Mark TomlinsonProfessor in the Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch
Mark Tomlinson is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch University. He has a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Cape Town and a PhD from the University of Reading (United Kingdom). He has a particular interest in maternal health and infant and child development in conditions of high social adversity, as well as developing community-based prevention programmes.
Mark has completed work in South Africa investigating the association between postpartum depression and the mother-infant relationship, and the impact of this association on infant and child development amongst poor women living in conditions of high social adversity.
He has also completed a community-based trial on improving the quality of the mother-infant relationship and infant attachment in South Africa. Recently, Mark has begun to focus on the health system challenges of scaling up services for infants and children. All of his studies have been designed in order to create an evidence base on how to develop and implement evidence based, cost-effective interventions in both urban poor and rural settings that can be scaled up and delivered on a wide scale.
Professor Tomlinson has published extensively in Lancet, PLoS Medicine, British Journal of Psychiatry, Bulletin of the World Health Organization and Child Development amongst others.
Read more about Mark, here.
or Follow him, @marksceptic
Sarah SkeenDirector for the Partnership for Alcohol and AIDS Intervention Research
Sarah Skeen is the Programme Director for the Partnership for Alcohol and AIDS Intervention Research (PAAIR). She has a Masters in International Public Health, and is currently completing a PhD as a part of the Child Community Care study. Sarah is also responsible for coordinating the Saving Brains Thula Sana, Child Community Care, and Context Assessment in Community Health projects.
Before joining Stellenbosch University in 2012, Sarah worked on the Mental Health and Poverty Project at UCT and in the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the World Health Organization in Geneva. Her research interests include child and adolescent mental health and development, alcohol use, and community interventions.
Jacqueline StewartDirector of the Khayelitsha Research Centre
Jacqueline is the Director of the Khayelitsha Research Centre. She is a qualified clinical social worker with a PhD in psychology from Stellenbosch University, and has worked for many years in the mental health field.
Jaqueline began her career at the Cape Mental Health Society where she worked for several years. Following this, she worked at the Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture, heading up the Counselling Department. Jaqueline has worked at the University of Stellenbosch since 2008.
Jaqueline started out working exclusively on a randomised control trial in Khayelitsha, but has subsequently been involved in running many other of Professor Tomlinson’s studies from our research centre in Khayelitsha.
Jason BantjesCo-principal Investigator
Jason Bantjes is a psychologist and senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch University. He completed his professional training at Rhodes University and is the South African National representative for the International Association for Suicide Prevention. Jason is currently involved in the Eyethu Soccer Project.
Jason’s published research focuses on suicide and self-harm as well as gender issues and disability sport. In his work at Prevention Research, Jason is currently involved in the Eyethu Soccer Project as principal co-investigator.
Read more about Jason, here.
Zena JacobsResearch and Ethics Coordinator
Zena Jacobs is the Research and Ethics Coordinator for the PAAIR project and provides general support to all our activities. Zena has extensive experience in working in the monitoring and evaluation field, with a diverse range of stakeholders including international donors, government departments, and NGOs and CBOs in various development sectors.
Zena Jacobs is the Research and Ethics Coordinator for the PAAIR project and provides general support to all our activities.
Marguerite MarlowResearch project manager
Marguerite is the project manager on the Mphatlalatsane project. Marguerite has a Masters in psychology from Stellenbosch University. She started working for Stellenbosch University in 2013, on the INFANT study, conducting qualitative research on the barriers and facilitators to adherence to exclusive breastfeeding practices in the rural OR Tambo district in the Eastern Cape and in Khayelitsha.
Marguerite’s research interests include early child development and parenting skills-building through community-based intervention programmes, integration of mental health services into primary care and community health worker training for public health interventions in low-resource settings.
While completing her MA thesis in Psychology at Stellenbosch University, Marguerite worked as a research assistant to Prof Mark Tomlinson, co-authoring publications on child and adolescent mental health services in low- and middle-income countries, long-term outcomes for HIV-affected children in sub-Saharan Africa and screening for developmental delay and disability in infants and young children. Marguerite will be conducting her PhD as part of the Mphatlalatsane randomised controlled trial that is taking place in Lesotho.
Christina LaurenziResearch Project Manager
Christina Laurenzi is the project manager for the CLAC2 Evaluation. Christina holds a BA in Politics and Global Health and Health Policy from Princeton University (US) and an MSc in African Studies from Oxford University (UK).
