Wake Up Your POSSIBILITY: Apart from my excellent performances in science subjects and a keen interest in the environment which spurred me to study Biochemistry, my experiences while undergoing an industrial training (a requirement of a Bachelors degree in most Science and Engineering courses in Nigeria) in a manufacturing company in one of the devastated areas in the Niger Delta region cracked me into thinking of how to contribute to remediating the environment.
My Bachelors’ degree research findings led me to enrol into a Master’s degree from which research I developed my potential for environmental studies. I went into the PhD programme with so much enthusiasm and my champions were great, always urging me on to compete with international researchers, to make my research findings known in reputable journals and other media of communication. That was how I started.
The research which won the international UNESCO L’Oreal 2013 fellowship on the 28th of March 2013 at La Sorbonne University, Paris is on the remediation of environmental components, the soil particularly, using two locally available species in a bid to make it cost-effective, accessible and environmentally friendly in nature. In the Oil & Gas sector (the major polluters), chemical and excavation-based remediation methods are heavily in use. It’s just like shifting the goal post of a problem when you excavate and dump at another site. You just transferred the problem, so here we are trying to do a holistic remediation using biological means termed ‘Phytoremediation’.
How many of us, after several well-publicised and ultimately unsuccessful attempts towards our lifelong dream, would get back into the cold, behind–the–scene, always–campaigned–for, difficult–they–say discipline – science? YOU (the winners) are! That’s why we are here! Falling down is not falling out, you have demonstrated that from daily research frustrations. You stood out of the mediocre crowd because nobody notices NORMAL!
Women, they say, are ornaments of the world but you have employed our (women) enduring, patient and fighting spirit to make these diverse decorative architectures in your various fields of science being displayed here today. Make the most out of your research experience and GIVE BACK at the same time to your funders, country, environment and the world at large. Live each day like you expect something great to happen and SHARE YOUR STORIES!
I give you a hand of collaboration this day.
Long live Women in Science!