Lize Erasmus

Animal welfare researcher Lize Erasmus completed two undergraduate degrees, BMus and BSc (Agric), at the University of Pretoria (UP), and has been doing research at UP for the past four years.

“UP prioritises research, and has state-of-the-art facilities and award-winning researchers who are at the top of their respective fields,” she says.

Her PhD research will focus on livestock genetics. She believes her research will contribute to the betterment of the world because there is a global move towards improving the living conditions of livestock. Erasmus’s field of research will allow for enhanced animal welfare without the need for drastic alterations or incurring expenses.

“Improved animal welfare will not only better the lives of animals, but will also promote a more positive image of livestock production, improve the quality of produce and assist sustainability endeavours,” she explains.

Her academic role model is her MSc supervisor, Professor Este van Marle-Köster, who Erasmus says is an award-winning researcher and “a fantastic lecturer”. Prof Van Marle-Köster is a pioneer in the field of animal breeding and genetics. “She has a heart aimed at helping both humans and animals,” Erasmus says.

Her advice to school learners or undergraduates who are interested in her field is to believe in themselves and their mission. “There will always be people who tell you it can’t be done, but the world needs innovators and risk takers,” she says.

Erasmus loves outdoor activities such as hiking, running and kayaking, but will never say no to a good book on a rainy day.

Research by Lize Erasmus

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