The Microbiology programme started in the Department of Botany, one of the pioneer Departments in the University and the Department’s name was later changed to Department of Botany and Microbiology to incorporate the two Degree options.
The Department became a fully fledged separate Department in January, 2011 (2010/2011 session) with Prof. S.A. Odunfa as its pioneer Head of Department followed by Prof. O.E. Fagade from January 1, 2012 to 31 July, 2016. The current Acting Head of Department is Dr. Sherifah M. Wakil with effect from 1 August, 2016.
Microbiology, which is the study of microorganisms, has been studied since the advent of science. As the name suggests, these are living organisms that are very small and cannot be seen with the naked eye; while their activities and roles influence the sustenance of life on planet earth.
Microbiology, in the Faculty of Science is studied as basic science concerned with the biology of microorganisms- Bacteria, Fungi, Viruses, Algae and Protozoa. Applied areas of research of staff include: Environmental and Public Health Microbiology, Industrial Microbiology, Food Microbiology, Pathogenic Microbiology and Microbial Genetics and Biotechnology.
The Department thus occupies a unique position in carrying out its mandate within the Vision Statement of the University. The traditional role of University in Teaching, Research and Community service has been refocused into Science, Technology and Innovation leading to new frontiers in Microbiology.
Environmental Microbiology: New areas include Geomicrobiology and Biomining where work is being carried out on bioleaching of ores to produce pure metals e.g. Gold dust pure gold, Petroleum Microbiology and conversion of waste to wealth. This is in addition to traditional areas of soil, Aquatic Microbial Ecology.
Food Microbiology: From the initial studies of microorganisms present in fermented African foods such as ‘Ogi’, ‘Iru’ current research activities in the area by the Department include the roles of Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) in food preservation and probiotic properties of the organisms.
Industrial Microbiology: The unit is concerned with efforts at characterization and purification of enzymes of commercial interest from microorganisms as well as physiological conditions for their optimal production. It is also involved in bioprocessing and bioconversion of raw materials.
Microbial Genetics and Biotechnology: The unit is new and is being equipped under the Education Trust Fund (ETF) intervention project for the University. It would expand the frontiers of knowledge at molecular level of our local strains, their development for the other areas of our research.
Pathogenic Microbiology: This deals with study of biology of pathogenic microorganisms. Antibiotic resistance patterns of the microorganisms are studied in both Clinical, Environmental and food samples amongst others are studied.