Sarina Claassens obtained the B.Sc. (2001) and M.Env.Sci (2003) degrees cum laude from the former Potchefstroom University of CHE and in 2007 completed the Ph.D. degree in Environmental Sciences at the NWU (Potchefstroom Campus). In 2004 she was appointed as Lecturer in Microbiology at the NWU and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008; she currently holds this position.
The focus of her research is the application of microbial community properties as assessment/monitoring criteria for soils affected by anthropogenic activities. This includes the assessment of soil quality and microbial community status of polluted, disturbed and agricultural areas through the characterisation of microbial community function and structure. Current projects focus on soil microbiology in agricultural ecosystems and the effects that a variety of management practices have thereon. Many of the projects are of a multidisciplinary nature – using a holistic approach to evaluate soil biota and to translate these results into meaningful information to manage the ecosystem as a whole.
Sarina holds a Y-rating from the National Research Foundation and is the author or co-author of 19 peer-reviewed papers.