Prof Rosemary Dorrington
BSc Agric (Stell), PhD (UCT)
DST/NRF SARChI PROFESSOR
As DST/RNF SARChI Professor in Marine Natural Products (MNPs) Research, I lead a large, multidisciplinary research group active across the broad field of marine biodiscovery, including marine biology, microbial ecology, microbial genomics through to marine natural products chemistry and antiviral bioassay development. Our research focus is on the production of bioactive metabolites by marine invertebrates and their associated microbial communities in the context of their environment. My association with the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) along with the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme research grants provides my research team with unprecedented access to infrastructure including coastal research vessels, field equipment Remotely Operating Vehicle etc. and specialized technical support for collection of benthic biota at depths of up to 400 m along the South African southeast coast. This has resulted in the discovery of new invertebrate species (Parker-Nance et al., 2019) producing novel bioactive MNPs (Kalinski et al., 2019) as well as using metabolomics and microbial genomics to investigate environmental factors that influence secondary metabolite production (Matcher et al., 2017; Waterworth et al., 2017). We are using metagenomics analysis to identify putative biosynthetic pathways for selected MNPs in invertebrate-associated microbiomes. This research is supported by the SAIAB Aquatic Genomics Research Platform (Illumina sequencing). We are collaborating with SAIAB to develop the high-performance computing capacity to support our complete metagenomic data analysis pipeline and data management platform. I have experience in managing large, research projects and currently lead a multi-disciplinary Community of Practice in Marine Science and Marine Spatial Planning.
marine natural product drug discovery
functioning of marine ecosystems
high-throughput NGS technologies
metabolomics of aquatic ecosystems
characterization of microbial biodiversity
stromatolites and their microbial communities
1990 – PhD (Microbiology), University of Cape Town
1987 – MSc (Microbiology), University of Cape Town
1983 – BSc Hons (Microbiology), University of Cape Town
1982 – BSC Agric. (Horticulture and Genetics), Stellenbosch University
As Principal Investigator
SAMRC/UK Newton Fund Antibiotic Accelerator Initiative Drug Discovery Partnership Hub (2020 – 2023). “Harnessing Natural Product Diversity to Combat Multidrug Resistance”. R30 million.
DST/NRF SARChI Community of Practice Grant. IUD: 110612 (2020-2022). “PHASE 2 – Marine Spatial Planning for Algoa Bay” Grant Total: R 7 million.
DST/NRF SARChI Grant. IUD: 87583. (2019-2023). “Marine natural products research”. R 10,75 million
UK Global Challenges Research Fund Grant. NERC Reference: NE/S008950/1 (2019-2023). “One Ocean Hub”. Principal Investigator: Prof Elisa Morgera, University of Strathclyde. Grant Total: GBP 20 million.
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation grant. IUD: (2018-2021). “How Microbes Use Chemistry to Form Ecosystems in Layered Living Rocks”. Principal Investigator: Prof Kerry McPhail, Oregon State University. Co-investigators: Prof Pieter Dorestein (UCSD), Dr Jason Kwan (UW-M), Prof Rosemary Dorrington (RU). Grant total: US$ 1,555 million
NRF ACEP grant. IUD (2018-2020). “Deep Forests”. Principal Investigator: Dr Kerry Sink, SANBI. Grant total: R 2,22 million
NRF National Equipment Programme grants for:
Confocal Microscopy Facility (Principal Applicant): R2,3 million (2006, 2008); R3,1 million (2014)
GS Junior Pyrosequencing Facility (Principal Applicant): R1,5 million (2011)
Transmission Electron Microscope (Co-Applicant): R4 million (2012)
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rhodes University
PO Box 94, Makhanda, South Africa, 6140
Tel: +27 (0) 46 603 8442
Fax: +27 (0) 46 622 3984
Last Modified: Fri, 20 Aug 2021 11:19:46 SAST