Projects per year
Professor Sakkie Pretorius is internationally recognised as a pioneer in molecular microbiology, biotechnology and translating research outcomes into innovative industry applications. He joined Macquarie University in 2013 and in 2014 his passion for academic excellence and research drove the creation of the University's strategic research framework, World-leading research; World-changing impact. The framework will shape Macquarie's research priorities over the next decade and build upon the Our University: A Framing of Futures project.
Originally from South Africa, Professor Pretorius studied agriculture at the University of the Free State from 1977 until 1986, when he was awarded a PhD for his work on physical, genetic and biochemical characteristics of yeast. He was appointed Professor of Microbiology at Stellenbosch University in 1993, where he later became the founding director of South Africa's Institute for Wine Biotechnology.
By identifying some of the unique characteristics of South African wine production during his ten-year tenure he was part of the team involved in the refooting of the technology of wine production in South Africa. Professor Pretorius' role in this team enabled the burgeoning South African wine industry to grow its production and market presence significantly and attract global recognition for the quality of wines from the region.
Passionate about authentic leadership, prior to taking up his role at Macquarie, Professor Pretorius held the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President: Research and Innovation at the University of South Australia. Prior to this he was the Managing Director and CEO of the Australian Wine Research Institute.
In 2014 Professor Pretorius was able to leverage his extensive expertise in wine yeast genetics to help bring the Yeast 2.0 project to Macquarie University. The ground breaking project involves creating the world's first-ever synthetic complex organism and will open the door to both more robust synthetic biology research at Macquarie as well as applications including more eco-friendly biofuel production and better targeted medication.
Professor Pretorius' reputation for excellence extends to the US and Europe, where he has held a series of prestigious part-time and honorary positions. He conducted molecular yeast genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen, Germany and the Katholike Universiteit in Belgium.
He has published on a range of subjects in more than 230 peer-reviewed research papers (current Scopus h-index of 58 and 79 in Google Scholar), and in addition to being regularly invited to present at conferences, many as keynote speaker, Professor Pretorius has won more than $100 million in funding and filed six patents. He is ranked in the top 1 percent of researchers for Agricultural Sciences and Plant & Animal Science, and is ranked 328th in the world for citations per paper in Agricultural Sciences (Source: Essential Science Indicators: 28 January 2016).
Almost 30 of his papers are in the top 10 percent of the most cited research in Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology, Microbiology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Food & Science Technology, Genetics & Heredity and Mycology (Source: InCites 2016)
University of The Free State
1983 → 1986
Award Date: 4 Apr 1986
University of The Free State
1982 → 1983
Award Date: 5 Apr 1983
University of the Orange Free State
Award Date: 4 Apr 1981
University of The Free State
1977 → 1980
Award Date: 19 Aug 1980
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Land & Food Systems (Food, Nutrition & Health), University of British Columbia2012 → …
Adjunct Professor, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide2011 → 2013
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President: Research and Innovation, University of South Australia2011 → 2013
Managing Director, Australian Wine Research Institute2004 → 2011
Director of Research, Australian Wine Research Institute2003 → 2004
Honorary Professor, Institute for Wine Biotechnology, Stellenbosch University2003 → 2010
Affiliate Professor, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide2003 → 2011
Adjunct Professor, Business School, University of South Australia2003 → 2016
Head of Department of Microbiology, The University of Stellenbosch1997 → 1998
Part-time Professor, Department of Food Science and Microbiology (8 weeks per year), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven1996 → 2003
Visiting Professor (2 months), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven1995
Director, Institute for Wine Biotechnology and Professor in Microbiology and Wine Biotechnology , The University of Stellenbosch1995 → 2002
Visiting Professor (10 months) as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Karl Friedrich Bonhoeffer Institute)1993
Professor, Department of Microbiology, The University of Stellenbosch1993 → 1997
Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, The University of Stellenbosch1988 → 1992
Postdoctoral fellow (3 months per year), Albert Einstein College of Medicine1987 → 1990
Senior Lecturer, Department of Microbiology, The University of Stellenbosch1987 → 1988
Senior Lecturer, Department of Microbiology, University of The Free State1986 → 1987
Lecturer, Department of Microbiology, University of The Free State1984 → 1985
Junior Lecturer, Department of Microbiology, The University of the Free State1982 → 1983
1/04/20 → 31/03/23
6/03/17 → …
14/11/14 → …
6/02/19 → 31/12/20
Pretorius, S. & Curach, N.
1/07/18 → 30/06/19
van Wyk, N., Brezina, S., Pretorius, I. S., Rauhut, D., Wendland, J. & von Wallbrunn, C., 16 Feb 2021, In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 22, 4, p. 1-16 16 p., 1943.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile3 Downloads (Pure)
Williams, T. C., de Celis, M., Paulsen, I. T. & Pretorius, I. S., 11 Mar 2021, In: Nature Communications. 12, 1, p. 1-8 8 p., 1599.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Comment/opinion › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile2 Downloads (Pure)
Dixon, T. A., Williams, T. C. & Pretorius, I. S., 15 Jan 2021, In: Nature Communications. 12, p. 1-12 12 p., 388.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile1 Citation (Scopus)4 Downloads (Pure)
Pretorius, I. S., Marcellin, E., Paulsen, I. T. & Williams, T. C., 4 Nov 2020, In: Nature Communications. 11, 1, p. 1-12 12 p., 5564.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile1 Citation (Scopus)16 Downloads (Pure)
Assessing the oenological potential of Nakazawaea ishiwadae, Candida railenensis and Debaryomyces hansenii strains in mixed-culture grape must fermentation with Saccharomyces cerevisiaeWyk, N. V., Pretorius, I. S. & Wallbrunn, C. V., Jun 2020, In: Fermentation. 6, 2, 9 p., 49.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile2 Citations (Scopus)5 Downloads (Pure)
Pretorius, Sakkie (Recipient), 1993
Pretorius, Sakkie (Recipient), 2002
Pretorius, Sakkie (Recipient), 2011
Prize: Other distinction
Macquarie University Describes Findings in Ethanol (Yeast's balancing act between ethanol and glycerol production in low-alcohol wines)
1 item of Media coverage
1 Media contribution