Before joining Prevention Research, Christina spent a year in the Eastern Cape, coordinating the research team for the Zithulele Birth Follow-Up Study, as part of the ReachOut 1956 International Fellowship. Her research interests include maternal and child health and development, social service provision and home- and community-based interventions, and women’s migration and family health. Christina is the project manager for the CLAC2 Evaluation, a collaboration with Plan International based in western Kenya.
Nick DowdallResearch Project Manager
Nicholas Dowdall is the research project manager for the BEBS project. He completed his undergraduate studies in Psychology, Economics and Spanish with distinction, and completed his honours degree in Psychology at the University of Cape Town in 2014, graduating as the top student. He then completed an M.Sc degree in Evidence-based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship where his research focus shifted to early childhood development and parenting interventions.
Nick’s past research at UCT focussed on the impact of neighbourhood-level deprivation on mental health outcomes in South Africa.
He is currently working towards a DPhil at Oxford University that explores the effects of a book sharing intervention on child behaviour, socio-emotional development and cognition. The project is a collaboration between Stellenbosch, Oxford and Reading Universities and is being conducted in Khayelitsha.
Nicholas is also interested in dissemination and scaling of ECD interventions in South Africa. He is a Sazburg Global Fellow and was a Hult Prize Finalist in 2015.
Sarah GordonJunior researcher
Sarah Gordon is a junior researcher with Prevention Research. She graduated from the University of Cape Town on the Deans Merit List with a Bachelor of Social Science in Psychology and Social Development. In 2014 she graduated (Cum Laude) with BA Psychology Honours from Stellenbosch University. Sarah started working for Stellenbosch University in 2014 as a tutor in the Psychology Department.
While completing her MA thesis in Psychology at Stellenbosch University she joined Prevention Research in 2015. Her research interests include early childhood development, cognitive development, social development and social (friendship) networks. Sarah’s work for Prevention Research includes working on the Data Collector Study (as a part of the Community Care Study), managing the Selemela Study (as part of the Mphatlalatsane RCT) as well as various other PAAIR Projects. She aims to start her PhD next year (2017).
Xanthe HuntJunior researcher and social media manager
Xanthe is a junior researcher and social media manager with Prevention Research. She has an honours in journalism and an honours in psychology from Stellenbosch University, and is currently her PhD in psychology at the same institution. Xanthe joined the team in 2015 as social media manager, and has since expanded her involvement into writing, researching, and working as a project assistant in Kenya.
Xanthe’s fields of interest include disability, psychopathology, and early child development, as well as academic communication. Xanthe works closely with the whole team to ensure that as many of the findings from Prevention Research studies are read by as many people from as many backgrounds as possible.
Xanthe is currently involved in the CLAC2 project in Kisumu, Kenya, and has spent time working there over the past year.
Vuyolwethu NotholiIntervention Facilitator and Data Collector
Vuyolwethu Notholi is an intervention facilitator and data collector for BEBS. She has a background in recruitment and data collection.
She joined the Prevention Research team as a recruiter in 2009. She remained in that role for over two years, recruiting pregnant women for the Philani study. In 2011 Vuyo was appointed as an intervention facilitator and data collector for the book-sharing project, and currently works on BEBS.
Zanele Siqabatiso MelaniData collector
Zanele Siqabatiso Melani
Zanele’s works as a data collector on our Cape Town based projects. Zanele has a background and training in nursing, conflict management, and computer skills.
Zanele started working for Prevention Research in 2012 as a data collector for Saving Brains and the Community Cohort study. She now works on our Cape Town-based projects, including BEBS, as a data collector and coder.
Shoeshoe MofokengResearch Coordinator
Shoeshoe is a a research coordinator on the Mphatlalatsane project. Shoeshoe studied at the National University of Lesotho, after which she obtained a Masters in Social Work from the University of Stellenbosch. Since this time, she has taken part in numerous trainings, including ones to deal with Male Circumcision under local Anesthesia, Comprehensive pediatric HIV care and Treatment, HIV/AIDS and the world of work, as well as training on basic knowledge of sign language.
Shoeshoe has worked on numerous projects, including as a volunteer counsellor. She began work as an assistant administrator at the Social Work Department of the University of Stellenbosch, and now works on the Mphatlalatsane project in Lesotho, where she plays a coordinator role under the team leader, Marguerite Marlow.
Nomandla MhlabaData collector
Nomandla is a data collector on the BEBS study. She has a background in computer skills, and has worked on our Cape Town-based projects since 2009.
