Animal TB
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Molecular Biology & Human Genetics

​​​​​​​​Animal TB


Prof Michele Miller

​​Head of Animal TB

Orcid: 0000-0002-5883-6076


Prof Miller has a PhD in veterinary Immunology and has worked as a clinical wildlife veterinarian at a number of zoos and as a conservation medicine researcher. She holds the NRF SARChI Chair in Animal Tuberculosis and her current research focus is the immunology, epidemiology, management and control of tuberculosis in animals and those aspects that impact the human-animal interface.

Dr Léanie Kleynhans​​

Senior Scientist​​


Dr Kleynhans is a senior scientist in the Animal TB Research group. She obtained both her undergraduate BSc and Hons BSc (Medical Biochemistry) degrees from the University of Stellenbosch before completing her PhD in Molecular Biology in 2012. Her PhD focussed on host immune responses to Mtb and molecular endocrinology while her current research interest is host immune responses to Mtb in wildlife. 

Dr Wynand Johan Goosen

Early Career Scientist​


Dr Goosen was a “founding" member of the Animal TB Research Group when it was started in 2014. He upgraded from his MSc to a PhD, which he completed in 2016. His research focus has been immune responses of buffalo and cattle to M. bovis. Since graduating, Wynand joined an internationally known TB research group based at Groote Schuur Hospital, UCT under the mentorship of Prof Keertan Dheda. During his time at UCT, Wynand has learned a lot about designing and developing innovative and new diagnostic molecular tools for the diagnosis of drug-resistant tuberculosis. He spearheaded various therapeutic intervention projects surrounding the treatment of XDR-TB infected patients and co-designed devices able to measure the infectiousness of these patients in the community. Wynand rejoined the Animal TB Group in 2018 and is currently a Wellcome Foundation Researcher. His work focuses on improving the surveillance of zoonotic Mycobacteria spp. in livestock, wildlife, and their environment in rural areas by utilizing state-of-the-art culture-independent next-generation sequencing.​ He will supervise 3 PhD candidates and 1 international MSc candidate (International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya​) this year. He is a National Geographic Explorer, vice-chair of the Wildlife Disease Association Africa/Middle East, and is a member of various committees, including the Biological and Environmental Safety Ethics committee, South African Young Academy of Science, and South Africa Veterinary Immunology committee. His hobbies include parenting, powerlifting, camping, hiking, fishing, hiking, bird watching, and reading.

Dr Carmel Witte

Research Fellow



Carmel Witte is a conservationist, wildlife epidemiologist, and public health professional who conducts epidemiology research at the intersection of human and animal health.  She has a Ph.D. in Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology from the University of California, San Diego, U.S.A.  Her Master’s degree is in Animal Science from the University of Maryland, College Park and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Carmel joined the Animal TB Research group in 2021; she has a concurrent appointment with the Center for Wildlife Studies (Maine, U.S.A.) and brings several years of e​xperience leading a zoo-based epidemiology program. She has expertise in the epidemiology of mycobacterial diseases of animals, statistical modelling, spatial analysis, and social network analysis.  She enjoys spending time with her family and two young boys, playing with her cats, traveling, hiking, and exploring the beaches of Southern California.​

Mr Guy Hausler

Veternary Technologist


Guy Hausler qualified as a Mechanical Engineer and, after some time spent in this industry, went on to complete a B-Tech in Nature Conservation while working for SANParks' Veterinary Wildlife services. He is currently a Research Assistant working in the Kruger National Park in support of the various animal tuberculosis and other research projects being undertaken in the park and adjacent areas. He has a passion for ornithology and is currently busy with a research project entitled: “Ecology and dietary niche of the Yellow-Billed Oxpecker (Buphagus africanus) in the Kruger National Park. ​

 Prof Paul van Helden has a wide interest in many fields of animal tuberculosis including the aetiology, molecular epidemiology, immunology and diagnosis. He has a particular interest in host genetic susceptibility/resistance to the disease.





 Prof Eileen Hoal has spent many years in the field of genetic susceptibility to tuberculosis in humans and has more recently developed an interest in wildlife susceptibility or resistance to M. bovis infections. Using next generation and Sanger sequencing, her current work has focussed on investigating novel genetic determinants of susceptibility to bovine tuberculosis in African buffaloes.