Bachelor of Science in Botany with honours, University Stellenbosch, South Africa, 1960. Master of Science in Botany, University Stellenbosch, South Africa, 1964. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany, University Natal, South Africa, 1970.
Lecturer University College Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa, 1962—1966, University Stellenbosch, 1965. From lecturer to ad hominem professor University Natal, South Africa, 1967—1986, professor South Africa, 1987. Professor, head botany University Kwazulu-Natal, Scottsville, South Africa, 1987—1998, professor, director Research Centre Plant Growth and Development South Africa, 1999—2003, director South Africa, since 2004.
Visiting lecturer National Australian University, Canberra, 1981.
Fellow: Royal Society South Africa (council member since 2004). Member: World Innovation Foundation, South African Weed Science Society, Society Medical Plant Research, Scandinavian Society Plant Physiology, Professional Advisory Committee Botanical Sciences, Japanese Society Plant Physiology, Japanese Society Plant Physiology, International Working Group Flowering, International Protea Association (honorary), South African Association Botanists (honorary. Vice president 2000-2001, president 2002), International Society Plant Molecular Biology, International Society Ethnopharmacology, International Association Plant Tissue Culturists, Electron Microscopy Society Southern Africa, American Society Plant Physiologists, Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, Academy of Sciences South Africa.
Son of Gabriel Frederick van Staden and Maria Elizabeth Oosthuizen. Married Frances Louise van Staden, December 16, 1964. Children: Louise Frances, Ernesta Maria, Maryna, Karen Elizabeth.