, Puleng started attending Lesotho Agricultural College, now known as Faculty of Agriculture of the National University of Lesotho. She obtained a diploma in Agricultural Education and completed a First Class BSc (Agric) degree in 2000. The full citation is Ng'ambi J.W. and Matebesi, P.A. (2001) Kidding, Mortality and Offtake rates of Angora goats in the Mountains and Lowlands of Molimo-Nthuse area in Lesotho, UNISWA Research Journal of Agriculture, Science and Technology (5) 68-72. Upon completion of her studies, Puleng received the South African High Commission Award for the best graduating student in the Faculty of Agriculture, and the Ebenebe Award for the best fourth year graduating student.
In July 2000, Puleng joined the SABONET Project and was appointed Herbarium Research Officer. She is responsible for the overall supervision of herbarium activities in Lesotho's three herbaria: National University of Lesotho Herbarium (ROML), Agricultural Research Herbarium (MASE), and Sehlabathebe National Park Herbarium (SNPH). Puleng attended SABONET short courses, Database Management and the Herbarium Managerís course, both held in Pretoria. These courses equipped her with herbarium curation and herbarium data capturing skills. She is also in charge of project administration activities such as writing reports, organising field trips and procuring project equipment. Pulengís involvement in the SABONET project has shifted her career interests from Agriculture to Botany, mainly species conservation.
Puleng actively participated in several plant rescue missions around the Lesotho Highlands Water Project area. About 2,500 herbarium specimens, seeds, and live plant specimens were collected before inundation of the Mohale dam. She also took part in the Senqu River Valley plant collection expedition where about 2,300 live and herbarium specimens were collected.
On 13 April 2002, Puleng married Matabane Ranthimo, and has a daughter, Lineo who is nine months old. Puleng enjoys gardening, watching soccer, reading, and listening to classical music.
SABONET News 8.1: 6