Professor Oyebiodun Grace Longe makes history as the first female Nigerian emeritus professor in agriculture

The Senate of Nigeria’s premier and foremost university (University of Ibadan) has ratified the appointment of retired Professor Oyebiodun Grace Longe as Emeritus Professor of Poultry Nutrition in the Department of Animal Science, making her the second in the Department (after late Professor V.A. Oyenuga) and the first woman in Nigeria to attain such pinnacle in any field of Agriculture.

Professor Longe has been a distinguished fellow right from the undergraduate years. She graduated with B.Sc. First Class Honours in Animal Science specializing in Agricultural Biochemistry and Nutrition in 1970 and was admitted to a direct Ph. D programme at the University of Nottingham, England in 1971 where she received a Ph.D. degree in Applied Biochemistry and Nutrition specialising in poultry nutrition in 1974. Because of her great love for teaching, she joined the Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan in 1975 as Lecturer II and has since taught Carbohydrate Chemistry and Utilization and Energy Metabolism in Non-ruminants. Rising through the ranks, she became a Professor in October, 1988, the first female Professor of Animal Science in Nigeria.

Professor Longe is a member of many national and international professional bodies including the British Nutrition Society, Nigerian Society for Animal Production, Animal Science Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, Third World Organisation of Women in Science, World’s Poultry Science Association, and Alumni Association of Fulbright Scholars.

She has been actively involved in research for over 40 years endeavouring not only to set standards of research but professional standards as well. She has widely published nationally and internationally in reputable journals and edited/reviewed books including those on food, nutrition security and agriculture as well as harnessing agricultural biotechnology for Africa’s economic development. She also has many lead commissioned papers principally in the area of feed resources for livestock development. In her inaugural lecture titled ‘Poultry: Treasure in a Chest’, she emphasized the need to implement the recommendations on  feeding standards, particularly for protein and energy, for poultry in the tropics considering the high environmental temperatures rather than using published values for the temperate.

Professor Longe was a recipient of various awards: Western State of Nigeria Scholarship for Undergraduate studies, 1968-70; Federal Government of Nigeria Scholarship for Postgraduate studies, 1971-74; French Government Fellowship at Institut Francais des Boissons de la Brasserie Malterie, Nancy, France, 1983; Association of Commonwealth Universities, Shell Award in Biotechnology to the United Kingdom, 1990;  Fulbright African Senior Research Scholar as a Visiting Fellow to the United States, 1992/1993. In recognition of her outstanding contribution to knowledge in her field and the development of her professional affiliations, she has been honoured with Fellowship by professional bodies including: Fellow, Nigerian Society for Animal Production; Animal Science Association of Nigeria; Nigerian Institute of Animal Science and Nigerian Academy of Science.

Professor Longe has served in various capacities within and outside the University of Ibadan. She was once Honorary Treasurer, Nigerian Society for Animal Production, member of the Governing Council of the University of Ado-Ekiti from 2000-2003, member of Council, Nigerian Academy of Science till 2012 and member of Council representing the Poultry discipline, Nigerian Institute of Animal Science till 2014.

Indeed, emeritus professor is the icing on the cake for the erudite, distinguished, retired and untired Professor Oyebiodun Longe.


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