Prof. Esté van Marle-Köster is the Head of the Animal Science Department, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, at the University of Pretoria. She holds a PhD in Animal Science with specialisation in Animal Breeding and Genetics. Her research focuses on the application of genomics in the animal sciences, with a specific interest in beef and dairy cattle genomics. Her work is aimed at improvement of genetic traits related to animal welfare and sustainability.
Prof. van Marle-Köster has published more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and has supervised several MSc and PhD students over the past 26 years. She was the coordinator of the subcommittee for research for the South African Beef Genomic Programme and coordinator of the Dairy Genomic Programme, funded by the Technology Innovation Agency, for establishing genomic selection in South African beef and dairy cattle. She was the first female president of the South African Society for Animal Science.