Chioma Blaise Chikere (Nee Azubuine)Country of origin: Nigeria Currently in: Nigeria, Port Harcourt General field of specialization: Biological Systems and Organisms
PhD Fellowship Alumna
Degrees2011 Doctorate Biological Systems and Organisms2005 Master Biological Systems and Organisms1999 Undergraduate Biological Systems and Organisms
Current Research Activities
Biological Systems and Organisms
My research focuses on bioremediation of crude oil polluted environment where I employ high-throughput techniques such as next generation sequencing, bioinformatics and chromatographic procedures to evaluate the effect of long-term exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons on soil microbes. I also use these methods to evaluate/monitor the progress of bioremediation at field-scale level in order to establish eco-restoration of biological diversity within the compliance limits enshrined in the Department of Petroleum Resources’ (DPR’s) guidelines. With this approach, my Elsevier Foundation Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge 2nd Prize has successfully recovered ecosystem services in a heavily polluted soil at Ngia Ama, Degema Local Government Area, River State, Niger Delta, Nigeria. Sequel to this, a preliminary study on the impacted soil (published in Elsevier's Scientific African (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sciaf.2018.e00003) was done by my research team to establish that despite the inundation of oil in the soil, there were functional and metabolically active microbes to degrade the hydrocarbons establishing the site’s amenability to bioremediation. These findings led to the bioremediation of this polluted site using my Elsevier Foundation 2nd Prize. Two of my PhD candidates in my team worked on this field-scale land treatment and have bagged their PhD degrees after completion of the bioremediation project. My recent publication on impact of Ogoniland oil pollution on soil microbial diversity in Annals of Microbiology (https://doi.org/10.1007/s13213-019-1438-3) was limited in scope due to paucity of funds. Additional funding will ensure that other sites in this region will be studied to provide adequate information for the design of appropriate remedial measures.
Publications resulting from Research:
1. C. B. Chikere, C. C. Azubuike and E. M. Fubara. (2017). Shift in microbial group during remediation by enhanced natural attenuation (RENA) of a crude oil-impacted soil: A case study of Ikarama Community, Bayelsa, Nigeria. 3Biotech. 7:152. DOI 10.1007/s13205-017-0782-x.
2. C. B. Chikere and C. C. Obieze. (2018). Fungal Diversity and Dynamics during Bioremediation of Crude Oil-Polluted Soil. Current Biotechnology. 7: 89-97. DOI: 10.2174/2211550106666170321105848.
3. C. B. Chikere and C. C. Obieze (2018). Effect of hydrocarbon pollution on microbial diversity and implication for bioremediation. Proceedings of Women in Science without Borders (WISWB)-Indaba Conference March 21-23, 2018 at University of Johannesburg, South Africa. ISBN: 978-0-620-78656-0 First Edition: June 2018. Pp 10-11.
4. Chioma Blaise Chikere and Emmanuel Oliver Fenibo (2018). Distribution of PAH-ring hydroxylating dioxygenase genes in bacteria isolated from two illegal oil refining sites in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Scientific African. 1 (2018) e00003. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sciaf.2018.e00003.
5. Ezekoye, C. C., Chikere, C. B. and Okpokwasili G. C. (2018). Field Metagenomics of Bacterial Community Involved in Bioremediation of Crude Oil-Polluted Soil. Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation. 9:5 DOI: 10.4172/2155-6199.1000449.
6. Chioma Blaise Chikere, Chinedu Christopher Obieze, Ijeoma Jessie Mordi, Blaise Ositadinma Chikere, Ramganesh Selvarajan and Tom Omotayo Ashafa. (2019). Comparative metagenomics and functional profiling of crude oil polluted soils in Bodo West Community, Ogoni, with other sites of varying pollution history. Annals of Microbiology. 69(5): 495-513. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13213-019-1438-3.
7. Chinedu Christopher Obieze, Chioma Blaise Chikere, Rasheed Adeleke and Onyewuchi Akaranta. (2019). Formulation and evaluation of slow-release fertilizer from agricultural and industrial wastes for remediation of crude oil-polluted soils. SPE-198815-MS for SPE Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition to be held in Lagos, Nigeria, 5–7 August 2019.
