Balogun Morufat

Balogun Morufat Tissue culture SpecialistDr. Morufat Oloruntoyin Balogun is a Visiting Scientist, Tissue Culture Specialist of the 'Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA project) funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is based in Ibadan, Nigeria, working on the development of technologies for high ratio propagation of high quality breeder and foundation seed yam.

She obtained a Bachelor of Technology in Pure & Applied Biology from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria in 1996, Master of Science in Crop Protection and Environmental Biology (Genetics) from the University of Ibadan in 1999 and a PhD in Plant Genetics from the University of Ibadan (2005). She is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, University of Ibadan. She had been mentored by Mrs. S.Y.C. Ng (Tissue culture specialist) formerly of the IIITA, Ibadan, Prof. I. Fawole, Accomplished Prof. of Genetics, Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; Late Prof. (Mrs.) S. R. Akande, Prof. of Plant Breeding, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Ibadan, Nigeria.

She was a Fellow, United Nations University/Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (2000); Visiting Research Student, IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria (2000-2005); Norman E. Borlaug International Science and Technology Fellow, United States Department of Agriculture (2005). Winner, 2012 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund of State Department on 'Countering oil spills in the Niger Delta with local plants'; Principal Investigator of the USAID-funded National Science Foundation-Partnership for Enhanced Engagement in Research on '"Improving Yam (Dioscorea spp) seed systems through production of dormancy-controlled seed tubers in Temporary Immersion Bioreactors". She is currently supervising PhD, MSc, and BSc students; Mentor under the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development Programme.

Her research activities include optimization of protocols for in vitro culture of plants for rapid propagation, focusing on bioreactor systems, to improve productivity. On YIIFSWA, she is developing high through-put procedures for the production of high quality breeder and foundation seed yam in temporary immersion bioreactor systems. Other areas include exploration of storage organs for conservation, development of low cost options for plant tissue culture, and in vitro selection for economically important traits to fast-track genetic improvement. She is interested in local and international partnerships on plant somatic cell genetics and strategic mitigations regarding climate change.