UP appoints international expert in Genomics

Posted on May 18, 2012

Prof Cowan was educated in New Zealand at the University of Waikato and completed a period of postdoctoral study there before moving to University College London as a lecturer in 1985. After 16 years in London, he accepted the position as Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Biotechnology at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, where he was a Senior Professor and Director of the 60-strong Institute of Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics.
He has published over 200 research papers, review articles and book chapters, and sits on the editorial boards of ten international journals.
Some of the achievements on Prof Cowan’s impressive CV include the post of Deputy Professor at the University of Waikato (NZ), being elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa in 2007, as a Member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa in 2008, and as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2009. He was awarded an NRF B1 rating in 2007, the UWC Vice-Rector’s Award for Research Excellence in 2008 and the South African Society for Microbiology Silver Medal in 2009. He is currently President of the Royal Society of South Africa.
Prof Cowan’s research activities encompass several disparate fields, but many linked by the theme of environmental extremes. His collaborators include researchers in New Zealand, Chile, Hong Kong, France, the UK, China, Spain, Germany, Sweden and Norway.

Since his PhD studies, he has retained an interest in the ecology and enzymology of extreme thermophiles, organisms living at the temperature of boiling water. For the past decade he has worked at the other end of the temperature scale with New Zealand, Chinese and American scientists, studying the microbiology of the Dry Valleys of Eastern Antarctica. He collaborates with Ethiopian and Norwegian researchers to study organisms in the alkaline Rift Valley lakes and with South African and Spanish researchers on bacteria in high salt environments and with Namibian researchers on the microbial ecology of hot deserts.

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences