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PERSONALITY OF THE WEEK: The Iseyin Born Professor Who Was Recently Recognized as the ‘Scientist of the Year 2020’ Clocks 50


Professor Olanike Kudirat Adeyemo, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnership), University of Ibadan, Ibadan under the leadership of Prof. Idowu Olayinka as the Vice-Chancellor hailed from Iseyin, Oyo State.

Prof. Olanike is a lecturer in the Department of Veterinary Public Health and Prevention Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, where she had served on 25 Boards and Committees before she rose to be the Pioneer DVC research.

She is the first female Nigerian veterinarian to become a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science and the African Academy of Science.

In 2020, she was recognized as Scientist of the Year in the “Natural Sciences category” of the Open International Competition by the International Achievements Research Center, Chicago, IL, USA.

Mr. Adebayo Adeniyi Samuel, the official photographer of the institution described her as a wonderful woman who has changed the mindset of many from being the normal civil servant practice within the University community.

In his words, he said “She was behind the rebirth of Univerisity of Ibadan Social Media page, she has been the source of encouragement to younger ones both in academic and nonteaching. She resuscitated the career fair that has gone for many decades ago in the history of the institution.”

According to him, Prof. Adeyemo in spite of her busy schedule is a very supportive and reliable individual who always stands by her words. It is no doubt that her indefatigable efforts got her the assignment given by the Vice Chancellor to Chair the Research Development (RESDEV) Committee in 2016 before her appointment as DVC RISP in 2017.

Mr. Samuel congratulated Professor Adeyemo as she clocks fifty and prayed that God continues to keep her safe for good. He also wished that God grant her long life in good health to witness more of this day.


Background and Educational Development

Professor Olanike Adeyemo was born at Ibadan on 17th July 1970, to the family of the late Alhaji Moshood Akanni Salami, Baale Ladogan of Iseyin, Oyo State and Madam Modupeola Aduke Salami of Ile-lemikan/Ile-Loosare, Igbajo, Osun State. She started her primary education at LEA Primary School, Kigo Road, Kaduna from 1975 to 1978 and later attended CAC Primary School, Sango, Ibadan, from 1979 to 1981.

Her Secondary School education was at Anwar-Ul-Islam Grammar School (formerly Ahmadiyya Grammar School), Eleyele, Ibadan where she completed her West African Secondary School leaving Certificate in 1986. She had a brief stint of Advanced Level studies at St. Annes School, Molete before she entered the University of Ibadan during the 1987/88 session to study Veterinary Medicine.

She undertook the National Youth Service Corps Scheme from June 1994 till May 1995 as a Veterinary Officer with the Safana Local Government Area, Safana, Katsina State.

Prof. Adeyemo had her postgraduate trainings (MVPH and Ph.D.) at the University of Ibadan. In addition, She received the following leadership and professional development trainings and fellowships:
National and international leadership training spanning over a period of two years by the Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) International, London, the world’s largest non-profit organisation dedicated to building leadership capacity for sustainable development.
CGIAR Women’s Leadership and Management Development Course.
International Post-Graduate Course on Aquaculture: Production and Management, Rehovot, Israel.
USDA/USAID Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program for African Women in Science, University of Florida, USA.
African Nutrition Leadership Program (ANLP), organized by North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Professional Academic Career

Professor Olanike Adeyemo was employed as Lecturer Grade II in the Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine on March 15, 1999. She rose rapidly through the ranks being promoted to the grade of Lecturer I in 2002, Senior Lecturer in 2005, Reader in 2008 and Professor effective 1st October 2011. Within the University she has served on 25 Boards and Committees, to date. Most significantly, as sub-Dean (Postgraduate), 2009-2013, Chairman, UI Research & Development Fair (2016-2019), Head of Department (2016-2017) and Pioneer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships), 2017-date. She has 110 publications: including chapters in books, journal articles, conference proceedings, technical reports and monographs. She has supervised 28 DVM, 22 postgraduate students (MVPH and PhD), and she is currently supervising 12 postgraduate students. She has obtained funding /awards towards research and professional development from several organizations, including MASHAV, Israel (2005), START/PACOM, USA (2006), USDA/USAID, USA (2006), USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service, USA (2008), NUFFIC Fellowship Program Grant, Netherlands (2009), IFS, Sweden (2010-2012) and Schlumberger Foundation, USA (2013-2015). The most recent (2020) grant is a USD 625,045.00 USAID grant for a project titled “Improving Biosecurity: A Science-based Approach to Manage Fish Disease Risks and Increase the Socio-economic Contribution of the Nigerian Catfish and Tilapia Industries”. The goal of the project is therefore, to improve aquatic animal biosecurity and health management in the Nigerian aquaculture sector, using a science-based approach with cutting edge scientific and digital tools. Professor Olanike Adeyemo is the Principal Investigator in Nigeria on the project, which will be executed in partnership with WorldFish, Malaysia and Mississippi State University, Mississippi, USA.
In 2011, Professor Adeyemo was appointed an epidemiological and toxicological expert on the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on food additives, contaminants, natural toxins, and residues of Veterinary drugs (2011-2015, 2016-2021). She was invited to join the Expert Committee on Science Advise in Africa; a project commissioned by the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) and executed by Nigerian Academy of Science (2019).

