Dr Tjaart Kruger

Dr Tjaart Kruger

South Africa

University of Pretoria


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Work and Research

I completed a PhD (cum laude) and 2.5-year postdoctoral studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (the Netherlands), a world-leading biophysics research group, during which I also conducted short fellowships in Florence (Italy) and Vilnius (Lithuania). In March 2013, I returned to South Africa to assume a permanent position as Senior Lecturer at UP and established a new research group, the first Biophysics group within a Physics Department in South Africa. This endeavor immediately attracted considerable interest amongst students from various institutions.

Fields Of Expertise


Research Profiles

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

Since starting a PhD in Biophysics, it has always been my desire to help establish Biophysics as a new Physics-based research field in South Africa. Biophysics has not only contributed to great advances in Biology and Medicine, but has also shown to be a notable source of innovation, and it is high time for South Africa to become strongly involved with this exciting development. UP has the potential for leading the development of Biophysics in South Africa and to a large extent in Africa. For example, Biophysics research potentially ties in at different levels with three current Institutional Research Themes, viz. Energy (my own research on photosynthetic light harvesting), Genomics, and Food, Nutrition and Well-being. I am looking into ways to develop these and other opportunities into strong institutional inter-departmental collaborations. This will involve efforts to develop human capital (both student and staff) and infrastructure, and also create a public awareness. Furthermore, I would like to put Biophysics on the NRF’s roadmap for science, emphasizing its strong bioecomonical impact. Finally, I want to help develop in South Africa a similar passion and high research quality exposed to during my postgraduate studies and other fellowships abroad.