The Department of Microbiology is strongly research orientated. Eight of the academic staff members are NRF-rated (currently one A, four B’s and three C’s). The following broad research themes are currently pursued.
Overview of research groups:
Bioprocessing of agricultural products, bioprospecting for enzymes, enzyme engineering and bioinformatics; genetic manipulation of yeasts for the conversion of plant material to bioethanol, nutraceuticals and production of enzymes in yeast and fungi
Development of probiotic lactic acid bacteria for humans and animals, taxonomy of lactic acid bacteria, characterisation of antimicrobial peptides (including bacteriocins) produced by lactic acid bacteria and their industrial application; industrial and medical microbiology
Microbial communities from fynbos soil; taxonomy and biology of soil fungi, indoor air quality monitoring and fungal detection. Microbial community analyses of the GIT of various organisms
The interactions between yeast and their biological, chemical and physical environment
Microbial biofilm ecology, and application of this knowledge to manage microbial aggregates in engineered, industrial and clinical settings
Development and application of rainwater harvesting treatment systems; optimisation and monitoring of cost-effective point of use rainwater harvesting treatment systems