A Wealth of Energy and Experience: Profiling Prof Olubukola Babalola (NRF rated)

Prof Olubukola Babalola

We would like to introduce to you Professor Olubukola Babalola, the Director for the Food Security and Safety Niche area and the Principal Investigator Department of Microbial Laboratory at the NWU Mafikeng Campus. We are glad she also participated in the SANBio Annual Event in February 2017 as a speaker.

Prof Olubukola Babalola was elected Vice-President for the Africa region of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) in 2016. OWSD provides research training and networking opportunities for women scientists throughout the developing world at different stages in their careers.

Prof Babalola, with a PhD in Microbiology, is a former OWSD fellow and is actively engaged in the mentoring of current OWSD fellows and other women scientists; over 89 scholars of microbiology have graduated under her research mentorship. “I get to impart knowledge; I have the opportunity to stand before a great number of youth and influence them positively. I get this rare opportunity every day I go to class,” she remarks.

In addition to OWSD, she is also a member of organisations such as the South African Women in Science and Engineering (SAWISE) and the South African Association of Women Graduates (SAAWG). Her advice to women in science and innovation is to “stay motivated and move with the trends in science to stay relevant in their endeavours”.

Prof Babalola specialises in Plant-Microbe Interactions and Soil Microbiology. She has had a prolific career and published 91 peer-reviewed journal articles, ten book chapters, and 70 conference proceedings/abstracts. She enjoys international collaborations, research grants and has received many awards. She has more than 40 professional certificates in her area of interest from the University of California, Berkeley, University of Mauritius, Reduit, and Bradford University, among others. Her wealth of internal experience spans through several continents.

With this sort of experience, it is no wonder Prof Babalola has been described as a go-getter and an epitome of an African female research scientist. Furthermore, she is known for encouraging and helping girls to improve themselves, pursue higher education, and manage their lives and dreams.