Editorial Team

Prof. Beckley Ikhajiagbe

Editor-In-Chief: Journal of Underutilized Legumes (JUL)

Beckley Ikhajiagbe is a Faculty member at the Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, where as a Professor of Plant Ecophysiology and Environmental Biotechnology, with more than two decades of experience in research and teaching, he serves to ultimately propel solutions in the areas of Plant Ecophysiology, Remediation Biotechnology, Plant Stress Coping Biology, Bioeconomy, Sustainable Agriculture, natural products resource development, Gene-Environment Interactions, and Plant-Microbe Interactions.

He has supervised scores of postgraduate research students, including Ph.Ds., M.Phils., and M.Sc. candidates. With the support of the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience, he has also successfully hosted over 10 international exchange students from several European universities on internship programmes in his Lab. He has received multiple scientific accolades and grants from major funding organisations, as well as working as an external examiner on a number of postgraduate examination panels around the country in Bioeconomy, Plant Ecology, Microbiology, and Sustainable Agriculture. In addition to serving as a resource person for some African Centres of Excellence on Environment Standards and Biosafety, Prof. Ikhajiagbe is a member of numerous accreditation Panels throughout Nigeria. As an External Assessor, he serves on the appointment and promotion boards of several tertiary academic and research institutions. He is on the Technical Working Group of the Africa Biogenome Project (AfricaBP). In addition, he has over 250 research publications to his credit. He is an editor and reviewer for a number of international journals, including Frontiers in Plant Science, MDPI, and Springer Nature. He belongs to several scientific and professional organisations, including the Nigerian Bioinformatics and Genomics Network, and the Biotechnology Society of Nigeria. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and of the Nigeria Institute for Policy Management Development.

Prof. Ikhajiagbe enjoys charitable work and volunteering in the community in addition to academics and research. He is also a youth development coach of more than 15 years.

Email: beckley.ikhajiagbe[at]uniben.edu

Web Link | Google ScholarLoop.FrontiersORCIDResearchGateLinkedInLens


*Management Team

Managing Editors: J. Und. Leg.

Dr. Taofeek Tope Adegboyega
Biology Unit, Faculty of Science, Air Force Institute of Technology, PMB 2104, Kaduna, Kaduna State, Nigeria

Publication Manager: J. Und. Leg.

Moses S. Anzenge
Carps Innovations, Abuja, Nigeria
Phone: 08064353738
Email: mosesanzenge@yahoo.com

Editorial Assistant: J. Und. Leg.

Shehu Amina Bature
Biology Unit, Faculty of Science, Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Kaduna, Nigeria
Phone: 08061604659
Email: widad0088@gmail.com

*Editorial Team

Dr. Jacob Olagbenro Popoola

Dr. Jacob O. Popoola is an Associate Professor at Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, Nigeria. Dr. Popoola has over 50 scientific papers either published or presented in conferences/seminars/workshops. His professional experience cut across Ethnobotany, plant genetics, genetic resources characterization, application of Molecular Biology/Bioinformatics tools in genetic diversity studies, cytology/karyogamy characterization, plant collection, identification, and taxonomy. Dr. Popoola is versatile in field work, experimental layout, data collection and analysis and interested in indigenous African medicinal and legume crop species. He is sociable, cool, team player and open to effective collaborative scientific projects. Among his favourite projects include characterization of medicinal plants, underutilized legumes, root and tubers toward food security and well-being in Africa.

