Personal Profile

I started my career with a deep interest in plant-pathogen interactions.  My first job was for the Agricultural Research Council, where I was part of a team of scientists that produced the first disease resistant transgenic potato in Africa.  A Patrick and Margaret Flanagan Scholarship took me overseas and allowed me to undertake my PhD at the University of Edinburgh, where I entered the world of Arabidopsis genomics.  I returned to South Africa after my PhD where I took up a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Cape Town.  During my PhD and Post-Doc, I published seven papers and presented my research findings at numerous overseas and local conferences.

In 2007, I changed gear from Arabidopsis research and I took up a position at the Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research (CPGR).  For the following five years, I project managed two industry-related plant genomics projects funded by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).  My output from this period includes four published papers and three patent applications.

Subsequently, I was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, UCT from 2011 to 2016.  During this time, with funding that I obtained from NRF Thuthuka and the Maize Trust, I trained six honors and three MSc students in maize disease resistance mechanisms.  I also co-supervised an additional six post-grads students to completion (Hons, MSc and PhD).  Research outputs from this period include the publication of three scientific papers, a number of poster presentations at local conferences (SASBMB, SAGS, SASPP) and an oral presentation at the 4th Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress: Asia in April 2017.  Since 2017, I have been responsible for running a number of RNA-Seq, metagenomics, amplicon sequencing and whole genome sequencing service projects at CPGR.

I am excited about joining the CenGen team and assisting CenGen in the on-going development of specialised Agri-Genomics services and research projects!

Educational Qualifications

  1. PhD, Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences, University of Edinburgh (2001)
  2. MSc cum laude (Plant Molecular Biology), University of Natal, Pietermarizburg (1996)
  3. BSc (Hons) cum laude (Plant Molecular Biology), University of Natal (1993)
  4. BSc (Genetics and Plant Molecular Biology majors, distinction in Plant Molecular Biology), University of Natal (1992)

Career Profile

  1. Currently (since Sept 2019): Research & Development Manager, CenGen (Pty) Ltd
  2. Currently: Senior Genomics Project Manager (part-time) at the Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research (CPGR)
  3. Lecturer, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB), UCT (Oct 2011- Dec 2016)
  4. Project Scientist at CPGR (Jan 2007 to Sept 2011)
  5. Lecturer (part-time), Biotechnology Department, University of the Western Cape (2006)
  6. Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, UCT (2001 to 2006)
  7. PhD candidate, University of Edinburgh (1997 to 2001)
  8. Researcher, Biotechnology Division, ARC-Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute, Agricultural Research Council, Pretoria (1993-1997)