Dr Mpho Tshisaphungo
Head of Space Weather, South African National Space Agency
Mpho Tshisaphungo is the Head of Space Weather at the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) in Hermanus. She is responsible for coordinating and managing the Space Weather Centre’s Unit as well as ensuring that the space weather services reach the end-users. Her role includes monitoring and analysing space weather events and preparing space weather forecasts, warnings and alerts for government and private industry users. Her academic journey started when she received her BSc. Degree in Mathematics and Physics from University of Venda. Thereafter, she studied for an Honours degree under the “National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP)” at the University of Cape Town in 2007. She then further her studies with a Master degree in physics at Rhodes University (2008-2009). She now holds a PhD in Physics from Rhodes University (2021). She authored and co-authored 11 peer-reviewed scientific publications. Her research interest is in ionospheric responses during extreme space weather events and geomagnetic storms. She has presented about space weather activities and research projects that SANSA is involved in, at different international workshops and conferences such as European Space Weather Week (ESWW), European Geophysical Union (EGU), International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) workshop, International Heliospheric Year (IHY), and the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP). She has participated in several space weather related meetings like the Expert Group on Space Weather under the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the International Space Environment Service (ISES) group. In 2019, she was nominated as one of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Emerging Space Leaders Award. She is a member of the COSPAR Panel on Capacity Building (2022 - 2026).