Marlene Julyan was born as eldest daughter of Willie and Martie van den Berg. She matriculated in 1998 from Potchefstroom Gimnasium. She completed a BSc degree at the former University of the Free State and started afterwards with a B.Pharm at the former PU for CHE. While studying Pharmacy, she did concurrently a Honours and Masters Degree in Latin. She obtained her PhD at the North West University in 2009 with the title “A Phytochemical analysis of some ancient narcotics, with comparative notes on South African folk medical practices” .