Prof. Catherine V. Nnamani

Prof. Catherine V. Nnamani is a Nigerian and a Professor of Plant Systematics and Conservation Biology in the Department of Applied Biology, Faculty of Science, Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Nigeria. She holds a B. Sc (1992), M.Sc. in Palynology/Palaeobotany (2005) and PhD in Plant Taxonomy and Biosystematics (2010) from Department of Plant Science & Biotechnology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She has been three times Head of Department of Applied Biology and Ag. Director, Biotechnology Research & Development Centre, 2014- 2016 in Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Nigeria. Catherine was a Visiting Senior Research Fellow with United Nations University Institution for Natural Resources in Africa UNU-INRA) in 2012 and a Post Doctorial Fellow of Climate Impart Research and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) Program in 2016 organized by Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) in collaboration with African Academy of Science, Funded by DIfD.
Her research interest spans from Plant systematics, understanding the dynamics of palynomorphs of Nigerian flora in relation to human health and climate change to the systematic identification, characterization, advocacy and conservation of neglected and underutilized plant genetic resources for food and nutrient security in a climate changing era and molecular Biology. She teaches and supervises B.Sc., M. Sc, PhD students and has acted as external examiner for postgraduate schools in some other Universities in the country. Currently, she is the editor to many Journals and Springer publishers. She has attracted many research grants to Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Nigeria, some of which are Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (PI), two EBSU-UNU-INRA collaborative research grant, four times TETFund Conference Attendance Intervention Grants, Innovators of Tomorrow in Science and Technology Education Post Basic (STEP-B) Project for her PhD Program, and ACU and UNU-INRA Research uptake grants. Currently, she is the coordinator of EBSU- TETFund NRF grant (AFROCROP) project sponsored. Her Research Uptake program on Stakeholders Forum & 1st National Conference on African Yam Bean gave birth to the Society of Underutilized Legumes (SUL) that hosts the Journal of Underutilized Legume (JUL).
Catherine has published more than 60 scientific papers in both National and International high index and ranked journals. She has presented her research works in 12 countries in different continents of the world, authored three books, six book chapters, two working papers and two policy briefs. She is the author of Index of Neglected and Underutilized Traditional Vegetables of South-east, Nigeria and the founder of Biodiversity for Bio-Happiness Research Initiative (BBRI). This group, interface with the resources poor rural and semi-rural communities building their capacity and diversifying their livelihood options. Associate Prof Nnamani C.V have organizered two stakeholders fora namely, the 1st National Conference and Stakeholders Forum on African Yam Bean – CIRCLE Research Uptake Activities funded by DfID at Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Nigeria in 2016 and stakeholders Forum for Research Uptake Activities on the potentials of underutilized African Vetiver in mineralization of Urba waste water for vegetable production in Urba Metropolis, funded by United Nations University, Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), in Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Nigeria.
Catherine is the Secretary for EBSU- Institutional Strengthening Program (ISP), National Treasurer Society of Utilization Legumes (SUL), Vice President Botanical Society of Nigeria (BOSON) 2011- 2014, Council Member Botanical Society of Nigeria 2009-2011, Member, Botanical Society of America, International Association of Plant Taxonomists (IAPT), American Society for Economic Botany (SEB), Vice President, West African Quaternary Research Association (WAQUA) 2012 – 2014, Member, American Association of Palynologist- 2012, and Associate member of International Society for Development and Sustainability (ISDS) 2015- date.
In a abide to enhance her career; she had attended many trainings and obtained additional certificates on Capacity Enhancement training on Data Mobilization, hosted by the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria and the Nigeria Biodiversity Information Facility, Application of Bio- techniques to Medicinal Plants Research, 2016, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Assessment Modules 1-3, 2016 and Basic Certificate Course on Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) - African Centre of Excellence, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, 2016. Training on Plant Genetic Resources and Seeds: Policies, Conservation and Use” - Centre of Innovation and Research, Wageningen University Netherlands in collaboration with M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, India, 2014. Training on Tropical Plants Biotechnology, Training on DNA Bar-coding of Nigerian Medicinal Plants organized by the spring lab at Godfry Okoye University, Thinker corner, Enugu, Nigeria – 2014 and First Statistical Software Training Workshop by Directorate of Research, Innovation and Commercialization (EBSU-DRIC), Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria - 2014. Others were DNA-Barcoding Course in Museum National D’ Historie Naturelle, Paris, France, 1st to 5th, April, 3013 and Training on Plant Taxonomy, Systematics and Indigenous Bioresources Management organized by National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) and United Nation University-Institute for National Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) - 2006.
From 2014 – 2017, Catherine was a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) – Early Careers: Structured Training for African Researchers (STARS), Fellow, Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) under her Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement in Sub-Saharan Africa Program (CIRCLE), Fellow, UNU-INRA and Member of Alumni Association of Wageningen University Netherlands. Currently, she is serving as a member CIRCLE evaluation steering committee. Catherine can be adjudged as an experienced researcher. Her core areas of research are in Fish Nutrition, Climate Change and Biotechnology. He serves as a reviewer for more than 30 international Journals and has over 50 journal papers in very reputable journals to his credit. He is married and has 4 children.

