Applied and Environmental Microbiology

AMD Bioremediation

This research group applies knowledge from studies in extreme environments to use microorganisms to degrade environmental contaminants into less toxic forms and to remediate polluted water. The group studies metal-microbe interactions for metal recovery, and the role of metals in the physiology of extreme microorganisms. A multidisciplinary approach is used to integrate engineering, IT, and biotechnology to solve industrial problems. More information

Biocatalysis and Structural Biology

Protein structure

Biocatalysis research involves the improvement of catalysts used to convert alkanes, alcohols, fatty acids, or monoterpenes into value-added building blocks of pharmaceuticals, bioplastics, cosmetics, flavours, or fragrances through rational design and directed evolution, as well as metabolic engineering and process development with a strong focus on solving the three-dimensional structures of relevant biocatalysts through X-ray crystallography. More information

Clinical Biochemistry

Rhino 1

The primary research focus within this group is sterol metabolism and the purification and heterologous expression of reproductive hormones. The sterol metabolism research focuses on animals, but mainly on the southern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum simum), and hormone work focuses on equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG), a hormone with various uses in animal reproduction. More information

Food Biotechnology


This research group concentrates on the nutritional properties of the tastiest edible exotic mushrooms grown on agricultural waste under controlled environmental conditions, medicinal mushrooms as a natural alternative for improved human health, and fungal breakdown and upgrade of woody biomass into high-quality animal fodder. More information

Microbial Food Safety and Spoilage


The research group focuses on food safety and spoilage, especially the psychrotolerant bacteria in food, emphasising the genus Chryseobacterium. Research activities include the taxonomy and significance of Chryseobacterium species in the food industry and the influence of natural and alternative preservatives on microbial food safety and food spoilage. Routine microbial analysis of food is integral to assuring food safety and quality. More information

Milk Biochemistry

Prof Osthoff collecting milk from a darted white rhinoceros cow

The research in the Milk Biochemistry group focuses on milk composition (dairy and non-dairy animals), the quantity and quality of milk in Mangaung, lactose intolerance and a possible cure, prebiotic oligosaccharides in milk, and alternative biological and technological methodologies in cheese processing. More information

Molecular Virology


The Molecular Virology group focuses on rotavirus, a zoonotic viral infection that causes potentially fatal gastroenteritis in the young of various species, including humans and livestock. The group follows a two-pronged research approach: understanding rotavirus biology and applied research involving next-generation vaccine development. More information

Pathogenic Yeast Research


The importance of understanding opportunistic pathogenic yeasts belonging to the genera Candida and Cryptococcus and finding ways of combating infections are the focus of this research group. The group focuses on molecular virulence mechanisms and bioactive lipids' role in developing microbial growth control strategies by identifying novel drug targets and drugs. More information

Veterinary Biotechnology



The focus of the research group is to look at strategies for improved disease control – mainly in avian species – through prevention, treatment, and biosecurity. The research includes work on bacteriophage therapy, genomics, and transcriptomics of antibiotic and disinfectant resistant bacteria, and developing new generation vaccines against viral and bacterial infections of avian species. 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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