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!
- PhD, Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences, University of Edinburgh (2001)
- MSc cum laude (Plant Molecular Biology), University of Natal, Pietermarizburg (1996)
- BSc (Hons) cum laude (Plant Molecular Biology), University of Natal (1993)
- BSc (Genetics and Plant Molecular Biology majors, distinction in Plant Molecular Biology), University of Natal (1992)
- Currently (since Sept 2019): Research & Development Manager, CenGen (Pty) Ltd
- Currently: Senior Genomics Project Manager (part-time) at the Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research (CPGR)
- Lecturer, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB), UCT (Oct 2011- Dec 2016)
- Project Scientist at CPGR (Jan 2007 to Sept 2011)
- Lecturer (part-time), Biotechnology Department, University of the Western Cape (2006)
- Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, UCT (2001 to 2006)
- PhD candidate, University of Edinburgh (1997 to 2001)
- Researcher, Biotechnology Division, ARC-Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute, Agricultural Research Council, Pretoria (1993-1997)