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Member Profile

Membership type: full

Olubukola Oluranti Babalola

Country of origin: Nigeria Currently in: South Africa, Mmabatho General field of specialization: Biological Systems and Organisms
PhD Fellowship Alumna
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success story
Academic Background


2002 Doctorate Biological Systems and Organisms
1996 Master Biological Systems and Organisms
2019 Master Other
1992 Undergraduate Biological Systems and Organisms
2016 Undergraduate Social and Economic Sciences
Research and Profession

Current Research Activities

Agricultural Sciences

Discovery of novel actinomycetes using a culture-dependent and metagenomic approach. Actinomycete 16S DNA is extracted and amplified using universal 16S or specific primers by touchdown PCR. Excised DNA from each gel band was purified and cloned into vector (blue/white selection). The positive clones will be amplified and dereplicated using ARDRA.

Research Keywords: 
Molecular Plant-Microbe interactions
Next-Generation Sequencing
Food Security and Safety
Microbial Ecology
Microbial biotechnology

Publications resulting from Research: 

Igiehon NO and Babalola OO*, Cheseto X, Torto B (2021). Effects of rhizobia and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on yield, size distribution and fatty acid of soybean seeds grown under drought stress. Microbiological Research 242: 126640. Elsevier (IF 3.701).

Omotayo OP, Babalola OO* (2020) Resident Rhizosphere Microbiome’s Ecological Dynamics and Conservation: Towards 1 achieving the Envisioned Sustainable Development Goals, A review. International Soil and Water Conservation Research. Elsevier (IF 3.420 2019-2020).

Ayangbenro AS and Babalola OO* (2020) Genomic analysis of Bacillus cereus NWUAB01 and its heavy metal removal potential. AMAB-D-20-00077/. Scientific Reports 10:19660. Nature Publishing Group. (IF 3.998 2019/2020).

Adedeji A and Babalola OO* (2020) Secondary metabolites as plant defensive strategy: A large role for small molecules in the near root region. Planta 252: 61. Springer (IF 3.687 2019).

Babalola OO*, Fadiji AE, Enagbonma BJ, Alori ET, Ayilara MS and Ayangbenro AS (2020) The nexus between plant and plant microbiome: a revelation of the networking strategies. Research Topic: Plant Microbiome: Interactions, Mechanisms of Action, and Applications. Frontiers in Microbiology, (section Microbial Symbioses)11:548037. Frontiers (IF 4.23 2019).

Karthika, A., Seenivasagan, R., Kasimani, R., Babalola, O.O. and M. Vasanthy (2020). Cellulolytic bacteria isolation, screening and optimization of enzyme production from vermicompost of paper cup waste. Waste Management 116:58-65. Elsevier (IF 5.920 2019),LlFP9yDj

Emmanuel OC and Babalola OO* (2020) Productivity and quality of horticultural crops through co-inoculation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant growth promoting bacteria. Microbiology Research 239: 126569. Elsevier (IF 3.701 2019)

Mamphogoro TP, Maboko MM, Babalola OO, Aiyegoro OA (2020) Bacterial communities associated with the surface of fresh sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum) and their potential as biocontrol. Scientific Reports 10:8560. Nature Research (IF 4.011, 2018).

Fadiji AE and Babalola OO* (2020) Elucidating mechanisms of endophytes in plant protection and other bioactivities with multifunctional prospects. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology-Bioprocess Engineering 532550 Frontiers Media S.A. (IF 5.122, Q1). ISSN 22964185

Adeniji A, Babalola OO and Loots DT (2020). Metabolomic applications for understanding complex tripartite plant-microbes interactions: Strategies and Perspectives. Biotechnology Reports 25 e00425 Elsevier (IF 4.47 2018)

Igiehon NO, Babalola OO* and Aremu BR (2019). Genomic Insights into Plant growth promoting rhizobia capable of enhancing soybean germination under drought stress. BMC Microbiology 19:159. Springer Nature (I.F:3.287).

Uzoh IM, Igwe CA, Okebalama CB and Babalola OO* (2019). Legume-maize rotation effect on maize productivity and soil fertility parameters under selected agronomic practices in a sandy loam soil. Scientific Reports 9: 8539. Springer Nature Publishing AG (I.F: 4.6, Q1).

Olanrewaju OS, Ayangbenro AS, Glick BR; and Babalola OO* (2019). Plant health: feedback effect of root exudates-rhizobiome interactions. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 103(3) 1155-1166. Springer Berlin (IF 3.34). DOI: 10.1007/s00253-018-9556-6. .

