Full First Name(s)
Marlies
Title (honorific)
Dr
Academic Qualifications
PhD (2009, University of Basel); PDip (1996, University of KwaZulu-Natal); MSc (1994 ,University of KwaZulu-Natal); BSc Hons (1992, University of KwaZulu-Natal ); BSc (1991, University of KwaZulu-Natal )
Brief Biography (English)

PhD in Epidemiology (spatial and temporal distribution of malaria, from Basel University, Switzerland); post-graduate diploma in Adult Education (UKZN), Masters in Parasitology (University of KwaZulu-Natal, UKZN), with course certificates in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing and earth observation, infectious disease modelling, spatial statistical modelling, and scientific writing.

Currently employed as Technical Advisor in the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (Wits RHI) in the Climate and Health directorate.  Providing technical leadership, specialized expertise guidance related to climate change and health, supporting research, protocols and proposals, to generate evidence on the response to climate change in Africa, particularly the impacts of heat on vulnerable populations, including pregnant women, infants, HIV-infected adults and healthcare workers.

From 2028-2023 employed as Science Officer in the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel of Climate change IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit. Responsibilities include supporting and representing the Working Group II Co-Chair; reviewing IPCC reports of the 6th Assessment Cycle; contributing to contents and structure; communication, outreach, networking; building climate change capacity in Africa; enhancing African participation and influence in the IPCC; office budget management and reporting. Produced several booklets and videos on climate change, some focussing on Africa, and the IPCC. Nominated member of IPCC Gender Task Group.

Previously worked for 15 years at the Malaria Research Programme of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), conducting research on malaria diagnostic tools, malaria mapping and spatial modelling. As GIS (Geographical Information Systems) Coordinator, and then Principal Investigator, of the Mapping Malaria Risk in Africa (MARA/ARMA) project, helped create a continental atlas of the disease to provide malaria burden estimates and guide national control operations. This pan-African project was one of 700 projects – selected for their exemplification of practical solutions to challenges – presented at the EXPO2000 world fair in Hannover, Germany. In 2014 UNESCO showcased it as one of “11 often untold stories of how local communities across Africa are reaping the rewards of innovation.” 

Other experience: Self-employed consultant, offering data management, statistical analysis, epidemiological, and training support (registered service provider for SAMRC, UKZN); Research Mentor in the UKZN School of Clinical Medicine, supporting postgrad medical students and registrars during all stages of their research; founding CEO of EASTER Action non-profit company, for environmental education and action; self-published author of a popular science book on insects; freelance educator / communicator, offering public presentations and educational events.

Job Title
Science officer in the IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit
Primary Organisation
Wits RHI
Website Address for Primary Organisation
African Country
South Africa
African Region
Southern Africa
Non-African country/countries of residing and working (present & past)
Switzerland

Profile Photo