OVERVIEW OF THE DEPARTMENT
The Department of Biological Sciences is a leading academic Department in the College of Science and Technology. The Department was carved out of the former Department of Natural Sciences and runs two academic programmes in the Life Sciences - Biology and Microbiology. The Biology Programme has interim accreditation at the moment.
Biology, Biochemistry, and Microbiology Programmes were created under the Department of Applied Sciences in the 2004/2005 academic session. The Department’s name was later changed to Natural Sciences in 2005/2006 academic session. In 2006/2007 session, the Department of Natural Sciences was split into four Departments namely Departments of Biological Sciences offering B.Sc Biology, B.Sc Microbiology and B.Sc Biochemistry programmes; Chemistry offering B.Sc Industrial Chemistry; Mathematics offering B.Sc. Industrial Mathematics and Physics offering B.Sc Industrial Physics.
Professor O. A. Otunola was the first Head of the Department of Biological Sciences when it was created in February, 2007. He was succeded later in the year by Dr. E.O. Fagade. In 2007/2008 academic year, Dr. O. A. Daini and Professor B. O. Elemo served as Heads of the Department. Professor Louis O. Egwari became Head of the Department in 2008/2009 session and was succeeded by Dr. Shalom N. Chinedu in the 2009/2010 session. Professor Egwari again served as Head of the Department between 2010 and 2012. He was succeeded by Dr. Israel S. Afolabi in 2012. Dr. Emeka J. Iweala became the Head of Department at the inception of 2014/2015 Academic session. Prof. Adesola Ajayi took over from Dr. Emeka Iweala and was HOD for the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic sessions. Currently, Dr. Grace I. Olasehinde is the Head of Department.
Department of Biological Sciences is committed to raising new generation of leaders in the Life Sciences by driving excellence in teaching, research and community development, in line with the Vision and Mission of Covenant University. The faculty and staff are highly motivated and dedicated to the delivery of quality education to the students through strict adherence to well-structured course compacts, lecture schedules, use of ICT-driven modes of Lecture delivery, tutorials, relevant laboratory experiments and field trips. Lecture attendance by students as well as in-loco parentis and mentorship role of faculty are vigorously driven.
The curricula of the Programmes, lecture materials and practical manuals are regularly updated to make them current, robust, life-applicable and adequate to address contemporary issues on methodologies, product development, scientific and technological advances in food, agriculture, medicine, and allied industries. The laboratories are constantly furnished with modern scientific equipment and apparatuses for regular students’ experiments, research and specialized laboratory services. Hence, the consistent production of well-trained graduates with in-depth theoretical knowledge and practical skills in their fields of study, thus providing the nation with dedicated and competent manpower, as envisaged by Vision 20: 2020. The Department produced the overall best graduating student of Covenant University in 2010 with a record CGPA of 4.99 and the second best graduating student in 2016 with a CGPA of 4.96!
The Department pursues basic and applied research in all areas covered by the three academic disciplines. She is also making advances in the cutting-edge research and training in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. Ongoing research projects in the Department include the ground-breaking research in bioresource utilization, product formulation and enhancement, waste bioconversion, environmental and pollution control, Gene sequencing and molecular studies of protein sweetener plants, drug development and medicinal plant research, among others. The number of patents and articles published in reputable journals and/or presented in conferences annually by faculty in the Department reflect the research output of the Department. The Department hosts Workshops on Molecular Biology and an annual International Biotechnology Symposium (IBS), now International Biotechnology Conference, Exhibition and Workshop (IBCE&W).
Vision of the Department
To be a leading, world-class, academic Department committed to raising a new generation of leaders in the fields of Biology, Biotechnology, Microbiology and allied disciplines.
Mission of the Department
- To provide a wholesome, research-based, participatory and contemporary educational experience in the Life Sciences through a modern and vibrant education system as envisioned by the Vision 10: 2022 of the University.
- To produce graduates in the Life Sciences who will be specialists in their chosen fields of study and thereby provide adequate and competent manpower for the nation in line with the Vision 10: 2022 of the University.
- To train students in the Life Sciences using practical, interdisciplinary approach that is value-driven and life-applicable and capable of meeting societal needs, especially in the area of improved crop and animal varieties, development of new industrial products, effective drugs and vaccines, etc., thereby enhancing the people’s living standards and life-expectancy.
- To produce world-class scientists equipped to lead the biological revolution that will transform the nation’s agriculture, medicine, industry and the environment, and thereby eradicate poverty and hunger, combat diseases and ensure environmental sustainability in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Philosophy of the Department
The BSc Biology programme is planned to equip students with practical application of biological knowledge; as it emphasizes the relevance of biology-based knowledge, environmental and modern molecular skills to the functioning of the various industries; such as research and development, product development, analysis and quality management, biomedical, clinical and biological laboratories, public health, pharmaceutics or healthcare, environmental practices, conservation, bioresources management, water resources and aquatics, etc.
Objective of the Department
- Biology Programme
The Biology Programme is designed to equip the students with the practical uses of biological knowledge and to inculcate in the students an entrepreneurial and problem-solving ability. It emphasizes technologies and applications relevant to biology-based industries and institutions such as biomedical, pharmaceutical, biotechnological, and food industries and the environment. The aim is to make the training relevant to the society, for example, in the conservation of natural habitats and endangered species or reducing the effects of environmental pollution, and so on.
The specific objectives of Biology Programme are as follows:
- To stimulate appreciation of the science of Biology and its diverse applications.
- To provide the students with a broad, sound and balanced knowledge in a range of areas of basic Biology, Applied Biology and Biotechnology in a stimulating and supportive environment that is enriched by research.
- To prepare the students for teaching in basic Biology and for post-graduate research work in Biology/Applied Biology/Biotechnology or other Biology-related discipline.
- To inculcate in the students the knowledge and skills needed for self -employment.
- Microbiology Programme
The Microbiology Programme is designed to provide the students with a thorough, broad and balanced foundation in a growing and expanding field of Microbiology. The Programme is aimed at preparing students for career opportunities in an environment whereby they could be creative, innovative and self-reliant.
The specific objectives of Microbiology Programme are as follows:
- To provide the students with an intellectually stimulating and satisfying learning experience in this exciting subject.
- To provide the students with appropriate laboratory skills and field experience.
- To inculcate in the students an entrepreneurial and problem-solving attitude.
- To provide the students with the knowledge and skills base from which they can proceed for further studies in the specialized areas of Microbiology or multi-disciplinary areas involving Microbiology.
- To prepare the students for careers in agriculture, medical fields, environmental studies, research institutes, industries and even for self- employment.