Enebe MC and Babalola OO* (2019). The impact of microbes in the orchestration of plants resistance to biotic stress: a disease management approach. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 103(1)9-25. Springer (IF 3.42). DOI: 10.1007/s00253-018-9433-3.

Current profession

Current professional activities type: 
My research group's interest is to understand the plant-soil microbe interactions toward plant health management. We investigate below and above-ground microbial interactions, rhizosphere metagenomics, symbiosis, and aspects of stress tolerance. We aim to generate biofertilizers, bioherbicides, and similar biocontrol products.

Workshop and Conference Attended

2020 Capellades, Barcelona, Spain. Manipulation of NGS data for genomic and population genetics analyses – 2nd edition. Transmitting Science.
2019 Walnut Creek, California, USA DOE JGI Microbial Genomics and Metagenomics (MGM) Workshop. DOE Joint Genome Institute
2016 EMBL Advanced Training Centre, Meyerhofstraße 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany Next Generation Sequencing: Whole genome sequencing library preparation
2014 Hamburger Strass 4-8, D-69181 Leimen, Germany European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Laboratory Management Course for Group Leaders.
2014 Trieste, Italy The "AAAS-TWAS Summer Course on Science and Diplomacy".
2012 University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK Applied Dual-Use Biosecurity Education, Twelve-week Professional Development online Train-the-Trainers course
2011 ICGEB, Trieste, Italy Biosafety Workshop “Problem formulation: A Strategic Approach to Risk Assessment of GMOs”
2006 Tekirova, Antalya, Turkey. Sixth International Workshop on Radiation Damage to DNA
2006 University of Cape Town, South Africa United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Advanced laboratory training in Molecular biology
2008 ICGEB Cape Town Component, Cape Town, South Africa. Workshop with Practical Components. “Risks, benefits and opportunities from the release of GMOs in the African Regions’’
2010 University of Mauritius, Mauritius SANBio/University of Mauritius Bioinformatics workshop


Nigerian Society of Microbiology
Agricultural Society of Nigeria
Nigerian Society for Plants Protection
Environmental Protection Society of Nigeria

