Instrumental AccessInstrumental Access 2019:
University of Lagos
Centre for Biodiversity, Conservation & Ecosystem Management

In Nigeria, equipping a new center for research and teaching on biodiversity and conservation

  • Students working in the lab at the University of Lagos

  • Community outreach on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management

  • Community outreach on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management

  • Faculty and staff from the Centre for Biodiversity, Conservation, and Ecosystem Management

  • University of Lagos

    Sensitization on environmental management

  • Unilag

    Community outreach on biodiversity and conservation management

  • Cross section of CEBCEM members during community outreach

Meet our Awardee

The University of Lagos (known as Unilag) is among the oldest, largest, and most competitive of Nigeria's federal research universities.

Newly established in 2018, the Centre for Biodiversity, Conservation, and Ecosystem Management (CEBCEM) at Unilag aims to mitigate threats to global, biological, and cultural diversity. Its goal is to expand knowledge on biodiversity and provide leadership in conservation, sustainability, and environmental biology.

The Department of Cell Biology and Genetics at Unilag was a 2017 Instrumental Access awardee.

Research Areas

The Center’s research focuses on plant and animal biodiversity, ecosystem management, natural resources management, ecosystem risk and disaster management, and community development and outreach.

As a scientist, one is never void of ideas for new areas of research. However, lack of equipment to conduct the research usually burns off the idea. One is then left to stay within studies that available equipments can be used for. This is very frustrating!"
-Dr. Omobolanle Ade-Ademilua, Deputy Director, CEBCEM

Bringing Uncommon Vegetables Back to the Table: Dr. Omobolanle Ade-Ademilua

In Nigeria, increasing urbanization has led to a loss of vegetation. At the same time, the vegetable diets of Nigerians have lost the healthy variation they once had.

Dr Ade-AdemiluaSome vegetables have become so scarce that “they seem to have disappeared from the dinner tables of Nigerians,” says Omobolanle Ade-Ademilua, PhD, Deputy Director at the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management (CEBCEM).

As a plant physiologist, Dr. Ade-Ademilua is interested in cultivating uncommon and underutilized local vegetables and restoring their popularity.

Dr. Ade-Ademilua is particularly interested in medicinal plants growing in urban areas. She is investigating Peperomia pellucida, a tropical herb also known as shiny bush or silver bush.

Peperomia pellucida

Peperomia pellucida

Shiny bush is widely used in traditional medicine to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. It is also eaten as a spicy leafy vegetable.

Traditionally, the plant was harvested from the wild, but Dr. Ade-Ademilua has developed successful cultivation and micropropogation procedures which enable her to produce large numbers of identical plants.

Successful cultivation and micropropogation presents an opportunity to increase availability of healthy food options, especially in urban areas.

"The research is helping to introduce vegetables with both nutritional and medicinal values to the staple diet of Nigerians," says Dr. Ade-Ademilua.

Soon, the vegetable will be on sale in local markets. Over time, commercialization of these vegetables could also be a source of income for women who work in the market.

With Instrumental Access equipment, Dr. Ade-Ademilua and colleagues at CEBCEM will be able to expand their research to include molecular biology techniques.

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University of Lagos
The University of Lagos is situated in a wetland and is therefore exposed to communities in need of information about ecosystem management, biodiversity, and sustainability. The equipment will afford us the opportunity to engage the people around us."
-Dr. Bola Oboh, Director, CEBCEM
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Shipment Status

In transit to Nigeria

About the Department

Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Year Established: 2017
Number of Faculty: 23
Number of Students Impacted Annually: 600 undergraduate, 50 graduate

Why Instrumental Access?

As a newly-established research center, CEBCEM needs equipment to support research and practical teaching.

The Center's research goals include expanding knowledge of Nigerian biodiversity and providing leadership on biodiversity and ecosystem management.

CEBCEM's teaching role will begin with short courses and eventually progress to diplomas and specialized degree programs in natural resource management and coastal management and resilience.

In the News

About Instrumental Access

Instrumental Access empowers scientists in developing countries. It gives them the resources they need to pursue life-changing research and teach the next generation.

To begin, we identify a pipeline of scientific talent. Then we rigorously screen universities and select those with the most potential to advance education and research through Instrumental Access.