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Prof Van Marle-Köster elected as president of SASAS
10 October 2017


Prof Esté van Marle-Köster, Head of the Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Pretoria (UP), was elected as president of the South African Society for Animal Science (SASAS) at the Society's 50th Congress that was held in Port Elizabeth from 18–21 September 2017. After having previously served as the first female ever on the Society's council from 1999–2000, she has now become the first female in its history to hold the office of president.

Prof Van Marle-Köster has been involved in teaching and research for the past 22 years. After having obtained an MSc (Agriculture) in Animal Breeding from the University of the Free State, she worked in the animal science industry for a number of years before joining UP in 1995. She subsequently completed a PhD (Agric) degree in Animal Breeding and Genetics, with a focus on molecular technology in farm animals, in the UP Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences. She also established the focus area for genomic research and application in farm animals at the Department. Over the years she has been involved in various research projects, which included research on the genetic biodiversity of local breeds of chickens, goats and cattle. Her most recent projects are aimed at using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) markers and SNP chips to generate genotypic data in genome-wide association studies. She is the principal investigator for a project on genomic selection in a number of South African beef breeds, and the coordinator of the subcommittee for research in the Beef Genomic Programme. She also acts as the coordinator for the Dairy Genomic Programme funded by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).

Prof Van Marle-Köster has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and contributed to book chapters. She has also supervised several master's and doctoral students to completion. She holds a C2 rating from the NRF and is a registered Professional Animal Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP).  



- Author Ansa Heyl
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Prof Esté van Marle-Köster