Palesa Phooko graduated with a B.Sc. and B.Sc. Honours (Chemistry) from NUL in 1999 and 2000 respectively. She then worked as a temporary Laboratory Demonstrator during Pre Entry Science Programme (1999-2000). From 2000, she was engaged as Laboratory Demonstrator in the Chemistry Department. In 2009 to 2011 she registered for M.Sc. in Chemistry at NUL. Her research focused on the synthesis of Ruthenium complexes, their characterization and applications. She studied applications of other spectroscopic techniques and was then employed as a lecturer in Physical Chemistry.
Palesa’s research interests centre on material science and spectroscopy. Molecular and Atomic spectroscopic techniques for quantitative and qualitative determination of substances come in very handy in pursuing this line of research. Currently, she is working on determination of Na+ in commercial potato chips using spectroscopy. Besides the academic life, she is a highly motivated individual who likes to participate and learn more in policy making.
She is interested in leading projects that advocate for using science to alleviate poverty, one being a project on the Artificial sand production from Lekokoaneng Clarens formation sandstone. Artificial sand is a substance of similar composition to natural sand used in concrete and mortar making.