Dr. Kareem Kehinde Titilope

Dr. Kareem Kehinde Titilope Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Obafemi Awolowo University, Moor Plantation, Ibadan. Areas of research interests or brief research profile: Plant Virology/Pathology

Dr. OJUEDERIE Omena Bernard

B.Sc. Microbiology, M.Sc., and Ph.D. Plant genetics

Research interests
1. Genetic diversity assessment of underutilised crops of economic value especially African yam bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa) and Winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) using molecular markers and modern technologies.
2. Utilisation and production of African yam bean especially its edible tubers for food and nutrition security in Africa.
3. Abiotic stress tolerance in agricultural crops
4. Biodiversity assessment and phylogenetic studies on medicinal and underutilised crops
5. Plant-microbe interactions

Awards and Honours
1. International Foundation for Science (IFS) Awardee (Grant No: C/5250-1) Title Assessment of Genetic diversity in African Yam Bean Sphenostylis stenocarpa (Hochst. Ex. A. Rich.) Harms. Germplasm (2012-2014) Role: Principal Investigator. 2012-2014)
2. Postdoctoral Fellow of the Food Security and Safety Niche Area of the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences North-West University, South Africa (2017-2020)

(a) Member Society for Underutilized Legumes
(b) Member Editorial Board Society for Underutilized Legumes
(c) Member South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions
(d) Member Biotechnology Society of Nigeria
(e) Member Genetics Society of Nigeria


*Advisory Team

Prof. Abberton, Michael

Prof. Abberton, Michael Michael Abberton is Director, Research and Development and Head of the Genetic Resources Center, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, since August 2012. He obtained his B.Sc. in Botany and Ph.D. in plant cytogenetics from the University of Manchester and subsequently undertook postdoctoral research in molecular biology at the University of St. Andrews. Following two years working on coffee germplasm improvement in Malawi he joined the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER), Aberystwyth, UK. in 1993. For a number of years, he carried out research and breeding in forage legumes and became Head of the Plant Genetics and Breeding Department at IGER. Following merger with Aberystwyth University in 2008 [creating the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)] he became Professor of Public Good Plant Breeding and Director of International Development.

Prof. Kehinde Olugboyega SOETAN

Professor Kehinde Olugboyega SOETAN is a Professor of Veterinary Biochemistry at the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Biochemistry, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, effective from 1 October, 2018. He obtained Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree of the University of Ibadan in 2000, Masters Degree in Biochemistry, University of Ibadan in 2003 and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in 2011. Professor Soetan obtained a Post-Graduate Diploma of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom in 2013 and a Masters Degree in Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases at the University of London, in 2013. Professor Soetan has about 16 years working experience as a University Lecturer, having worked in the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria from June, 2003 to October, 2005 and then currently lectures in Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria from October, 2005 till date. Professor Soetan is a graduate fellow of Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa (BecA), Nairobi, Kenya and was a Technical Officer, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi, Kenya from February to March, 2010. Professor Soetan was a visiting researcher at the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agencies (AHVLA), Weybridge, United Kingdom from June to September, 2013. He has attended and presented papers in many local and international scientific conferences in Africa, Asia and Europe. He also chaired plenary sessions at some local and international conferences. Professor Soetan has won different scholarships and fellowships, like Federal Government Post-Graduate Scholarship Award, MacArthur Grant Award for multidisciplinary research, MacArthur Grant Award for Academic Linkages, University of Ibadan Post-Graduate School Award for publication of papers from Ph.D Thesis, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) award for Academic Staff Training and Development (TETFUND), Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agencies (AHVLA) Travel Fellowship Award. Professor Soetan has supervized many undergraduate research projects and he is supervising and co-supervising some undergraduate and post-graduate research projects. He has also served and still serving as internal/external examiner to different post-graduate examinations in University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Professor Soetan has served as External Examiner in Veterinary Biochemistry to different Veterinary Schools in Nigeria, among are: Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi and University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Professor Soetan is a member of many professional bodies, some of which are, Member, Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, Life member, Phytochemical Society of Europe, Phytochemical Society of Asia, Fellow, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Member, Biotechnology Society of Nigeria, Foundation member, Society for Underutilized Legumes, just to mention a few. Professor Soetan has over 100 publications, as refereed conference proceedings and journal publications in peer-reviewed local and international journals. Professor Soetan was the Sub-Dean Undergraduate, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan from 2009-2012, Assistant Hall Warden, Abdul-Salam Abubakar Hall from 2014-2016, Departmental Seminar Coordinator 2014-2017, Congregation representative in Senate till date, Senate representative in Library Committee till date, Faculty representative, University of Ibadan Research and Development Fair Committee till date, just to mention a few. Professor Soetan is currently the Head, Department of Veterinary Physiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria effective from 01 August, 2019.

