Dr Maria Oosthuizen

Dr Maria Oosthuizen

South Africa

University of Pretoria


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Work and Research

The majority of my research were comparative studies between social and solitary species of African mole-rats, covering various aspects of their circadian and reproductive biology, as well as learning and memory. I performed a comprehensive reproductive study elucidating the physiological level at which reproductive suppression is initiated in mole-rats. I investigated all facets of the reproductive pathway, examining gonadal histology, circulating gonadal hormones, the pituitary sensitivity to GnRH (that is responsible for the release of gonadal hormones) and the morphology and distribution of GnRH containing neurons in their brains.

My vision for the future of research at UP and how I will contribute to this development

I would like to see high quality research be performed at our university with an integrative approach towards disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields. I think it is important to partner with other institutions, both nationally and internationally, not only to exchange knowledge and techniques but also broadening the horizons of both established researchers and students. My contribution towards the development of research in South Africa would be to deliver the highest quality of research possible and to train students to be concise, ethical and publish the research outcomes in respectable journals in the particular field. Projects for prospective students can be set up in such a way to promote teamwork and encourage students to collaborate with other groups from an early stage in their education.