Meet the Team

The DNA Project is extremely fortunate to have a team of highly qualified and incredibly passionate and capable people working with it. Our DNA Awareness Trainers are based in all the major provinces in South Africa.

Vanessa Lynch – Western Cape

(Founder & Executive Director)

Vanessa Lynch is the founding member of the DNA Project, and has been with the organisation since August 2004. She qualified as an attorney from The University of Cape Town in 1993 and after completing her articles, she worked as a Commercial Attorney in London. On returning from London in 1998, she entered the Corporate World and worked as the Legal Advisor in Smart Card Company which she helped to set up. She left this position in 2005, in order to undertake the DNA Project on a full-time basis. She works on a daily basis from her office in Cape Town and frequently travels to Johannesburg and Pretoria to attend meetings, workshops, presentations and congresses.

Carolyn Hancock – KwaZulu-Natal


Carolyn studied at the University of KwaZulu-Natal where she obtained a B.Sc. Agriculture degree, followed by a Masters and Ph.D. in Genetics. In 2007 she joined the DNA Project and is now a Director of this non-profit organization, the aim of which is to facilitate the expansion of the South African National Criminal Intelligence DNA Database. She has been primarily concerned with the development and implementation of a post-graduate qualification in Forensic Biology. More recently she has worked extensively on the DNA Project’s nationwide DNA awareness campaign.

Maya Moodley – Western Cape

Maya Moodley

(National DNA Awareness Workshop Co-ordinator)

Maya is based at our Cape Town office where she co-ordinates and schedules all of the DNA awareness and Train the Trainer workshops throughout South Africa. Maya is also responsible for the national distribution of all of our DNA awareness materials and is an invaluable member of the DNA Project team.

Renate Rebello – Western Cape


Renate earned her National Diploma in Human Genetics at WITS Technikon in 1986 and earned a GIBio in Applied Cell and Molecular Biology at Surrey University in the United Kingdom in 1991. Subsequently, in 1997, she earned a Ph.D in Molecular Biology at the University of London. She is currently an educational consultant. Renate conducts many DNA awareness workshops in the Western Cape for the DNA Project and also helped to prepare some of the course material for the forensic honours degree.

Valerie Corfield – Western Cape


Valerie Corfield is a medical scientist and Associate Professor at the University of Stellenbosch, where she has worked for 25 years. She holds a BSc Honours degree from the University of Bristol (UK), an MSc from Wright State University (USA) and a PhD from Wits University (SA). Her academic career spans five decades, three continents and the three main branches of life, bacteria, plants and animals (human) – causing her to describe herself as the person who knows the least about the most! Now that she is ‘semi-retired’, she has more time to indulge in her scientific hobby which is giving talks and developing and presenting interactive workshops and exhibits which engage the general public, of all ages, in a greater appreciation of science, medicine and technology, as well as their societal implications.

Grant Godsmark – Western Cape

Grant Godsmark


Grant is currently based in the Western Cape. Grant received a B.Sc. in genetics and microbiology and a Med Hons in Human Genetics. He is currently doing his MSc (Med) at UCT in the Department of Haematology.

Grant is passionate about using DNA forensics to benefit and improve the crime situation in South Africa. He joined The DNA Project at the beginning of 2011.

Anthony (‘Tony’) Lelliott – Gauteng



Based in Gauteng, Tony has BSc Hons and Masters degrees from the University of Durham, UK, and a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand. He worked in teacher education in Botswana in the 1980s and 90s, and joined the Wits School of Education in 1995. Currently he is Associate Professor in the Marang Centre for Maths and Science Education at Wits. His research interests are science communication, informal learning in science as well as biotechnology and astronomy education. He supervises PhD, Masters and Honours students and teaches on various courses in science education (including biotechnology) at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

David Swanepoel – Gauteng

David Swanepoel


David received a B.Sc. Molecular and Cellular Biology in the fields of Genetics and Biochemistry from WITS followed by a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. He currently works as a Human Identification Specialist for Lancet Laboratories and is involved with the processing and analysis of samples for parentage determination, kinship analysis and identifications for private, forensic or missing persons cases. David’s forensic interests also extend to the legal sphere as he is associated with the use of forensics in assisting to solve cases. He is keen to further his studies in law and use that knowledge, together with his scientific skills and understanding to assist the South African forensic community to make sound and top-class policy decisions to expand and further the use of forensic science in South Africa.


Tanya Mottalini – Gauteng


Tanya is a trainer based in Pretoria. She studied at the Pretoria Technikon pursuing Medical Technology, later obtaining her Master’s Degree (M. Tech:  Biomedical Technology).  Majoring in medical microbiology, she worked in the Medical Microbiology Department, Institute of Pathology, University of Pretoria for eight years prior to moving to the forensic DNA field.  She worked in the SAPS Biology Unit, Forensic Science Laboratory eleven and a half years before venturing out by herself.  Using her knowledge, skills and experience Forensic Blueprints was started, specializing in forensic DNA training and consulting.

Rhys Mccoll – KwaZulu-Natal


Rhys Mccoll

Rhys joined the DNA Project at the beginning of 2012. Rhys completed his BSc honours degree in Biochemistry specialising in muscle stem cells in 2011 at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Rhys completed his MSc degree in biochemistry at UKZN in 2013. Rhys says that he believes that working with the DNA Project will allow him to truly make a difference in our country.

Lee Ah Kun – Eastern Cape

Lee Ah Kun


Lee joined the DNA Project as their Eastern Cape trainer in March 2012 and is based in Port Elizabeth. He received his diploma in Advanced Criminology for Counsellors in 2006 and completed his BA Criminology degree (UNISA) in 2013.

“It’s a real pleasure being part of such a dedicated organisation like the DNA Project and feel honoured helping them make a difference as one of their trainers.”

Kusha Kalideen – Western Cape & Gauteng

Kusha Kalideen


Kusha is currently finishing her PhD at UCT, but in her spare time she volunteers for The DNA Project. She says she believes in the cause wholeheartedly will be a constructive front against crime but also to educate people in the “non-scariness” and value of DNA and genetics.