Animal TB Research Group
Prof Michele Miller
Head of Animal TB
Michele is trained as a veterinary immunologist and veterinarian as well as having a Masters in Public Health, and is a specialist in the European College of Zoological Medicine. She has worked as a clinical veterinarian at several large U.S. zoos and as a conservation medicine researcher. Prof Miller 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, using a One Health approach.
Dr Wynand Goosen
TB One Health Researcher
As a researcher funded by the Wellcome Trust, a National Geographic explorer, and Vice Chairman of the Wildlife Disease Association Africa and the Middle East, Wynand is dedicated to unraveling the complexities of zoonotic Tuberculosis. His work involves a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the dynamics of disease transmission between livestock, wildlife, and humans and improving surveillance efforts to identify and respond to outbreaks. By studying the interfaces at which these three groups intersect, he is working towards identifying effective interventions that can prevent or break transmission. Ultimately, his aim is to reduce the burden of Tuberculosis on human and animal populations and mitigate the economic and social impacts of the disease.
Dr Tanya Kerr
Research Study Coordinator
Tanya is a conservation ecologist by training (PhD Conservation Ecology, Stellenbosch University) with a specific research interest in wildlife infectious diseases including animal tuberculosis in various wildlife species, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in lions, leopards and cheetah, as well as Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) in African elephants. Dr Kerr joined the Animal TB Research Group in 2017 as a Postdoctoral Researcher before becoming a Research Study Coordinator in 2023. In her spare time, Tanya is a competitive show jumper and a member of the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS).
Dr Giovanni Ghielmetti
Giovanni is a research microbiologist and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists. He has been involved in the monitoring and investigation of mycobacterial diseases at the Swiss National Reference Laboratory for Bovine Tuberculosis and he acquired knowledge of disease control and prevention, clinical management, and diagnostic possibilities. In March 2023 he joined the Animal TB Research Group at Stellenbosch University as a Research Fellow. His veterinary background and expertise in bioinformatics, including next-generation sequencing, data analysis, and data visualization will hopefully contribute to a better understanding of multi-host tuberculosis transmission and spatio-temporal dynamics. Giovanni enjoys snowboarding, playing floorball, and spending time with his family.
Carmel is a conservationist, wildlife epidemiologist, and public health professional who conducts epidemiology research at the intersection of human and animal health. She has a PhD in Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology from the University of California, San Diego. Dr Witte joined the Animal TB Research group in 2021; she has a concurrent appointment with the Center for Wildlife Studies (Maine, U.S.A.) and has several years of experience 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.
Sinomotfo Intimate Shongwe
Intimate grew up in Nelspruit and recently completed her National Diploma in Nature Conservation at the University of Mpumalanga after completing her practical year in Kruger National Park (KNP) at Veterinary Wildlife Services (VWS). Here she gained many new skills in the field and laboratory, especially the collection of samples and data from free-ranging wildlife, for the South African National Parks (SANParks) Biobank. Intimate is currently enrolled for her Advanced Diploma in Nature Conservation at the University of Mpumalanga as well as working as a research intern for the Stellenbosch University Animal TB Research Group at the VWS in Kruger National Park.