Alumni of the University of the Free State belong to a distinguished network of graduates whose competencies, successes and contributions enable them to make their mark wherever they may be. Postgraduate qualifications from the Department of Microbiology & Biochemistry lead to careers in different sectors of the economy in South Africa and abroad as demonstrated by the following real-life examples of alumni.

BSc (Hons)


Samantha Erasmus - Microbiology (2004)
Product specialist at Scientific Group

Fulufhelo Siphugu - Biochemistry (2016)
Technical assistant at Johnson & Johnson


Khanyisile Sibisi - Biochemistry (2017)
Quality assurance technician at Orange Grove Dairy

Happiness January - Microbiology (2017)
Analyst at Johannesburg Water

Research Support

Kimberley Conroy - Biochemistry (2016)
Technical advisor (Patents and Trademarks) at Merizzi Ramsbottom & Forster, Canada

Jacques Rossouw - Biochemistry (2018)
Account business analyst at Parexel



Gerhard Potgieter - Biochemistry (2019)
Environmental specialist at iWater

Mercy Ogunyinka - Biochemistry (2020)
Processing technician at Bio Analytical Research Corporation South Africa

Research Support

Jacobus Brink - Microbiology (2020)
Junior associate clinical data coordinator at Clindata

Liese Swart - Microbiology (2020)
Clinical data analyst at Parexel


Elias Thomas - Biochemistry (1999)
Sales representative at Stargate Scientific


Butana Mboniswa - Biochemistry (1997)
Director Sereko Technology and Innovation Advisors

Shirleen Coetzer - Microbiology (2013)
Director SMT Labs


Armand Bester - Biochemistry (2007)
Medical scientist at University of the Free State

Precious Letebele - Biochemistry (2020)
Lecturer at University of the Free State



Thabiso Motaung - Biotechnology (2015)
Lecturer at University of Pretoria

Errol Cason - Biochemistry (2015)
Senior Lecturer at University of the Free State

Science Councils / Research Institutes

Sechaba Bareetseng - Microbiology (2002)
Manager: IKS and Biodiversity Management at CSIR


Elsabe Botes - Biochemistry (2008)
Director at Test-it-Labs

Christopher Rothmann - Microbiology (2021)
Director at LiquidCulture


Michel Labuschagne - Microbiology (2005)
Associate consulting manager at ClinVet

Wouter van der Westhuizen - Microbiology (2017)
Specialist: Research & Development at Clinomics

Research Management

Corli Witthuhn - Microbiology (1999)
Vice-rector at the University of the Free State

Ntsoaki Malebo - Microbiology (2010)
Senior Director, Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching at the Central University of Technology

Research Support

Desmond Ncango - Microbiology (2011)
Director at the National Research Foundation of South Africa

Ruan Fourie - Microbiology (2020)
Medical writer at IQVIA


Conrad Schoch – MSc (Microbiology,1996) PhD (Microbiology; Stellenbosch Univ)
 Research Scientist , NCBI, National Institutes of Health, USA

Frank von Delft – BSc (Hons) (Biochemistry,1996) – PhD (University of Cambridge, UK)
Principle Investigator: Oxford University, United Kingdom

Adrian Brüning – PhD (Microbiology,1997)
Assistant Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University, USA

Celeste Linde – PhD (Microbiology,1998)
Associate Professor, Evolution, Ecology and Genetics, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Len van Zyl – PhD (Microbiology,1999)
Research Assistant Professor in the College of Natural Resources, North Carolina State University & CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of ArrayExpress, USA

Ilze Brüning – BSc(Hons) (Microbiology, 1996); LLB Medical Jurisprudence
Principle Scientist: Skin Care Innovation, Johnson & Johnson, USA

Hannes Strauss – MSc (Microbiology,1996) PhD (Environmental Sciences; North-West University, 2003)
Project Leader: Base Metals Technology Group, BHP Billiton, Chile

Rietie Venter – MSc (Food Science,1996) PhD (Leeds University, UK, 2000)
Senior Lecturer: University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Isak Pretorius – PhD (Microbiology,1985)
Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President: Research and Innovation, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Pierre Venter – PhD (Microbiology,1999)
Researcher: Fonterra Research Centre, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Students should apply to the National Research Foundation for Bursary support. Contact the Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry for more information.


Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531


Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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