Dr Ademola Olaniran
Ademola Olaniran 

Professor Olaniran is the Dean and Head of the School of Life Sciences. He joined the University as a full-time staff member in 2006. He has taught a range of Microbiology modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, with particular focus on Environmental Microbial Biotechnology. Recently, his teaching has been focused on pollution microbiology, pollutant monitoring and detection; waste and wastewater treatment; bioremediation of pollutants; bioenergy production and microbial diversity in biotechnological processes. He embraced teaching as an opportunity to inspire and empower students by involving them in a creative thinking process to become co-producers of knowledge. He was a recipient of the College Distinguished Teacher award for 2014.

Professor Olaniran has been involved in various Environmental Microbiology/Biotechnology research geared towards possible exploitation of microorganisms and/or their enzymes for bioremediation of polluted sites, especially with chlorinated hydrocarbon compounds. He has also conducted research on water/wastewater projects, biosensor development and application to pollutant detection, food safety and climate change. Current focus areas include: biodegradation of chlorophenolic compounds; prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater effluent; metagenomics; water use and waste management; as well as microalgal biotechnology for bioenergy production. He is an active member of several microbiology and biotechnology-related professional bodies.

Ade has served as Head of the Discipline of Microbiology in the pre-existing School of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology. He also served as the Academic Leader for the Biotechnology cluster on the Westville campus of the School of Life Sciences and served as a mentor to young and emerging academics. Until his new appointment, Professor Olaniran was the Academic Leader: Teaching & Learning in the School of Life Sciences.

Position:    Dean and Head of School
Qualifications:    B.Sc. (Hons.) Microbiology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
M.Sc. (Microbiology), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
PhD (Microbiology), University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. 
Campus:   Westville
Telephone:   031 260 7400
 Email:   olanirana@ukzn.ac.za
 Research Areas:   Applied and Environmental Microbiology – Bioremediation, fungal biotechnology & Enzymology

Water and Wastewater Quality – Wastewater treatment efficacy assessment; Antimicrobial resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater effluent

Molecular Epidemiology and Public Health – Virulence signatures and antibiotic resistance profiling of selected bacterial indicator organisms; Characterization of human enteric viruses in water

Environmental Management and Control – Constructed Wetlands, Greywater treatment & reuse; Bacterial biosensors construction and application; Climate change research

Microbial Ecology – Microbial diversity profiling, functional diversity and metagenomics
 Recent Publications:  
Ajit Kumar, Balakrishna Pillay and Ademola O. Olaniran (2015). Enzyme activity and gene expression profiles of Xanthobacter autotrophicus GJ10 during aerobic biodegradation of 1,2-dichloroethane. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, In Press. DOI: 10.1007/s11274-015-1868-4.

Ademola O. Olaniran, Kovashnee Naicker, Balakrishna Pillay (2014). Assessment of physico-chemical qualities and heavy metal concentrations of Umgeni and Umdloti Rivers in Durban, South Africa. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 186(4): 2629-2639.

Ajit Kumar, Balakrishna Pillay and Ademola O. Olaniran (2014). Cloning, expression, purification and three-dimensional structure prediction of haloalkane dehalogenase from a recently isolated Ancylobacter aquaticus strain UV5. Protein Expression and Purification, 99: 10-17. DOI: 10.1016/j.pep.2014.03.003.

Ajit Kumar, Balakrishna Pillay and Ademola O. Olaniran (2014). Two structurally different dienelactone hydrolases (TfdEI and TfdEII) from Cupriavidus necator JMP134 plasmid pJP4 catalyse cis- and trans-dienelactones with similar efficiency. PLOS ONE (In Press) 9(7): e101801. 

Ashmita Arjoon, Ademola O. Olaniran and Balakrishna Pillay (2013). Enhanced 1,2-dichloroethane degradation in heavy metal co-contaminated wastewater undergoing biostimulation and bioaugmentation. Chemosphere, 93(9): 1826-1834. 

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