Marina Van Der Merwe
University of Pretoria
In 2013, she returned to academia, and is currently pursuing PhD in Chemistry at the University of Pretoria, RSA. During 2008-2012, she worked as principal scientist at Water Enhancement Technologies, focusing on primary and applied research related eco-friendly additives for carbon sequestration. From 1999 to 2008, she worked as a senior researcher and project leader at Bio prospecting Group of Biosciences, CSIR South Africa. One of the main research activities was the bio prospecting of South African plants through ethno botanical and random approaches; which involved collection of anecdotal information, collection and extraction of plants, evaluation of medicinal claims (in vitro and in vivo) and high throughput screening, fingerprinting and standardizing of extracts, bioassay-guided fractionation, isolation and structure elucidation of secondary metabolites, and derivatization of drug candidates. Due to the intellectual property issues, the knowledge dissemination was done mostly through patenting.
Her main research interests include Aromatics, Natural product chemistry, standardization of plant extracts, essential oils, pharmacognosy, conservation of natural resources, nanotechnology and molecular modelling.