Prof. O. J. Babayemi

Prof. O. J. Babayemi, is the Dean Faculty of Agriculture University of Ibadan, but a staff of the Department of Animal Science.bI am a member of different professional bodies in my field which include Animal Scientist (RAS), Nigerian Institute for Animal Science (NIAS) Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN) and Nigerian Society for Animal Production (NSAP). I am a reviewer for Small Ruminant Research (2005-date) and had reviewed 43 articles. I was made Deputy Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of Nigerian Journal of Animal Production (2010-2016), and Editor-in-Chief Nigerian Journal of Animal Production (2016-date). Before taken over as EIC, there were two issues being produced every year since 1974 but on taken over in 2016, we produce 5 issues per year. I am a member of the Technical Advisory Group for TETfund and Rapporteur for Journal group (2019-date). As HoD of Animal Science between 2014 and 2018, I was able to resuscitate the Departmental Journal that became moribund for 15 years and in production till date. I review for many journals across the world. I was awarded the world top 10 reviwers.by the Small Ruminant Research in 2016. To my credit, I have published well over 95 journal articles both International and local.

Prof. Geoffrey Obinna Anoliefo

Prof. Geoffrey Obinna Anoliefo is a Professor of Environmental Biotechnology and Environmental Sustainability in the Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, University of Benin, Nigeria, where he teaches both postgraduate and undergraduate students and also actively involved in research, development and volunteer services. He was the Editor-in-Chief of Nigerian Journal of Life Sciences - Published by the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin. Over the years, he has been actively involved in teaching and research in the following, but not limited to Plant Biochemistry, Environmental Biotechnology, Cell Biology, Research communications Whole Plant Physiology, Metabolic Plant Physiology, Molecular Biology, Plant Growth and Development, Ecophysiology, Weed Biology, Plant Biochemistry, Ecotoxicology, Advanced Cell Biology, Pollution Ecology, and Environmental Sustainability. He has over 100 publications in referred national and international journals. Prof. Anoliefo has also been able to successfully host international exchange students in his Lab. through the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE). Prof. Anoliefo is an environmentalist and an enthusiast in environmental reclamation technology, with emphasis on the use of locally derived biological consortia/technology. He has established biophysical monitoring programs for communities built close to hydrocarbon contaminated sites. He is the Principal Investigator and Team lead of the Environmental Biotechnology and Sustainability Research Group (EBSRGroup), University of Benin, Nigeria and a Facilitator for the Center of Excellence in Geoscience and Petroleum Engineering, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria.

Prof. Happiness Ogba Oselebe

Prof. Happiness Ogba Oselebe is a Nigerian citizen, a Geneticist, and a Plant breeder. She is a professor of Genetics and Plant Breeding, in the Department of Crop Production & Landscape Management, Faculty of Agriculture & Natural Resources Management, Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Abakaliki. Currently, she is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) in EBSU.

Happiness Oselebe graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1993 for her B.Sc degree with First Class honors. She also received her M.Sc. degree in 1998 and a Ph.D. degree in 2003 with honors from the same University. Her Ph.D. thesis was adjudged the best for the session, hence she received the Faculty Postgraduate prize, and Vice-Chancellor’s Postgraduate prize as the best graduating doctoral (Ph.D.) student in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in the 2003/2004 session. She worked briefly as a teacher and administrator with the State Secondary Education Board from 1988 – May 1998, before joining the employ of Ebonyi State University in June 1998.

