Priscilla Baker is currently the SARChi Chair for Analytical Systems and Processes for Priority and Emerging Contaminants (ASPPEC) and Senior Professor and Head of Department of Chemistry at the University of the Western Cape. She holds a BSc from the University of Cape Town, BSc Honours, and Masters from the University of the Western Cape and a PhD from the University of Stellenbosch. She was winner of the Department of Science and Technology, Distinguished Woman Scientist award in the category Physical and Engineering Sciences in 2014). Her research interests include analytical chemistry, electrochemistry, nanomaterials, sensors for priority and emerging pollutants.
Pascal Bessong is professor of Microbiology and Global Health and Director of the HIV/AIDS & Global Health Research Programme at the University of Venda. He completed his BSc Honours in Mircobiology and MSc Medical Microbiology and Parasitology at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He completed his PhD in Microbiology at the University of Venda and served as postdoctoral fellow in Microbiology at the University of Virgina in the United States. His research interests include: host and viral determinants of HIV drug resistance and the sustainability of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART); the impact of HAART on the pathogenesis of malignancy associated viruses; and the interaction of enteric viruses, vaccine response, gut integrity, growth and development in young children, particularly in populations of low socio-economic status.
Nicolas Beukes is a Research Professor of Geology and Director of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Integrated Mineral and Energy Resource Analysis at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa). He is a field geologist with a research focus on basin analyses and depositional systems in the Palaeoproterozoic. He has gained international recognition for his research on Neoarchean carbonate platform deposits and the origin of Precambrian iron formations, BIF-hosted iron ore and sedimentary manganese ore deposits. He holds an A1 rating from the National Research Foundation. He has received the Jubilee Medal and Draper Award of the Geological Society of South Africa and is an Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of America.
Teresa Coutinho is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology at the University of Pretoria (South Africa). Her research focuses on plant pathogenic bacteria and developing a molecular method for distinguishing between genera of plant pathogenic bacteria as well as identifying new species. She was educated at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and holds a B3 rating from the National Research Foundation. She is the current President of the Southern African Society of Plant Pathology.
Tania Douglas is a Professor in the Division of Biomedical Engineering and the DST-NRF Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering & Innovation at the University of Cape Town (South Africa). She is also a Visiting Professor at Kenyatta University. Her research broadly focuses on the contextually appropriate use of technology to improve health. She has degrees in Electrical/Electronic and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Cape Town, Vanderbilt University and the University of Strathclyde, and conducted postdoctoral research in image processing at the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. She was a Humboldt Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research in Cologne and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at University College London. She is a fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering and a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.
Hester du Plessis
Hester du Plessis is a chief research specialist and head of Science Engagement and Gender within the Research Use and Impact Assessment (RIA) unit at the Human Science Research Council. She holds a MTech in Fine and Applied Art at the Tshwane University of Technology. She obtained a PhD in Philosophy from the University of South Africa (UNISA). Her research interests include science communication, gender, a transdisciplinary approach to research, philosophy and the philosophy of science and the global civilizational project.
Bettine Jansen van Vuuren is a Professor of Zoology and the Director of the Centre for Ecological Genomics and Wildlife Conservation, University of Johannesburg. She serves as Scientific Advisor to the Department of Environmental Affairs, is the Chair of the South African National Committee for the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), and represents South Africa on SCAR groups. She holds a PhD in Zoology from the Mammal Research Institute, University of Pretoria. Her research interests is in understanding spatial and temporal patterns of biotic diversity, with a focus on genetic diversity. Most of her work falls within two geographic regions: (a) The arid zone of southern Africa and, (b) Antarctica and the Southern Oceanic Islands with an emphasis on the Prince Edward Islands group.
Maitumeleng Nthontho is a Lecturer in the Department of Education Management and Policy Studies at the University of Pretoria. She has a PhD in education management, law and policy from the University of Pretoria. She has served as a referee for the South African Journal of Education. Her research interests are in human rights in education, school management and governance, religious diversity in schools, and curriculum transformation in higher education.
Maryna Steyn is a Forensic/Physical Anthropologist and Head of the School of Anatomical Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). Her research interests include skeletal remains from both forensic and archaeological contexts. She is the former Head of the Forensic Anthropology Research Centre at the University of Pretoria. She obtained her Bachelor of Medicine in 1983 at the University of Pretoria and completed a PhD in 1994 at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has worked on a SANPAD-funded project to document and assess human remains of southern African origin which had been exported to Europe and elsewhere in the world. She regularly consults for the South African Police Service on decomposed or skeletonised remains found in forensic contexts. She co-authored the third edition of the book The Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine.
Prof. Amanda Weltman is currently Associate Professor, NRF/DST South African Research Chair in Physical Cosmology, Department of Mathematics & Applied Mathematics, University of Cape Town. Her research focus is on the fundamental physics that underlies the nature of the Universe. The goals of her research are to study the Universe as a whole, while gaining insight into its origin, composition, structure, evolution and ultimately its fate. She received the National Women in Science award for the Best Emerging Young Researcher in the Natural Sciences and Engineering in 2009, the Meiring Naude Medal from the Royal Society of South Africa, in 2011, NSTF-BHP Billiton, TW Kambule Award and the Silver Jubilee medal from the South African Institute of Physics
Yali Woyessa is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein. He obtained his PhD from the University of the Free State. He also holds MSc, MA and MBA degrees and completed a Fulbright Visiting Scholar Fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Prof Woyessa leads the Unit on Sustainable Water and Environment, which he helped to establish in 2015. His research interests include socio-hydrological dynamics, climate change, water security, land-water linkages, and modelling of land use/land cover change and its impact on water resources.