Dr Dilys Berman

aerobiologist

EDUCATION

PhD (UCT)
Diplomas in Pathology,
Microbiology, Virology &
Food Technology

I have an abiding interest in environmental allergens and botany, and I enjoy walking in and around Cape Town and the Cederberg to compare flowering plants with the findings of my air samples. I especially enjoy developing new methods to identify parasites, pollen, fungal spores and food adulterants using a light microscope.

EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS

  • Allergy laboratory research
  • Microscopy of air, dust and food samples
  • Herb and spice authenticity
  • Writing and reviewing of journal articles
  • Pollen analysis of honey samples

BIOGRAPHY

Dilys began her career as a student medical technologist at Groote Schuur Hospital, where she gained diplomas in clinical pathology, microbiology and virology. She completed a diploma course in food technology at what was then the Cape Technikon, before going on to work in the research laboratories at Red Cross Children s Hospital, where she managed diagnostic and research allergy investigations for 27 years.

She is now an independent consultant and currently analyses air samples, identifying aeroallergens for the Allergy Immunology Department at the UCT Lung Institute, and using a light microscope to produce the daily pollen count for Cape Town.

At FACTS she investigates the authenticity of herbs and spices and some ground food products; again, using a light microscope with polarised light, and producing photomicrographs of the typical features of the test substances or of any adulterants that are found. She contributes regularly to journals, educational websites and newsletters, with a focus on asthma and allergy education, and reviews articles for local and international journals.

In her spare time Dilys relaxes by walking, paddling and enjoying the beautiful veld flowers of the Cedarberg.

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