Riana Bornman completed the degree in Medicine at the University of the Pretoria (UP) in 1973; DSc at UP in 1983 and MD at the former University of the Orange Free State, Bloemfontein in 1987. She is currently Extra-Ordinary Professor in Andrology, Department of Urology at the Faculty of Health Sciences, UP.
From basic scientific research in human male reproductive health (Andrology) her interest expanded to include animals and wildlife as possible biosentinel species on order to define health sequelae of environmental pollution and ultimately come up with strategies to mitigate human health problems. Since 2002 her Public Health focus has been on health effects in malarial areas where insecticides, including DDT - a known endocrine disrupter and toxicant - are applied for mosquito vector control with inadvertent exposure of humans and the environment.
She has done extensive research in communities of the Vhembe District, Limpopo Province through local VhaVenda women who were specifically trained for recruitment and data collection in a mutually beneficial partnership between research staff and study villages. This partnership makes it possible to collect high quality data and publish in high impact journals, whilst empowering women for remote rural areas to make a difference for their communities.
She is an NRF C1-rated researcher, member of the UP Centre for Sustainable Malaria Vector Control (UPCSMC) and served on several World Health Organisation committees. Scientific data from human and environmental studies in Vhembe were incorporated in the WHO DDT Health Risk Assessment (2011).
She has compiled various reports for the Water Research Commission on endocrine disrupters, DDT and human and environmental health effects. She has more than 180 publications in local and international peer reviewed journals, and has presented her work at many local and international conferences. Most recently she served on the expert panel that compiled “The State of the Science on EDC 2012” for The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Bornman MS, Barnhoorn IEJ, Dreyer L, de Jager C, Veeramachaneni DNR. Neoplastic lesions of the rete testis and seminiferous epithelial degeneration including microlithiasis in the common eland (Tragelaphus oryx): coincidence with fat residues of nonylphenol. Environmental Research 2010, 100(4):327-333
Bornman MS, Barnhoorn IEJ, de Jager C, Veeramachaneni DNR. Testicular microlithiasis and neoplastic lesions in wild eland (Tragelaphus oryx): Possible effects of exposure to environmental pollutants? Environmental Research 2010, 110(4):327-333