The Governing Council of KolaDaisi University, Ibadan has approved the appointment of the pioneer Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University.

The newly appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor is Professor Olajumoke Morenikeji.

In a statement by the Secretary to the Council and Registrar of the University, Mr. Haruna Olawale Adetu the appointment is for a term of two years effective immediately.

Professor Olajumoke Abimbola Morenikeji completed her B.Sc. in Zoology at the University of Ibadan in 1990 and went on to obtain M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Zoology (Parasitology) in 1991 and 1998 respectively from the University of Ibadan.

Her doctoral research focused on the epidemiology and control of the guinea worm disease in Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State, Nigeria. Her Ph.D. research was partly supported by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). She worked in 15 villages, collaborating with WATSAN and UNICEF to facilitate the installation of boreholes for potable water in select communities. 

Additionally, she proactively addressed the issue of guinea worm spread by treating ponds in her study villages with AbateTM. This strategic intervention played a pivotal role in curbing the transmission of guinea worm, ultimately contributing to the successful eradication of the disease in her study area.

Following her doctoral studies, she was awarded a MIM/TDR postdoctoral fellowship for training at the Division of Parasitology, National Institute of Medical Research in London, as well as a TWAS-DBT postdoctoral fellowship for training at the National Institute of Malaria Research in Delhi, India. She has a Certificate in International Health Research Ethics from the Harvard School of Public Health, United States.

Prof. Morenikeji joined the service of the University of Ibadan in March 1998 and rose through the ranks to become a Professor in 2016. The major thrust of her research is epidemiology, transmission, and control of tropical parasitic diseases with special emphasis on guinea worm, malaria, schistosomiasis, helminths, and their interactions. She is applying Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing, and Nanotechnology in her studies. She is a Professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of Ibadan. She was on sabbatical and then a visiting Professor at the KolaDaisi University from March 2021 to August 2023. She was subsequently appointed Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the KolaDaisi University Ibadan.

Prof. Morenikeji is an accomplished academic with a wealth of experience and expertise. Her impressive body of work includes over 100 published papers in local and international journals and 4 books. She has obtained support, sponsorships, scholarships, fellowships, and grants from a diverse range of institutions and organizations, including but not limited to the University of Ibadan Senate, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Nigeria University Commission (NUC), the Department of Biotechnology of the Ministry of Science and Technology in India – The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS-DBT), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organisation Multilateral Initiative on Malaria and Tropical Diseases Research (MIM/TDR) Switzerland, the United States Government, the United States Consulate Lagos, Harvard School of Public Health USA, Chicago Zoological Society, North American Pangolin Consortium (NAPC), National Geographic USA, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Federal Foreign Office of the Republic of Germany, and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

She has attended and presented papers at several local and international conferences. She was the Keynote Speaker at the International Symposium by the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo United States. She was a University of Ibadan delegate at the Executive Programme on Empowering Women in Higher Education, a collaborative initiative by the NUC, and the Oxford City Academy for Education and Development (OAED) at Oxford University, UK.

She has been instrumental in the training, guidance, and successful graduation of numerous BSc, MSc, and PhD. students. She is a member of several learned societies and has undertaken several administrative responsibilities at the University of Ibadan.

Prof. Morenikeji’s leadership and dedication to the environment and biodiversity conservation have been truly exceptional. During her tenure in the office of the Director of the University of Ibadan Zoological Garden from September 2010 to July 2016, she brought about an unprecedented transformation of the zoo since its inception in 1948 – both in terms of physical and functional parameters. She received commendations from the University of Ibadan Management and several awards for her outstanding services at the zoo. She has extended her expertise to several other wildlife sanctuaries in Nigeria and has played a pivotal role in establishing and supporting other Zoological Gardens in the country.

She was a Nigerian delegate to the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP19) in Panama City. She was invited as a participant, partner, and stakeholder at the drafting and high-level validation of the Nigeria National Strategy to Combat Wildlife and Forest Crime 2022-2026 sponsored by the German government, implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) through the Federal Ministry of Environment.

Prof. Morenikeji holds the distinction of being an alumna of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), a Premier Professional Exchange Program by the U.S. Department of State. She is a Fellow Zoological Society of Nigeria (FZSN). She was the Pioneer President of the Nigerian Association of Zoological Gardens and Wildlife Parks. She chairs the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Wildlife Park and Chairs the Pangolin Conservation Guild Nigeria (PCGN). 

She is the Regional Chair (West Africa) International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission Pangolin Specialist Group.

Before she was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Morenikeji was Head of the Department of Biological Sciences, KolaDaisi University Ibadan, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences KolaDaisi University Ibadan, Editor-in-Chief of KolaDaisi Journal of Applied Science (KUJAS).

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