She obtained a PhD in Microbiology from Stellenbosch University in 1998. Currently Professor at the same university in Oenology, specializing in wine microbiology. She is currently Head of the Department of Viticulture and Oenology. Her research focuses on lactic acid bacteria, use of lactic acid bacteria for malolactic fermentation (MLF), interaction with wine yeasts and the influence on wine aroma. She has graduated 39 Masters and 9 Doctoral students, published 73 peer-reviewed articles, presented over 200 papers at international and national conferences. She is an Associate Editor for the journals South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture and Frontiers in Microbiology. She has been involved in the commercialization of several MLF starter cultures for the wine industry.