Mr Bertus van Heerden

Department of Physics University of Pretoria, Physical Sciences

Mr Bertus van Heerden’s research focus is on biophysics, specifically the development of real-time single-particle tracking (SPT) and the use of this technique to study photoprotection in plants. His work has the potential to impact our understanding of the behaviour, motion, and properties of biological molecules in their natural environments. It is also of global agricultural importance as it can assist in the engineering of crops to maximise output and lower costs. Most importantly, through the unique combination of his innovative, experimental and theoretical work, he has built a globally unique real-time SPT experimental setup during his PhD – the only SPT experimental setup on the African continent. Mr van Heerden is currently a final-year PhD student at the University of Pretoria, where he has been enrolled since his undergraduate studies. In 2022, he received a Fulbright Fellowship to attend Washington State University. He has published three articles in reputable journals and presented at five international and three local conferences.