Ms Julanie Stapelberg

MSc student


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Primary Supervisor
Bridget Crampton

Co Supervisor
Robyn Roth

I am currently an MSc student in the Biotechnology programme at the University of Pretoria with a research project based at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). My MSc is focused on the “development of an heterologous expression platform in indigenous South African algae” whereby I aim to screen, cultured indigenous South African algae isolates based on their growth rate, growth conditions and morphological characteristics. I will then also identify the green microalgal isolates through morphology and molecular techniques as well perform nuclear transformation on selected algal isolates.


 I obtained my BSc degree in Genetics at the University of Pretoria and then continued with my honours in Plant Sciences specialising in Biotechnology. My honours project included “the effect of natural tyrosinase inhibitors from plant extracts on tyrosinase gene expression”, which incorporated Plant Sciences, Genetics and Phytomedicine. This project studied the effect of novel African plant extracts on the gene expression of melanoma cells to prevent hyperpigmentation and its related ailments. Whilst doing my research I got incredibly interested in the production of secondary metabolites through plant cell tissue culture in bioreactors. I then further researched the use of green microalgae as a plant-based mechanism for protein production. 

Magaretha Mes Prize with Prof Jean Lubuma


2018: UP Achievement Award

2017: Inqaba Biotechnology Industries (Pty) Ltd Prize for the best honours student in Biotechnology

2016: Magaretha Mes Prize for the best third year Plant Science Student

2015: UP Achievement Award

2015: Merit Honours Award 

2012: Half Colours – Academics

2012: Academics - Top 10 in Grade 12

2012: Received Trophy for top Advanced Programme English student

2012: Full Colours – President’s Award

2012: Full Colours – Penryn Community Award

2008: Gold for National Science Eskom Expo



2018: NRF DST Innovation and Priority Research Areas Masters Scholarship

2018: Ernst and Ethel Trust bursary

2017: NRF DST Innovation and Priority Research Areas Masters Scholarship

2017: University of Pretoria Academic Excellence Postgraduate Research Bursary

2016: Magaretha Mes Prize for the best third year Plant Science Student

2016: National Research Fund- Grantholder linked

2015: Tuks Residence Bursary

2015: Sanparks Bursary

2015: Schoeman Karel Bursary

2015: Heyman Julius Bursary

2014: Sanparks Bursary

2014: S. Peinaar Bursary Fund

2013: Sanparks Bursary







Stapelberg J, Roth RL, Crampton MC, Crampton BG. June 2018. Development of an Heterologous expression platform in Indigenous South African Microalgae. The 8th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts. Seattle, USA. (Poster Presentation)

Stapelberg J, Roth RL, Crampton MC, Crampton BG. July 2018. The Recombinant Protein Production Potential of South African Microalgae. The 31st Congress of the Phycological Society of Southern Africa. Hartbeespoort, South Africa. (Oral & Poster Presentation) 

Stapelberg J, Roth RL, Crampton MC, Crampton BG. October 2018. Why we should focus on Microalgal Biotechnology in South Africa. South African Society for Bioinformatics Conference, Golden Gate. (Oral)

Stapelberg J, Roth RL, Crampton MC, Crampton BG. October 2018. The Identification, Growth Analysis and Biotechnological Potential of South African Microalgae. South African Genetics Society Conference, Golden Gate. (Poster)






2019-current: International Toastmasters

2018-current: South African Genetics Society  

2018-current: South African Society for Bioinformatics

2018-current: Phycological Society of Southern Africa

2017-2018: FABI Social Club Chairperson

2013-current: Golden Key Society




FABIans participate in a Biosafety symposium

The second annual Biosafey SA symposium was held in Pretoria at the beautiful Diep in die Berg conference centre on 14 March. Michael Pepper from the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Health Sciences kick-started the symposium with a thought-provoking presentation addressing the ethical, legal and social implications of human genetics and genomics.

FABI rewards excellence and looks to the future at 2018 year-end function

FABIans reflected on the gains of the year and looked forward to 2019 and beyond at the annual year-end function and awards ceremony on 17 November.

FABI shines at SASBi/SAGs conference

The Biennial joint SASBi/SAGS (South African Society for Bioinformatics/South African Genetics Society) Conference was held at Golden Gate National Park in the Free State Province from 16-18 October.

FABIans get a sneak peek of some of South Africa's brightest young scientists

Every year, hundreds of Grade 7s and 12s, descend on the University of Pretoria's L.C. de Villiers sports grounds to take part in the Northern Gauteng Science Fair where they transform the Rembrandt Hall into a science wonderland.

FABIans celebrate Spring Day with an ice cream party

The winter cold was but a distant memory when the FABI Social Club hosted an ice cream party in celebration of the Institute’s annual Spring Tea on 5 September.

FABIans Inspire at the Woodhill College Science Expo

The interaction of students with scientists could help inspire and shape their future.

FABIan presents at the 31st Congress of the Phycological Society of Southern Africa

Julanie Stapelberg a MSc student from FABI - with a project based at the CSIR - presented both a poster and talk entitled “The recombinant protein production potential within South African Microalgae”. As the only biotechnologist at the conference she truly emphasised the importance of Microalgal Biotechnology for the future of South Africa!

FABIan attends the 8th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts

FABI MSc student Julanie Stapelberg, attended the 8th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts in Seattle, USA from 11-13 June. Julanie say that although she knew microalgae was important but her eyes were opened at the future it has. After greenhouse gas emissions are reduced and polluted water is treated, the algae products themselves are extremely beneficial.

SPOOF 2018 delivers on guffaws and profoundly outrageous science!

For the third year running, PhD student Quentin Guignard walked away with the Best Dressed Male award at the 2018 annual meeting of the Society for the Presentation of Outrageous Findings (SPOOF).

FABI hosts an indulgent and festive Easter Tea

Following the Easter weekend break, the Easter Bunny hopped into FABI on 4 April, leaving behind a trail of Easter eggs and some “rabbit food” for FABIans to nibble on and enjoy.

Export to RIS
Ranghoo-Sanmukhiya VM, Soulange JG, Chellan Y, Lambrechts I, Stapelberg J, Crampton B, Lall N. (2019) Biochemical and phylogenetic analysis of Eugenia and Syzygium species from Mauritius. Journal of Applied Research on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Volume 12:21-29. 10.1016/j.jarmap.2018.10.004
Stapelberg J, Lambrechts I, Crampton B, Lall N. (2018) Selected South African plants with tyrosinase enzyme inhibition and their effect on gene expression. South African Journal of Botany PDF