8. Emmanuel O. Fenibo, Grace N. Ijoma, Ramganesh Selvarajan and Chioma B. Chikere. (2019). Microbial Surfactants: The Next Generation Multifunctional Biomolecules for Applications in the Petroleum Industry and Its Associated Environmental Remediation. Microorganisms. 7: 581. Doi.10.3390/microorganisms7110581.
9. Okoye, A. U., Chikere, C. B. and Okpokwasili, G. C. (2019). Characterization of Potential Paraffin Wax removing Bacteria for Sustainable Biotechnological Application. SPE-198799-MS for SPE Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition to be held in Lagos, Nigeria, 5–7 August 2019.
10. Chikere, C.B., Tekere, M., Adeleke, R. (2019). Enhanced microbial hydrocarbon biodegradation as stimulated during field-scale landfarming of crude oil-impacted soil. Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy. 14:100177. doi: 10.1016/J.SCP.2019.100177.
Current professionCurrent professional activities type:ResearchTeaching
AffiliationsAmerican Society for MicrobiologySociety of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)Society for Applied MicrobiologyNigerian Society for Microbiology
TWAS AwardsJun 2016FellowshipTWAS-UNESCO ASSOCIATESHIP
Other AwardsOct 2005TWOWS POSTGRADUATE FELLOWSHIPTHIRD WORLD ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE (TWOWS) NOW OWSD POSTGRADUATE FELLOWSHIP FOR SPLIT SITE PhD PROGRAMME AT THE DEPARTMENT OF MICROBIOLOGY AND PLANT PATHOLOGY UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA SOUTH AFRICAMay 2017Elsevier Foundation 2nd Prize in the 2017 Green and Sustainable Chemistry ChallengeA prize that recognizes researchers using green and sustainable technologies to solve environmental/health problems geared towards achieving the UN SDGs. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/elsevierfoundation_gscc-5th-anniversary-interviews-with-past-activity-6688445868787417088-EWBWJan 2019SOCIETY FOR APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY (SFAM) PRESIDENT'S FUND TRAVEL GRANT 2019This financial support from SFAM paid for my accommodation when I attended and presented 3 posters at Keystone Symposia Microbiome Conference at Montreal, Canada in March 2019Apr 2016Society for Applied Microbiology (SFAM) President's fund Travel Grant 2016This grant supported me to attend and present my 2 posters at the SFAM Summer Conference in July 2016 at Edinburgh, United KingdomMar 2015University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria 2015 distinguished scholar's award for meritorious service to the UniversityUniversity of Port Harcourt, Nigeria 2015 distinguished scholar's award for meritorious service to the UniversitySep 2007International Foundation for Science (IFS) Sweden 1st individual research grant 2007This research grant from IFS enabled me to investigate into the impact of crude oil pollution on the microbial diversity in tropical marine sediments. This grant supported Undergraduate and Post graduate project students in my research group to conduct beneficial and purposeful researches which have been published in notable and reputable journals.Dec 2012International Foundation for Science (IFS) Sweden 2nd Individual research grant (renewal) 2012This renewal research grant from IFS enabled me to investigate into the impact of crude oil pollution on the microbial diversity in tropical marine sediments. This grant supported 2 Post graduate project students in my research group to conduct beneficial and purposeful researches which have been published in notable and reputable journals. Here we used molecular biology techniques to evaluate the presence of catabolic genes in the genome of hydrocarbon degrading bacteria isolated from oil-polluted marine sediments undergoing treatment in bioreactors.
Fellowship with OWSD
Fellowship with OWSD
Fellowship awarded 2005
PHD Graduation 2011OWSD Postgraduate fellowship gave me the springboard that launched me into the research community both locally and internationally. This exposure has greatly enhanced my performance and visibility as a female scientist in terms of research publications, winning of notable research grants, getting a robust research network and an outstanding international footprint,Thesis
BACTERIAL DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY DYNAMICS DURING THE BIOREMEDIATION OF CRUDE OIL-POLLUTED SOIL