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).
It is therefore with joy and gratitude to God that I present this edition of the Departmental Handbook. The Handbook contains general and current information about teaching, research, and other activities in the Department, Community Development Initiatives and the awards and accomplishments of faculty and staff. Information contained therein will be useful to students, parents, guardians and everyone interested in the Programmes offered by the Department.
Philosophy and Objectives
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.
(a) 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.
(b) 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.
(c) 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.
(d) 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).
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.
Philosophy of the Department
The Department of Biological Sciences strives to achieve the University’s set goal of developing the total man through instruction and mentorship, participatory basic and applied research as well as generating community-relevant information and technologies. Programmes in the department are designed to provide the students with a thorough, broad and balanced foundation in their fields of study in order to prepare them for career opportunities or an environment whereby they could be creative, innovative and self-reliance in the growing and expanding disciplines.
The Undergraduate and graduate academic programme at Covenant University is focused on raising a new generation of leaders equipped in their total personality to positively influence their community and restore hope to the citizens of their nations and to mankind in general. The programmes are designed to provide the students with a thorough, broad and balanced foundation in order to prepare them for career opportunity or an environment whereby they could be creative, innovative and self-reliant.
The Department strives to achieve alongside the University’s goal of developing the total man at the undergraduate and graduate levels; through instruction and mentorship, participatory basic and applied research as well as generating community-relevant information and technologies.
We teach to provide a wholesome, research-based, participatory and contemporary undergraduate and graduate educational experience in the biological pursuit.
Our courses are designed to afford the student practical, first hand, interdisciplinary approaches in the biological sciences, with the understanding of the relevance of biological studies to the society.
The department provides leadership in the local, national and hopefully international community of biological scientists; and collaborates with several other departments and institution to promote developmental research in the areas of Bioinformatics and Biofuel research.
Our ultimate goal is changing perspectives through community-relevant research, the transfer and dissemination of research results, information and technologies, through internationally recognized conference, workshop and research collaborations.
Research & Development
Activities in the department
Faculty and staff of the Department of Biological Sciences are basically engaged in teaching, research, and community impact services. Other activities that are periodically carried out in the Department include:
- Training Workshops
- Biotech Week
- SciTech Week (formerly Tech Week)
- Product Analysis for Industries/organizations
- Excursions/Field trips
- University Programmes
Linkages and collaborations
The Department through its activities and efforts of her faculty and staff has established linkages and collaborations with several Universities, Research Institutes and Government agencies. They include Institutions where some members of faculty in the Department have carried out research studies and others that have had their staff participate in the activities of the Department, such as Workshops and Conferences/symposia. Some of such Institutions are:
- Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), India.
- Kunming Institute of Botany, Kunming, China.
- International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Trieste, Italy.
- National Biotechnology Development Agency, Abuja, Nigeria.
- International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria.
- Raw Material Research & Development Council, Abuja, Nigeria.
- Stored Products Research Institute, Ilorin, Nigeria.
- National Root Crop Research Institute, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria.
- Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria
- Federal Institute for Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Lagos, Nigeria.
To qualify for admission into the Applied Biology and Biotechnology Programme, a candidate must possess at least five (5) credit passes in Senior secondary certificate examination – SSCE or NECO (O’ Level), obtained at not more than two (2) sittings, which must include: English Language, Mathematics and any other three subjects from the following: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Agricultural Science and Geography. In addition, he/she must have an acceptable pass in the University Matriculation Examination (UTME) and fulfill all other admission requirements as prescribed by Covenant University.