Dr Diana Marais

University of Pretoria
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Agronomy
Programme Leader: Crop Agronomy


Dr Marais completed her PhD on planted pastures and the effects of deficit irrigation on the growth and quality of it in 2005 at the University of Pretoria. She furtherer her knowledge on teaching by obtaining a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education in 2008, also at UP.

While doing her Masters degree, she became a junior lecturer in the Department of Plant Production and Soil Science. Since then, 22 years has passed and during her journey she had the privilege of working with researchers and students from all over the world, doing research on industrial, grain and vegetable crops.

Her research mainly focus on the general agronomic practices of crop production in the various crops, but most of the work involves either plant nutrition or water use, water-use efficiency and nutrient water productivity. Current research crops include: commercial and wild ginger, various vegetables and maize. She is also involved with the long term maize fertilizer trial which was started in 1939 by Prof Haylett. In her most recent research she also worked closely with food security which has sparked her interest in the field of addressing human nutrition through legume and vegetable crops.

She has supervised 16 MSc students and 3 PhD student, with 6 MSc and 3 PhD currently in the system. She also coordinates the BScAgric(Hons) in Crop Science programme with an average of 10 students per year.

Her teaching activities are AGR 410 = Vegetable crops, AGR 361 = Field and industrial crops, AGR 785 Crop production systems I – Field crops and AGR 786 Crop production systems II – Vegetable crops.

She is an active member of the South African Society for Crop Production (SASCP) and African Crop Science Society (ACS). She has served on the SASCP board for almost 10 year as editor and is currently the Past President of the society. She is also serving on the ACS as the Southern African representative.