Dr Laurencia Govender


Lecturer and Doctor


PhD Dietetics
MSc Dietetics
PgDip Dietetics
BSc Dietetics

Office Block:

Room B7C

Rabie Saunders Building

Agriculture Campus







+27 (0)33 260 6154

+27 (0)33 260 6270



Biographical Sketch

Laurencia Govender is a registered dietitian, who obtained her BSc Dietetics, PgDip Dietetics, MSc Dietetics (summa cum laude) and PhD Dietetics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). She is a Nutrition Lecturer in the Dietetics and Human Nutrition department at UKZN. Prior to taking up employment at UKZN, she had been working for the Department of Health as a Clinical Dietitian at Edendale Hospital and was an accredited training dietitian for the fourth year UKZN dietetic students for six years. Her research focuses on food-based nutrition interventions to reduce both over- and undernutrition particularly in rural population groups of KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa (SA). She has a passion for both community and clinical nutrition.

Academic Profile


Professional Activities

  • Member of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)
  • Member of the Association of Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA)
  • Member of the South African Society for Parental and Enteral Nutrition (SASPEN)

Current Teaching / Courses

  • Community Nutrition Level 3 (NUTR 343)
  • Nutrition and Communication (NUTR 342)
  • Research project in Nutrition (DIET 420)

Research Interests / Areas of Specialty

  • Research interests include public health, infant and young child nutrition, clinical nutrition, food security and the potential of provitamin A-biofortified and underutilised crops in alleviating malnutrition.

Research Projects

  • PhD research investigated the potential of provitamin A-biofortified maize and sweet potato, and bambara groundnut for improving the nutritional status of rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

  • Masters research looked at the nutritional composition and acceptance of a complementary food made with provitamin A-biofortified maize.

Publications (Recent)

  • Siwela M, Pillay K, Govender L, Lottering S, Mudau FN, Modi AT, Mabhaudhi T (2020). Biofortified Crops for Combating Hidden Hunger in South Africa: Availability, Acceptability, Micronutrient Retention and Bioavailability. Foods 9(6): 815.

  • Govender L, Pillay K, Siwela M, Modi AT, Mabhaudhi T (2019). Improving the dietary vitamin A content of rural communities in South Africa by replacing non-biofortified white maize and sweet potato with biofortified maize and sweet potato in traditional dishes. Nutrients 11:1198; doi:10.3390/nu11061198.

  • Govender L, Pillay K, Siwela M, Modi AT, Mabhaudhi T (2019). Consumer perceptions and acceptability of traditional dishes prepared with provitamin A-biofortified maize and sweet potato. Nutrients 11:1577; doi:10.3390/nu11071577.

  • Mabhaudhi T, Chibarabada TP, Chimonyo VGP, Murugani VG, Pereira LM, Sobratee N, Govender L, Slotow R, Modi AT (2019). Mainstreaming Underutilized Indigenous and Traditional Crops into Food Systems: A South African Perspective. Sustainability 11 (172): doi:10.3390/su11010172.

  • Govender L, Pillay K, Siwela M, Modi A, Mabhaudhi T (2017). Food and nutrition insecurity in selected rural communities of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa-linking human nutrition and agriculture. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. doi:10.3990/ijerph 14010017.

  • Govender L, Pillay K, Derera J, Siwela M (2014). Acceptance of a complementary food prepared with yellow, provitamin A-biofortified maize, by black caregivers in rural KwaZulu-Natal. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition 27 (4): 217-221.

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