Happiness currently teaches and supervises mostly M.Sc and Ph.D. students. Her research interest is in the development of improved crop varieties that are economically efficient and sustainable, both in quality and yield, especially under limiting environments. She also focuses on the sustainable use of neglected and underutilized species (NUS), also known as orphan crops such as fruits, vegetables, and medicinal plants. She specifically explores the improvement and generation of new varieties of orphan crops to enhance food security and income in African communities.

Happiness is a 2009 Fellow of Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program for Women in Science; a 2010 AWARD (African Women in Agricultural Research & Development) Fellow; and a Fellow of the UC Davis African Plant Breeding Academy, 2015. She pioneered the incorporation of an agribusiness outfit engaged in seed production (EBSU Agribusiness Enterprises Limited) for her university. She has a passion for working with smallholder farmers, building their capacities and enhancing their production and income level, and in effect their livelihood. She reaches out directly to farmers through a family/privately-owned limited liability company named Strategic Seeds Nig. Ltd.

Happiness has received several awards from different bodies, including from Ebonyi State Government, her home State as an “Outstanding Innovator in Science & Technology for the year 2018 and from ADAN - Association of Deans of Faculties of Agriculture in Nigeria. She attracted more than fifteen research grants to her university. She has published more than 75 scientific papers in both National and International peer-reviewed, high index and ranked Journals, including books and book chapters. She has also presented several of her research works at many international and national conferences. She is a co-author of Index of Neglected and Underutilized Traditional Vegetables of South-east, Nigeria. She has mentored several up-coming young scientists and academics and currently, she serves as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki in Nigeria. She is happily married with children and her hobbies include sports, reading novels, and traveling.

Dr Sean Mayes

Dr Sean Mayes, is an Associate Professor in Crop Genetics Plant and Crop Sciences Biosciences Nottingham University, UK. Dr Sean Mayes Theme Director for Biotechnology, Breeding and Seed Systems, Crops for the Future Research Centre c/o UNMC, Jalan Broga, Semeyih, Malaysia (UNMC)

Areas of Research Interest:
• The dynamic change in plant genomes.
• The exploitation of the genetic variation generated to produce genetic markers for marker-assisted breeding
• Recent projects: 1. EU FP6 INCO-DEV 'BAMLINK' BAMLINK-A molecular,
physiological, nutritional and end-user evaluation of Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea L. Verdc.) for semi-arid Africa and India (2006 - 2011). EU FP6 INCO-DEV; total budget £1.5 million; Co-ordination and £240K at Nottingham.
• A Bambara groundnut plant from a cultivated landrace - seed are produced at the base of the plant. The wild (V. s. spontenea) form has a spreading habit). Many landraces are sensitive to long days and will flower, but not fill pods.
• Nottingham University coordinated a 10 partner programme (EU: Nottingham, Denmark, Germany; Africa: Ghana, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania; India: Bangalore, Rajastan, Gujurat) programme evaluating this underutilised drought tolerant African groundnut for potential contribution to food security in semi-arid environments, through the value chain. PI for molecular research.

Ass. Prof Adeyemi Oladapo Aremu

Ass. Prof Adeyemi Oladapo Aremu, is the based at the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge Systems at the North West University, South Africa. He is also an Associate Researcher with the School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He holds a BSc (Hons, 2006) Botany degree from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Nigeria while his MSc (Ethnobotany cum lauda, 2010) and PhD (Botany, 2013) degrees were obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He is a registered Professional Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) and member of the International Society for Ethnopharmacology (ISE) and Council Member of the South African Association of Botanists (SAAB).

Adeyemi is currently leading a research team focusing on the value-chain of African floras especially those with medicinal, horticultural and nutritional potential. He is recognized as future global leader (Y2-rated Scientist) by the National Research Foundation (NRF). Since 2010, he has authored/co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters which have been well-cited (more than 2000 citation based on Google Scholar). In recognition of his academic excellence and contribution to science, Adeyemi has received several awards and recognition including Young Affiliateship with the African Academy of Science (AAS), Executive member of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS), Claude Leon Fellowship and fellow of the African Science Leadership Programme (ASLP). He is also on the editorial board of different international journals (South African Journal of Botany, BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, Plants and Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry).