Dr Donna-Mareè Cawthorn

Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow

Biography

I am a food scientist working at the interface between food security, wildlife utilisation and illicit trade, with a particular passion for the fisheries and bushmeat trade. I also have a deep-seated interest in the socioeconomic and human behavioural drivers of wildlife demand and consumption, as well as the multitude of factors that threaten the sustainability of the future supply.

Hailing from South Africa, I completed my PhD at the University of Stellenbosch in 2011, focusing on the establishment of a DNA-sequence database for South African fish species, as well as the use of DNA barcoding to evaluate the extent of seafood mislabelling in the country. This work was extended during my five-year post-doctoral stint at the same university, employing various DNA-based methods to identify the species origin of domestic meats and wildlife products.

During my post-graduate studies in South Africa, I also worked as consultant food scientist and technical manager of a commercial laboratory for seven years, gaining expertise on food allergens, immunological techniques, food legislation and laboratory accreditation.

 In June 2016, I joined the Mariani Lab at the University of Salford to initiate my current project – SNAPTRACE. This project aims to enhance our understanding of the intricacies of global seafood trade and to pave the way forward for more transparent, traceable and sustainable seafood markets, using one of the world’s most highly-prized, yet misunderstood, groups of fishes as a model: the snappers, family Lutjanidae.

Teaching

None

Research Interests

Food Science

Conservation Genetics

Food Fraud | Authentication

Fisheries | Traceability | Sustainability

Wildlife trade – Legal or Illegal

Food Law | Labelling Regulations

Qualifications and Memberships

Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Environment & Life Sciences, Salford University, UK: 2016 – current.

NRF Postdoctoral Fellow, Animal Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa: 2014 – 2016.

Claude Leon Postdoctoral Fellow, Animal Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa: 2012 – 2013.

PhD Degree in Food Science, Stellenbosch University, South Africa – 2011.

MSc Degree in Food Science (cum laude), Stellenbosch University, South Africa – 2007.

BSc Degree in Food Science (cum laude), major Biochemistry, Stellenbosch University, South Africa – 2005.

Certificate in Exercise Science (cum laude), Health & Fitness Professionals Association, South Africa – 1999.

Publications

Peer-reviewed journals:

Cawthorn, D.M. & Hoffman, L.C. (2017). Deceit with decapods? Evaluating labelling accuracy of crustacean products in South Africa. Food Control, 73, 741–753.

Mariani, S., Cawthorn, D.M. & Hanner, R. (2017). Mislabeling seafood does not promote sustainability: a comment on Stawitz et al. (2016). Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12346.

Cawthorn, D.M. & Hoffman, L.C. (2016). Controversial cuisine: A global account of the demand, supply and acceptance of “unconventional” and “exotic” meats. Meat Science, 120, 19–36.

Hoffman, L.C., Geldenhuys, G. & Cawthorn, D.M. (2016). Proximate and fatty acid composition of zebra (Equus quagga burchellii) muscle and subcutaneous fat. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 96, 3922–3927.

Cawthorn, D.M. & Hoffman, L.C. (2015). The bushmeat and food security nexus: a global account of the contributions, conundrums and ethical collisions. Food Research International, 76, 906–925.

Cawthorn, D.M., Hoffman, L.C., Witthuhn, R., Duncan, J., Kastern, C., Francis, J. & Steinman, H. (2015). Harnessing the power of DNA barcoding to detect and deter fish mislabelling in South Africa. Genome, 58, 204.

Cawthorn, D.M., Duncan, J., Kastern, C., Francis, J. & Hoffman, L.C. (2015). Fish species substitution and misnaming in South Africa: an economic, safety and sustainability conundrum revisited. Food Chemistry, 185, 165–181.

Cawthorn, D.M. & Hoffman, L.C. (2014). The role of traditional and non-traditional meat animals in feeding a growing and evolving world. Animal Frontiers, 4, 6–12.

Cawthorn, D.M., Steinman, H.A. & Hoffman, L.C. (2014). Reply to FD Mellett's comments to article: A high incidence of species substitution and mislabelling detected in meat products sold in South Africa. Food Control, 37, 415–416.

Cawthorn, D.M., Steinman, H.A. & Hoffman, L.C. (2013). A high incidence of species substitution and mislabelling detected in meat products in South Africa. Food Control, 32, 440–449.

Hoffman, L.C. & Cawthorn, D.M. (2013). Exotic protein sources to meet all needs. Meat Science, 95, 764–771.

Bosch, A.C., Sigge, G.O., Kerwath, S.E., Cawthorn, D.M. & Hoffman, L.C. (2013). The effects of gender, size and life-cycle stage on the chemical composition of smoothhound shark (Mustelus mustelus) meat. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 93, 2384–2392.

Hoffman, L.C. & Cawthorn, D.M. (2012). What is the role and contribution of meat from wildlife in providing high quality protein for consumption? Animal Frontiers, 2, 40–53.

Cawthorn, D.M., Steinman, H.A. & Witthuhn, R.C. (2012). Evaluation of the 16S and 12S rRNA genes as universal markers for the identification of commercial fish species in South Africa. Gene, 491, 40–48.

Cawthorn, D.M., Steinman, H.A. & Witthuhn, R.C. (2012). DNA barcoding reveals a high incidence of fish species misrepresentation and substitution on the South African market. Food Research International, 46, 30–40.

Strydom, A., Cawthorn, D.M., Cameron, M. & Witthuhn, R.C. (2012). Species of Cronobacter: a review of recent advances in the genus and their significance in infant formula milk. International Dairy Journal, 27, 3–12.

Cawthorn, D.M., Steinman, H.A. & Witthuhn, R.C. (2011). Evaluating the availability of fish species on the South African market and the factors undermining sustainability and consumer choice. Food Control, 22, 1748–1759.

Cawthorn, D.M., Steinman, H.A. & Witthuhn, R.C. (2011). Comparative study of different methods for the extraction of DNA from fish species commercially available in South Africa, Food Control, 22, 231–244.

Cawthorn, D.M., Steinman, H.A. & Witthuhn, R.C. (2011). Establishment of a mitochondrial DNA sequence database for identification of fish species commercially available in South Africa. Molecular Ecology Resources, 11, 979–991.

Mofokeng, L., Cawthorn, D.M., Witthuhn, R.C., Anelich, L.E.C.M. & Jooste, P.J. (2011). Characterization of Cronobacter species (Enterobacter sakazakii) isolated from various South African food sources. Journal of Food Safety, 31, 98–107.

Cawthorn, D.M., Steinman, H.A. & Witthuhn, R.C. (2010). Wheat and gluten in South African food products. Food and Agricultural Immunology, 21, 91–102.

Cawthorn, D.M. & Witthuhn, R.C. (2008). Selective PCR detection of viable Enterobacter sakazakii cells utilizing propidium monoazide or ethidium bromide monoazide. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 105, 1178–1185.

Cawthorn, D.M., Botha, S. & Witthuhn, R.C. (2008). Evaluation of different methods for the detection and identification of Enterobacter sakazakii isolated from South African infant formula milks and the processing environment. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 127, 129–138.

Theses:

Cawthorn, D.M. (2011). “Development of a genetic database and molecular methods for the identification of commercial fish species in South Africa”. PhD Thesis, Dept. of Food Sciences, Stellenbosch University.

Cawthorn, D.M. (2007). “Detection, identification and live/dead differentiation of the emerging pathogen Enterobacter sakazakii from infant formula milk and the processing environment”. MSc Thesis, Dept. of Food Sciences, Stellenbosch University.

Book chapters:

Hofherr, J., Martinsohn, J., Cawthorn, D., Rasco, B. & Naaum, A.M. (2016). Regulatory Frameworks for Seafood Authenticity and Traceability. In: A.M. Naaum & R. Hanner (Eds.). Seafood Authenticity and Traceability: A DNA-based Perspective. London: Academic Press.

Hoffman, L.C. & Cawthorn, D.M. (2014). Meat, Animal and Fish Production and Management: Exotic and other species. In: C. Devine & M. Dikeman (Eds). Encyclopedia of Meat Sciences, 2nd ed, Vol. 2, pp. 190–198. Oxford: Elsevier.

Hoffman, L.C. & Cawthorn, D.M. (2014). Species of Meat Animals: Game and Exotic Animals. In: C. Devine & M. Dikeman (Eds). Encyclopedia of Meat Sciences, 2nd ed, Vol. 3, pp. 345–356. Oxford: Elsevier.

Published Conference Proceedings:

Hoffman, L.C. & Cawthorn, D.M. (2012). Consumer Preferences in Meat. Proceeding of the 2nd International Seminar on Animal Industry - Jakarta, 5–6 July 2012. ISBN: 978-602-96530-1-4.

Published Technical Reports:

Burgener, M., Kastern, C., Duncan, J., Barendse, J., McLean, B., Cawthorn, D.M., Okes, N. (2014). From Boat to Plate: Linking the Seafood Consumer and Supply Chain. WWF/TRAFFIC Technical Report. http://awsassets.wwf.org.za/downloads/wwfsassi_boattoplate_web.pdf