At Stellenbosch University, pushing the boundaries of knowledge and possibility is our focus. Our research mission is to stay future-focused and maximise our impact.

Using data for better farming: Advances in agroinformatics

For some time now, big data has held the promise of having a revolutionary impact on various sectors of society that will lead to better, faster decision-making, improved processes, and ground-breaking discoveries. In agriculture, better data management, analysis, and application can boost animal and crop improvement, biosecurity and disease control, postharvest technology, agroprocessing, value chain analysis and development, as well as food sustainability and security. It can also help counter and build resilience to climate change.

Demo waste plant set to improve the sustainability of SA’s paper industry

To help South Africa’s paper, packaging and tissue industry secure a more sustainable future — that is the mission of a new demonstration plant at a papermill in KwaZulu-Natal. Driven by the ingenuity of Stellenbosch University’s chemical engineers, it was put into operation in 2023. The plant showcases the value of a process by which paper waste sludge destined for disposal in a landfill is turned into purified, high-value bioethanol.

Research reveals environmental and commercial benefits to tackling bioplastics disposal dilemma

Microbiologist Wessel Myburgh “grew up” as a scientist and entrepreneur during his time as a member of the Senior Chair of Energy Research (CoER): Biofuels and Other Alternative Clean Fuels. Now the co-founder of Urobo Biotech, Myburgh uses his knowledge of how yeasts and enzymes effectively break down plant-based waste into new products to improve the state of the planet he so dearly loves. He does this by tackling the mounting issue of what happens to used bioplastics.

We are committed to achieving excellence in research, and to ensuring that our work contributes to the well-being of society. Click on the links below to read about some of the new interdisciplinary knowledge being generated and the research fields emerging at the University.

Our strategic research areas

Our strategic research areas help ensure that our work connects the university with the world. Explore our research focus and its relevance to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, the African Union's Agenda 2063 and the National Development Plan here.


Explore this research area


Explore this research area


Explore this research area


Explore this research area


Explore this research area


At SU, we are committed to achieving excellence in research and scholarship, and to ensuring that our work contributes to the well-being of society. This section features profiles of some of our prolific researchers whose work is featured on this site. Some of them are world leaders in their respective fields. New profile features on some of our many innovators, postdoctoral students and emerging researchers will be added regularly.

Dr Uhuru Portia Phalafala

Dr Uhuru Portia Phalafala focuses on black geographies and critical ecological studies from the perspective of black life, which has always been entangled with the natural environment. "The very understanding of the self and who we are and how we relate to the living environment is part of black life," she says.

Prof Servaas van der Berg

Seeking to understand the twin scourge of poverty and inequality in South Africa, and figuring out how best to combat it would become the main focus of Prof Servaas van der Berg’s initial studies and, later, his academic career.

Prof Xanthe Hunt

Prof Xanthe Hunt’s vision is to transform South Africa’s public mental health services landscape, especially for the two vulnerable population groups that her work focuses on: the youth and people with disability.