Prof Marinda Oosthuizen obtained her BSc (Agric), BSc (Agric) (Hons) and MSc degrees cum laude with specialization in Microbiology from the University of Pretoria in the early 1990s. Her PhD was awarded by the University of Pretoria in 1998. During 1999 to 2002 she completed two postdoctoral fellowships at the University of the Witwatersrand and University of Pretoria, respectively. In 2003 she joined the Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases (DVTD), Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria as a postdoctoral fellow, but was soon thereafter appointed as Senior Researcher. She was appointed as Senior Lecturer in 2009, promoted to Associate Professor in 2012 and to full Professor in January 2016. As from 1 July 2019, she has been appointed as Deputy Dean: Research and Postgraduate Studies in the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria.
Prof Oosthuizen is a foremost scientist in the field of veterinary molecular parasitology; a scarce skill in South Africa. Her research focus on tick-borne pathogen discovery, molecular characterization of novel tick-borne haemoparasites and molecular diagnostic assay development. She has a special interest in zoonotic infections transmitted from wildlife reservoir species to humans and domestic animals at the human/livestock/wildlife interface in rural South Africa. To date her research findings have contributed significantly to progress in the field of tick-borne disease research in South Africa, and further afield. Her research has a strong public health relevance and integrates cutting-edge molecular technologies as well as applied research.
With a National Research Foundation C2 rating, Prof Oosthuizen is the author of 67 peer-reviewed publications. She is frequently invited as guest lecturer by several international institutes; and has presented her research findings at numerous national and international conferences. She has been very successful in securing significant national and international research funding; as principal investigator, she was recently awarded USA National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding within the International Research in Infectious Diseases programme in collaboration with Washington State University. In 2011 she was the joint-winner of the Faculty of Veterinary Science “Researcher of the Year” award; and have since remained among the Top 10 or 20 researchers in the Faculty. She was recently nominated for the Department of Science and Technology (DST) 2019 South African Women in Science Awards (SAWiSA) under the category Distinguished Woman Researchers.
During the past 10 years Prof Oosthuizen has successfully supervised and/or co-supervised 3 postdoctoral fellows, 9 PhD, 19 MSc and 4 Honours students. Currently she supervises 3 postdoctoral fellows, 1 PhD and 4 MSc students, while co-supervising 3 PhD and 3 MSc students. She was nominated for the University of Pretoria Exceptional Supervisors award in 2016.
Prof Oosthuizen is a council committee member of the Parasitological Society of Southern Africa (PARSA) and secretary of the international Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine (STVM). On several occasions, she has served as the Chairman of the examination board for the Masters of Science in Tropical Animal Health students at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. She currently serves as guest editor for the international journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science.