Prof. Priscilla Baker

Senior Professor with SARChI (Tier 2)

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Science


  • BSc (University of Cape Town),
  • National Diploma Analytical Chemistry (Cape Peninsula University of Technology),
  • BSc Hons (University of the Western Cape),
  • MSc Chemistry, (University of the Western Cape),
  • PhD Chemistry (University of Stellenbosch)

Tel:  +27 21 959 3051 / Fax:   +27 21 959 3055


Analytical chemistry, electrochemistry, environmental science, materials engineering, material science, nanomaterials, nanoscience, pharmaceutics and sensors for priority and emerging pollutants

Trending research

The ubiquitous use of pharmaceuticals, both prescribed and over the counter, has resulted in continuous discharge of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites into wastewater. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified pharmaceuticals in drinking-water as an “emerging issue” which requires constant monitoring and re-assessment of guidelines for safe water use.   The use of electrochemical sensors as sensitive and selective analytical tools, has been established unequivocally for the evaluation and monitoring of analyte species in the environment, in food, in water and the health industry. Semi-conductive polymers and polymer composites may be readily synthesised as electrochemical transducers onto screen-printed electrodes in the design of highly specific and sensitive analytical devices, that are capable of multi-element analysis, are cost effective and remotely deployable for species evaluation and quantitative analysis. The primary focus of the SARChI chair in Analytical Systems and Processes for Priority and Emerging Contaminants (ASPPEC) is the integrated application of analytical tools and technology to develop early warning systems for trace-level detection and quantification of critical contaminants. These systems are primarily electrochemically driven, but draw on a wide range of supporting analytical techniques and energy sources for feasible outcomes.  In a revolutionary partnership with University Cergy-Pontoise (Paris, France), Baker is Co-director of the first International Associated Laboratory (IAL) established between SensorLab (UWC) and an esteemed external research, teaching and training laboratory.  Baker was appointed as Fellow in Residence on the Paris-Seine Initiative for Excellence (March-June 2020) to cement this partnership, which will offer internationalisation opportunities for many researchers and students alike. The IAL will pursue the synergy of new and renewable energy sources as a complement for sensor operations in the greater scheme of the Internet of Things.

Orcid, Scopus, Wikipedia, YouTube and Kuier Magazine




YouTube (National Science Week, 2017):

Kuier Magazine:

Article (in Afrikaans), 8 October 2014, pp. 28-29.

Awards and recognition

2020-2024:   Co-director: International Associated Laboratory – SENERGYLAB (France/South Africa international partnership)[1]

2020:  Fellow in Residence: Paris-Seine Initiative for Excellence, 1 March 2020 - 30 June 2020[2-3]

2019- present:   Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK)[4]

2018-2023:  NRF/DST South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) Chair, Analytical Systems and Processes for Priority and Emerging Contaminants (ASPPEC)

2018- present:  Fellow of the African Academy of Science (AAS)[5]

2018- present:  Honorary Member of the Golden Key International Honour Society[6]

2018- present:  NRF C2-rated researcher[7]

2017-2021:  Regional Representative South Africa and Africa, International society of Electrochemistry (ISE), Switzerland[8]

2017-2019:   Director, South African Systems Analysis Centre (SASAC)[9]

2016-2018    Regional Representative for South Africa, International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE)

2015-present:   Member of the Academy of Science South Africa (ASSAf)[10]

2015-2017:  Vice-chairperson: Analytical Division, International Society for Electrochemistry (ISE)

2014:   Winner of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Young Researcher Award, University of the Western Cape

2014:  Winner of the Distinguished Woman Scientist Award in the category of Physical and Engineering Sciences, Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of South Africa, 15 August 2014[11-14]

2013-2019:   Visiting Scholar, CY University Cergy-Pontoise, France[15]

2013-2016:    Deputy-chair, Division 1 (Analytical Electrochemistry), International Society for Electrochemistry (ISE)

2007-2018:   Council member, South African Chemical Institute (SACI)

2006-2018:   Chairperson: Electrochemistry Division of the South African Chemical Institute (SACI)

2006-2018:    Member of South African Chemical Institute (SACI) Council

2005-present:  Member of South African Chemical Institute (SACI)

Selected journal publications

  1. Farao, A.C., Ayaji, R.F., Ward, M. and Baker, P.G., 2020. Metallated Schiff-Base Macromolecules as Alternative Metalloprotein Electron Transfer Intermediates. Journal of Surface Engineered Materials and Advanced Technology, 10(2), pp.34-54.
  2. Fuku, X., Baker, P. and Iwuoha, E., 2020. Influence of Quantum Dot Surface on Electrochemical DNA Sensing Mechanism. ChemElectroChem, 7(3), pp.770-781.
  3. Muya, F.N., Baker, P.G. and Iwuoha, E.I., 2020. Polysulfone Hydrogel Nanocomposite Alkaline Phosphatase Biosensor for the Detection of Vanadium. Electrocatalysis, pp.1-9.
  4. Nkabiti, L.L. and Baker, P.G.L., 2020. Earth Abundant Metals as Cost Effective Alternatives in Photocatalytic Applications: A Review. In Advanced Materials Research(Vol. 1158, pp. 133-146). Trans Tech Publications Ltd.
  5. Ngema, X.T., Baker, P., Ajayi, F., Aubert, P.H. and Banet, P., 2020. Polyamic acid (PAA) immobilized on glassy carbon electrode (GCE) as an electrochemical platform for the sensing of tuberculosis (TB) antibodies and hydrogen peroxide determination. Analytical Letters, 53(1), pp.1-20.
  6. Phelane, L., Gouveia-Caridade, C., Barsan, M.M., Baker, P.G., Brett, C.M. and Iwuoha, E.I., 2020. Electrochemical Determination of Tyrosine using a Novel Tyrosinase Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube (MWCNT) Polysulfone Modified Glassy Carbon Electrode (GCE). Analytical Letters, 53(2), pp.308-321.
  7. Mekassa, B., Baker, P.G., Chandravanshi, B.S. and Tessema, M., 2019. Sensitive electrochemical determination of ethambutol in pharmaceutical formulation and human urine at nickel nanoparticles/electrochemically reduced graphene oxide modified electrode. Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia33(2), pp.215-228.
  8. Mekassa, B., Baker, P.G., Chandravanshi, B.S. and Tessema, M., 2018. Synthesis, characterization, and preparation of nickel nanoparticles decorated electrochemically reduced graphene oxide modified electrode for electrochemical sensing of diclofenac. Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry22(11), pp.3607-3619.
  9. Hamnca, S., Phelane, L., Iwuoha, E. and Baker, P., 2017. Electrochemical determination of neomycin and norfloxacin at a novel polymer nanocomposite electrode in aqueous solution. Analytical Letters50(12), pp.1887-1896.


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