Presentation given

2020 December 20th.
Speaker. OWSD Mauritius. Leadership at Workplace. Virtual meeting
2020 November 20th.
Speaker. OWSD Botswana. Building a Successful STEM Career and the Importance of Networking. Zoom Webinar
2020 November 19th.
Speaker. OWSD UNILAG Nigeria. Acquiring the 21st century skills: A vital tool to inclusive green growths. Zoom Webinar
2020 October 27th. Speaker.
OWSD PortHarcourt Branch. Indicators in Science Career Leverage.
2020 October 26-30th.
Speaker. OWSD 2020 Early Career Orientation Workshop. Helping your team to succeed. Sponsored by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Panelist: How can we support each other as women scientists
2020 August 11th.
Speaker. OWSD Ghana. How to sustain your laboratory with minimal resources. Zoom Webinar
2020 August 4th.
Speaker. OWSD Kenya. Research project management
2020 June 3rd. Speaker.
The Standard Fireworks Rajaratnam College for Women (Autonomous) Affiliated to Madurai Kamaraj University, India. "How to stay motivated as a research scientist in the present world." India, Google Meet Webinar
2020 May 28.
Speaker. First Annual Languni Africa Day Sherehe (Celebrations). What it means to be an African scientist during COVID-19. South Africa
Speaker. OWSD Zimbabwe. COVID-19: Positive or negative impact to female science students. Zimbabwe
Event: 2020 May 27.
2019 Nov 25-29.
Panelist/Speaker/Facilitator. OWSD Early Career Fellowship Regional Workshop, Ledger Plaza Bahari Hotel, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
2019 Nov 4-6.
Panelist/Speaker/Facilitator. Women in STEM & Leadership Positions in Higher Education Summit. Southern Sun, Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa
2019 May 23-24.
Session Chair at the 4th SAJU University Forum Conference. The human being in the 21st century in the context of global changes. Future Africa Campus. The University of Pretoria. South Africa
2018 Oct 29-Nov 1.
Panelist UTKARSH 2018 International Conference on Carrying Capacity Approaches in Environmental management leading to Sustainable Development, CSIR-NEERI, New Delhi, India
2018 Oct 22-26.
Speaker OWSD, its opportunities and fellowships, Aligning African Universities to Accelerate Attainment of Africa’s Agenda 2063’. The African higher education week and sixth RUFORUM Biennial Conference, Kenyatta International Convention
2018 Oct 16-19.
Speaker/Facilitator. OWSD RwandaEAIFR Women in Science Workshop, ICTP-EAIFR. Kigali Convention and Exhibition (KCEV) Urukali Hall, Tente. Kigali, Rwanda
2018 Oct 2-6.
Panelist/Speaker/Facilitator. OWSD 25th Anniversary celebrations. Publication Writing Workshop.
2018 Sept 13-14.
Panelist ASSAF Annual Young Scientist Conference, “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A trans-disciplinary approach. Protea Hotel, OR Tambo, Gauteng, South Africa
2018 Sept 5-7.
Panelist OWSD Africa Regional Conference. Women in Science, Engineering and Technology for Sustainable Development. Female boss syndrome. ICIPE Duduville Campus, Kasarani, Nairobi, Kenya
2018 April 11–13.
Speaker. SAYAS Food Security & Policy Workshop. Policy direction, eradication of hunger and achievement of food security. Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg, 14 View Point Road, Boksburg, 1672 Johannesburg, Gauteng
2018 March 23.
“How I got here: my journey as a female scientist”.
ICTP-EAIFR, UR-CST, Avenue de L’armee, Kigali, Rwanda
2017 Feb 21–22.
Panelist NEPAD SANBio/ BioFISA II Annual Event “Business Meets Biosciences” (Opportunities in the nutrition sector)
Birchwood Hotel and Or Tambo Conference Centre, Boksburg, South Africa
2015 April 28-30.
Panelist. Knowledge Exchange Forum: Important early career milestones and support. Gender Summit 5 Africa.
Cape Town, South Africa
 2014 Oct 21-Nov. Guest lecturer/Visiting research scientist. UMR CNRS 5557 Microbial Ecology of Lyon University Lyon 1, Bat. Mendel 43 Bd du 11 Novembre 1918 69622 Villeurbanne (Cedex) – France
2014 Aug 18-22.
Session Chair. The Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) Fellowship Holders Regional Workshop on Scientific Writing and Science Communication.
CSIR International Convention Centre (ICC), Pretoria, South Africa
2013 July 15-18.
Speaker and Session Chair. 6th Annual International Symposium on Agriculture, Athens Institute for Education and Research
Athens, Greece
2012 Sept. 13-15.
Speaker and Session Chair: 3rd World Congress on Biotechnology.
Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Hyderabad, India.
2010 May.
Invited speaker. Talk: Exploitation of microbes. South Africa’s celebration of the international year of biodiversity (by UNESCO, DST, NRF and SAASTA)
Cooke’s lake, Mafikeng, North West province, South Africa
Fellowship with OWSD

Fellowship with OWSD

Fellowship with OWSD

Fellowship awarded 2000


Interactions between Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth. and fluorescent rhizosphere bacteria of Zea mays, L. and Sorghum bicolor L. Moench for Striga suicidal germination In Vigna unguiculata. University of Ibadan, Ibadan.

Career development since receiving OWSD Fellowship

Professor Olubukola Oluranti Babalola (Pr.Sci.Nat, MASSAF), a National Research Foundation rated scientist is a graduate of the North-West University (NWU) Business School, South Africa. A product of the premier University of Nigeria. She obtained Ph.D. in Microbiology with the Visiting Research Fellowship of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Postgraduate Training Fellowships of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD). Olubukola had two postdoctoral experiences from standard laboratories. At the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel through Feinberg Graduate School Postdoctoral Fellowship and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Fellowship. The second postdoctoral exposure was at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa. Olubukola is the Vice President of OWSD (Africa region), the incumbent Research Director of the Food Security and Safety Niche Area at NWU, and without reservation leading, as the Principal Investigator, a Microbial Biotechnology Research laboratory. Her laboratory is a mini united nation, with students from within and outside Africa, making substantial contributions to Science, her original research motivation. Olubukola joined NWU in 2009 NWU; she has graduated with 21 doctoral fellows, 20 masters, and numerous Honors students. Prof Babalola is a prolific author with close to 200 journal publications. Olubukola has over 40 certificates in her professional interest areas from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, University of Mauritius, Reduit, North-West University, South Africa, and Bradford University, the UK, to mention a few. Her wealth of international experience spans the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. She enjoys international collaborations, research grants, and many awards.

EB Role

Elected Vice-President

Africa 2021 to 2025

OWSD 6th General Assembly certificate: download

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