Dr Riaan Rifkin wins best presentation at the 8th Oppenheimer De Beers Research Conference.

Posted on October 20, 2017

Dr Riaan Rifkin, a Research Fellow at the University of Pretoria Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics, was recently awarded the best presentation at the 8th Oppenheimer De Beers Research Conference.


The symposium was held at De Beers Headquarters in Ormonde, Johannesburg and featured a diverse group of researchers from around South Africa. The aim of the two-day meeting was to highlight fascinating research undertaken on the properties owned by De Beers and E. Oppenheimer & Son and supported by both the Oppenheimer family and De Beers.  For more information about the event, please click here.


Riaan is an anthropologist and prehistoric archaeologist and presented his paper on ancient human and pathogen DNA found in South African archaeological sediments at the recent meeting. Riaan’s conference paper was entitled:” Ancient human and pathogen DNA persists in South African Pleistocene archaeological sediments.” The paper addressed the question – “Which pathogens were brought from Africa to the rest of the world, following the departure of Homo sapiens from the sub-Saharan Africa?” For more information about Riaan’s publications, please click here.


 Riaan delivering his presentation at the meeting (photo courtesy of dekat.co.za).


Riaan has this to say about his award:

“It is a great honour to have been selected to receive the award from such an esteemed group of delegates. The quality of research exhibited at this conference was simply astounding. I would like to thank all the collaborators and co-authors for their contributions to this work.”


- Author Alacia Armstrong

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