School of Chemistry & Physics

PhD Study Driven by Passion for Human Health and Environmental Safety

Dr Elizabeth Omotola graduated with her Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry.

Omotola received her primary and secondary education in the city of Ibadan, Nigeria. She completed a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science at Tai-Solarin University of Education and the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, respectively.

Her PhD research focused on developing appropriate methods for the detection and monitoring of pharmaceutical compounds in the environment. It also aimed to create a database that the authorities and regulatory bodies can use to take appropriate action to safeguard human health.

The study highlighted the dangers of releasing untreated wastewater into water bodies and the need to upgrade wastewater treatment plants to become more effective and efficient, as pharmaceutical residues were detected even in so-called treated waste water.

The methods Omotola developed to quantify and analyse the detected compounds have opened a new pathway for monitoring of contaminants by chemists. She has already published two papers, with more under peer-review.

‘Research and teaching are my passion and I hope to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself in either of these areas in the future,’ said Omotola.

She added: ‘I had the privilege of working with the best staff any university Department of Chemistry could boast of. Notwithstanding the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, my research experience progressed smoothly.’

Her supervisor, Dr Olatunde Olatunji commented: ‘Elizabeth joined our Analytical Environmental Chemistry and Chemical Toxicology Research Group in 2018. She is a determined and passionate scholar, and this is evident in the timeous completion of her research work. She completed her PhD in two-and-half years, a feat that is not common.’

Words: Leena Rajpal

Photograph: Supplied