Professor Adeyemo was also invited to join the Expert Group of the High-Level Panel on Building a Sustainable Ocean Economy (2019). The high-level panel was established with the aim of developing, catalyzing, and supporting solutions for ocean health and wealth in policy, governance, technology and finance. The Panel consists of fourteen Heads of Government from Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Namibia, Norway, Mexico, Palau, and Portugal, with support from the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean. The deliberations, work and operations of the High-Level Panel are being supported by a Secretariat that is led by World Resources Institute.

She is a Member, the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Independent Expert Committee (IEC) in Earth, Astronomy and Space Sciences (2020).

Achievements in Leadership roles in the Academe
As part of efforts to promote the spirit of enquiry, research and discovery, and contribute to local and global development through creativity and innovation, the Senate of the University of Ibadan approved the establishment of the University of Ibadan Research and Development Fair (UIRESDEV) Committee and Prof Adeyemo was appointed the pioneer Chairperson in 2015. Under her leadership, the committee has been executing its set objectives commendably including managing of budgets and allocating of funds to sub-committees, effective execution of projects, monitoring and accountability. The inaugural Town meets Gown research fair held under my leadership from 9th-10th November 2016 and subsequently successfully on 8th and 9th November 2017, 6th and 7th November 2018, 5th, and 6th November 2019.

Professor Adeyemo resumed as the Pioneer Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships) of the University of Ibadan on March 13th, 2017. The establishment of this position is premised on the increasing need for the University of Ibadan to enhance its international profile and visibility, establish strategic partnerships with world-class institutions across the diverse sectors of society and innovatively seek new ways of enhancing its revenue generation. She has successfully fostered partnerships/linkages between University of Ibadan, Industrial, Governmental, and International organizations to date. One of the notable Academia-Industry partnership is between University of Ibadan (UI) and First Bank Nigeria Limited (FBN); designed to aid the recruitment, application, and networking processes, the jointly organized Career Fair and training expos is an ingenious way to meet the needs of both employers and potential employees (our students). The first ever Career Fair featured 35 potential employers across different disciplines and major Human Resource Consulting Companies, the programme held on 6th November 2018. Based on a 3-year Memorandum of understanding between UI and FBN, the 2nd edition held on 28th November 2019.

She has also facilitated the revision and implementation of the University Research Policy and Research Management Office’s Structure and Operations. Other intervention include training and retraining of research administrators internally and externally on the University Administration Support Program (UASP) Fellowships in Research Management through partnership with IREX, Washington DC, USA. These culminated in the award of a grant targeted at building an effective centralized interactive electronic database of research administration in the University of Ibadan. Professor Adeyemo has rigorously improved visibility of research output and both the quantum of grant application and success at the University of Ibadan; thereby improving the webometric and Times Higher Education rankings of the University of Ibadan since assumption of office. Other achievements in her role as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships) in the last 3 years are available on request.

Board Positions and other Leadership Roles
Professor Adeyemo is the Chairman, Board of Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies (2017-date), Chairman, Board of Centre for Sustainable Development (2017-date). She is a member of the Governing Council of University of Ibadan (2017 till date), the First Technical University, Ibadan (2018 till date) She has served on the nomination panel of Eisenhower Fellowships, USA since 2010 till date; she is a member, Board of University of Ibadan Research Foundation (2017 to date). Professor Adeyemo is an invited member, The Boardroom Africa (2019 till date). She is a Board member, FAME INITIATIVE, an NGO which organizes value driven class-based leadership and civic engagement program for under-served teenagers in secondary schools (2018 till date). Council Member (Representative, Biological Sciences), Nigerian Academy of Science (2020-2022).

she has also served regionally and internationally, for example, as a reviewer to 22 internationally recognized learned journals (2003 to date), Executive member, of the Global Young Academy (2013), member, African Academy of Sciences’ Commission on Women in Science in Africa (2014-date), member, Mauritius Declaration on Ocean Sciences (2016).

