Dr Oladayo A. Idris has been appointed as Collections Manager for Botany in the Department of Animal and Plant Systematics. Oladayo has experience in plant collection, herbarium management, publication of articles, reviewing of manuscripts, lecturing of students, and has also functioned as an external examiner of postgraduate research studies. He has completed a BSc degree in Botany, MSc degree in Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Management, and PhD degree in Botany (Fort Hare University).
During his PhD studies he gained knowledge of plant systematics, molecular biology, ecology, medicinal plants, and pharmacology. His doctoral study focused on the documentation of indigenous South African medicinal plants used in the treatment of intestinal parasitic worms, as well as their pharmacological significance and environmental impact. For two years prior to his appointment at the Museum, Oladayo was engaged in a postdoctoral fellowship at North-West University in Potchefstroom, where his research established a compelling link between medicinal plants and their relevance for the control of food crop pests and diseases.
He is an active member of the South African Association of Botanists (SAAB), European Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and the American Society of Ethnobiology (SoE). Oladayo’s primary activity at the Museum will involve the management of the herbarium, including the digitisation of preserved plant specimens. He will also conduct botanical research projects.