She has worked primarily for the Philani project, but more recently her expertise has been required on other projects and as a result she has assisted with data collection for the Community Cohort study and currently for the Saving Brains project. She is currently working on the BEBS project.
Tembinkosi QondelaResearch Coordinator, Eyethu Soccer Project
Tembinkosi is a research coordinator for the Soccer Project. Tembinkosi holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Adult Education and Development from the University of Cape Town.
Tembinkosi worked at the University of Cape Town as a researcher and an educator for ten years before founding Whizz ICT Centre – a community based organisation that aims to link technology to development. After working as director of the centre for 8 years, Tembinkosi joined Prevention Research, and now works as a research coordinator for the Eyethu Soccer Project.
Administration and support
Teams and Research Assistants
- Shoeshoe Mofokeng
- Malichaba Mats’umunyane
- Teboho Mokoena
- Limakatso Mofelikoane
- Thabo Makhele
- Lejone Ramokheseng
- Sebuoeng Mohale
- Neslon Tsepiso Ratsiu
- Matseliso Phetoka
- Mokhantso Mohale
- Relebohile Senokho
- Thabitha Lemphane
Eyethu TeamCape Town
- Vallery Obure
- Stephen Owino
- Winny Ochieng
- Winnie Ojiayo
- Geoffrey Otieno
- George Ochieng
- Michael Odhiambo
Peter CooperProfessor of Psychopathology
Peter Cooper is Professor of Psychopathology in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading in the UK. He is also Professor Extraordinnaire at Stellenbosch University and Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town. He was an undergraduate at the University of Cape Town, did clinical psychology training in Oxford, and holds a DPhil from Oxford. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.
Peter has carried out extensive research on postpartum depression – its nature, prevalence, course, consequences, prediction, prevention, and treatment – both in the UK and South Africa. He has also conducted research in the areas of eating disorders and child anxiety disorder. He has a particular interest in the development and evaluation of interventions, especially parenting interventions. His current work mainly concerns establishing an evidence base for a book-sharing intervention he and Lynne Murray developed and establishing protocols for its dissemination (see www.mikhulutrust.org).
Read more about Peter, here.
Lucie Cluver is a Professor of Child and Family Social Work, in the Centre for Evidence-Based Social Intervention in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, and an Honorary Lecturer in Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town. She works closely with the South African government, USAID-PEPFAR, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and Save the Children.
Lucie works with numerous private and public institutions and organisations to provide research evidence that can improve the lives of children affected by HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. Recent projects include the ‘Young Carers Study’, the world’s largest study of risk and resilience amongst AIDS-affected children, following 6000 children longitudinally in South Africa, and the ‘Orphan Resilience Study’, which was the developing world’s first longitudinal study of the impacts of AIDS-orphanhood on children, following 1000 children over four years in urban South Africa. With Prevention Research, Lucie works on the Parenting for Lifelong Health and Mphatlalatsane projects.
Alastair van Heerden
Alastair van Heerden
Ingrid le RouxFounder of Philani
Ingrid le Roux
Ingrid le Roux is the founder of Philani, She studied medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and received a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. She worked as a doctor before founding Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Project.
Aside from her work with Philani, Ingrid has taken up positions with the Department of Health, as well as Princeton University. Ingrid has received numerous awards, and published research papers in prestigious journals.
Karl le Roux
Karl le Roux
Hiltrud OttoSenior Associate
Hiltrud Otto is a child development scholar specializing in the study of cultural influences on early socio-emotional development. She received her Ph.D. in 2009 for an in depth-study on the development of attachment relationships among Cameroonian Nso farmers from the University of Osnabrueck, Germany. As a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow of the Martin Buber Society of the Humanities in Israel, she extended this line of research, collaborating in various national and international projects to promote and deepen context-informed research. In 2015/2016 she was also a visiting scholar at the City University of New York, where she is involved in the study of social cognition.
Hiltrud’s context-informed approach to child development and her observational studies contributed significantly in the field of child development. Her work encompasses the areas of developmental psychology, clinical psychology and psychological anthropology. Her findings challenge many of the underlying premises and assumptions of conventional research on the role of caregiving and its consequences for infant development. She has published extensively, and co-edited the book: Different Faces of Attachment: Cultural Variations on a Universal Human Need in 2014. Her future plans include carrying out field research in highly-adverse environments. Currently she is on maternity leave, gaining first-hand experiences as a mother.