Service to Oyo and Osun States
Professor Olanike Adeyemo has shown and sustained an uncanny love and strong commitment to the overall development (socio-economic, political, spiritual and religious) of those around her, her home towns (Iseyin, Igbajo and Ibadan-by marriage), her home states, (Oyo and Osun States) and Nigeria as a whole.

In the area of service to Oyo State, in recognition of her astute leadership and achievements, she was in June 2018 appointed to the foundation Governing Council the First Technical University, Ibadan. She was appointed to lead the COVID-19 Decontamination and Containment Team of Oyo State; she also served as a consultant to the Osun State Government. The team is successfully providing leadership for decontamination protocols and guidelines for the containment of COVID-19 in Oyo State; The decontamination protocol can be downloaded at https://covid19.oyostate.gov.ng/,
While the stepwise procedure fliers are downloadable as follows:
English (https://covid19.oyostate.gov.ng/English.pdf).
Yoruba (https://covid19.oyostate.gov.ng/Yoruba.pdf).

An advisory booklet was prepared to provide information, practical measures and guidance required for reducing the possibility of spread of COVID-19 in the process of engaging in daily activities in Oyo State post lockdown. This is to guide operation of and interaction in public access premises like banks, schools, offices, shopping malls, restaurants, markets, churches and mosques with heavy human traffic and crowding which requires careful management to ensure that a new wave of infection is not triggered. The guideline is downloadable from the following link:

Philanthropy and Community Service
She makes philanthropic contributions to National Development through membership of Zonta International club. Members of Zonta International work at the international, national and local levels to realize Zonta’s vision of a world in which women’s rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential, where women have access to all resources and are represented in decision-making positions on an equal basis with men, and where no woman lives in fear of violence.

I board member of Fame Initiatives and participate in the activities of the fame Initiative, which organizes value driven class-based leadership and civic engagement program for underserved teenagers in secondary schools. The Fame Initiatives provide the next generation of leaders with inclusive and equitable quality leadership education by improving learning outcomes for young people whilst supporting their personal and professional development. (http://thefameinitiative.org/fashioned-and-made-for-excellence-foundation-board/).

Network in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America
Professor Adeyemo’s multi and interdisciplinary approach to research has given her the opportunity to collaborate widely while fostering linkages within her sphere of influence. She has executed several contracted/collaborative scientific research projects, and consultancy services on aquatic and wildlife epidemiology, ecotoxicology, fish food safety, Global Health and climate change impact/vulnerability assessment on aquatic system. For example, her collaboration with researchers in the Department of Wildlife and Animal Resources Management, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda and Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA on Vulnerability of Aquatic Ecosystem and Fisheries Resources to climate change was sponsored by START/PACOM Africa Global Change Research Grants. She has active research collaborations with other Universities and research institutes in Nigeria, other part of Africa (Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt), Malaysia, North America (USA, Canada and Mexico) and Europe (UK, Switzerland, Germany).

Her professional network includes the Global Young Academy, the World Academy of Sciences, African Academy of Sciences, Nigerian Academy of Science, Leadership for Environment and Development, Eisenhower Fellowship and African Nutrition Leadership Program alumni network, amongst others. Additionally, she holds the membership of learned societies: Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, Fisheries Society of Nigeria, Society of Toxicology, World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association, Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, West African Research and Innovation Management Association, Network of Tropical Aquaculture and Fisheries Professionals, Wildlife Disease Association, Iowa, U.S.A, Association for Women’s Right in Development (AWID), Ontario, Canada, Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management and International Society for Environmental Information Sciences (ISEIS), Saskatchewan, Canada’.

Honours and Awards

Based on scholarship and academic leadership Professor Olanike Adeyemo is an elected Fellow of several academies of Science: including
Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Science,
Fellow, African Academy of Sciences,
Fellow, The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of Science in the developing world,
Fellow, African Scientific Institute (California, USA)
Fellow, Eisenhower Fellowship Programme and Fellow, Leadership for Environment and Development, UK.

Professor Adeyemo was Featured in “Women in Science – Inspiring Stories from Africa”, a publication of Network of African Science Academies (NASAC), which profiled thirty women from eighteen countries across Africa, who have excelled in various STEM careers. She was showcased on “Akinkanju” the webpage of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, which is dedicated to honoring the history of the Southwest Region by highlighting those who have made remarkable strides in its development

She was also listed in African Scientific Institute ‘s publication titled “Black Achievers in Science and Technology” She was recently recognized as “Scientist of the Year 2020” in the “Natural Sciences category” of the Open International Competition by the International Achievements Research Center, Chicago, IL, USA, (https://achievementscenter.com/olanike-adeyemo).

Professor Olanike Adeyemo is married and blessed with children.



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