Message from Dr. Franklin Nyabuga
The Department of Biological Sciences is one of the departments in the School of Pure and Applied Sciences in the University of Embu. Founded at the nascent stages of the University, the Department has made remarkable progress and graduated the second cohort of students on 15th September, 2017. During this graduation, the Department produced the best undergraduate student in the University Miss Susan Wairimu Muriuki who graduated with a First Class Honours, Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Biotechnology. The Department was also the first Department in the University of Embu to graduate a PhD student, Dr. Mariciano Iguna Mutiga, who graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Ecology in 2016 while Mr. Alex Kipnyargis Cherutich graduated with a Master of Science in Genetics. In 2017, Mr Sammy Musyoka graduated with a Master of Science in Plant Ecology. Currently, there are fourteen continuing Master of Science students and six Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students in the Department. Due to excellent performance, six undergraduate students in the class of 2017 were awarded full scholarships to pursue Master of Science in Genetics and Master of Science in Plant Ecology.
On the human resource front, the Department currently has two professors, one associate professor, one senior lecturer, ten lecturers, two tutorial fellows, two junior research fellows, one chief technologist and five technologists. Academic staff in the department are actively involved in research and student supervision as evidenced by publications. Members of academic staff have been widely published by top science publishers in the world including Nature, Elsevier, Springer and BioMed Central among others. The focus areas of the Department are; Microbiology, Ecology, Genetics, Entomology, Parasitology, Zoological Sciences, Plant Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Biotechnology. Current research interests of staff members include: Bioprospecting for novel microorganisms from the environment, Microbial genetics and genomics, Bacterial Systematics, Metagenomics, Microbial ecology, Plant genetic diversity, Biodiversity of selected model groups of phytoplankton, Exploration of microalgae for biofuel production, Nematology and Crop Protection, Agri-biotechnology, Climate change and bio-adaptation.
The Department is committed to ensuring that students complete their research proposals and theses on time. We welcome you to try us on this. The department is endowed with well-equipped laboratories. The laboratories are equipped with a number of permanent, expendable and disposable equipment. In 2016, the Department won equipment grants and received equipment from Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Additional molecular biology equipment were received from Seeding Labs in 2017. Three members of the Department; Prof. Eucharia Kenya, Prof. Nancy Budambula and Dr. Romano Mwirichia competed for and won grants from the National Research Fund in 2016/2017. During the 2017 calendar year, Prof. Nancy Budambula from the Department won the University of Embu, Researcher of the Year Award.
Undergraduate degree programs in the Department are: Bachelor of Science (BSc), BSc Biochemistry, BSc Microbiology and Biotechnology, BSc Biology and BSc Environmental Conservation and Natural resources. We also support the Bachelor of Education (Science) and Agriculture students. Postgraduate degree programs currently on offer are Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy programs in Applied Microbiology, Genetics, Plant Ecology, Applied Parasitology, Hydrobiology and Entomology. These programs currently run on a full-time basis.
To learn more about the department and the research interests of our staff, please visit http://biologicalsciences.embuni.ac.ke/ or contact our individual members of the department. You are also welcome to meet and talk with our staff members.
Biological Sciences Staff Profiles
- Prof. Eucharia Kenya
- Prof. Kiplagat Kotut
- Prof. Nancy Budambula
- Prof. Romano Mwirichia Kachiuru
- Dr Jamleck Muturi
- Dr. Justin Nyaga
- Dr. Hannah Karuri
- Dr. Franklin Nyabuga
- Dr. Rossa N. Nyoike
- Dr. Michael Njoroge Githaiga
- Dr. Josephine Ngunjiri
- Dr Sarah Naulikha Kituyi
- Dr. Julius N. Mugweru
- Alex Cherutic Kipnyargis
- Dr. Daniel Mutiso Nthiwa
- Mr. Joshua Kiilu Muli
- Jared Anyona Nyakundi
Latest Publications from the Department
2021 & 2020
- Akoko, J. M., Pelle, R., Lukambagire, A. S., Machuka, E. M., Nthiwa, D., Mathew, C., ... & Ouma, C. (2021). Molecular epidemiology of Brucella species in mixed livestock-human ecosystems in Kenya. Scientific reports, 11(1), 1-11.
- Maina, S., Karuri, H.W and Ng’endo R. 2021. Free-living nematode assemblages associated with maize residues and their ecological significance. Journal of Nematology, 53: e2021-38.
- Karuri, H.W. 2021. Nematode community structure and functional guilds differ in tea fields and tropical forest. Geoderma 392, 115006.
- Kiriamburi, J., Nilsson, A., Muturi, J., Mugweru, J., & Forsgren, E. (2021). Efficacy of two commercial disinfectants on Paenibacillus larvae spores. bioRxiv.
- Chiwala, G., Liu, Z., Mugweru, J. N., Wang, B., Khan, S. A., Bate, P. N. N., ... & Zhang, T. (2021). A recombinant selective drug-resistant M. bovis BCG enhances the bactericidal activity of a second-line tuberculosis regimen. bioRxiv.
- Kiama, C. W., Njire, M. M., Kambura, A. K., Mugweru, J. N., Matiru, V. N., & Wafula, E. N. (2021). Isolation and Characterization of Bacteria from Lakes Olbolosat and Oloiden, Kenya. African Journal of Microbiology Research, 15(1), 1-19.
- Muli J.K., J O. Neondo, P. K. Kamau and N.L.M. Budambula (2020). Genetic diversity and use of African indigenous vegetables especially slender leaf. International Journal of Vegetable Science https://doi.org/10.1080/19315260.2020.1829768
- Muriuki S. W., J.O Neondo and N. L.M. Budambula (2020). Detection and profiling of antibiotic resistance among culturable bacterial isolates in vended food and soil Samples. International Journal of Microbiology https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/6572693
- Wasonga, M. A., E. E. Arunga, J. O. Neondo, J.K Muli, P.K. Kamau and N.L.M Budambula (2020). A hybridization technique for orphan legumes: Development of an artificial interspecific pollination protocol for Crotalaria spp. Journal of Crop Improvement https://doi.org/10.1080/15427528.2020.1810189
- Maina, S., Karuri, H. and Ngend’o, R. 2020. Nematode metabolic footprints, ecological and functional indices in tropical maize-beans agro-ecosystems under different farming practices. Acta Oecologica 108: 103622
- Maina, H., Karuri, H., Rotich, F. and Nyabuga, F., 2020. Impact of low-cost management techniques on population dynamics of plant-parasitic nematodes in sweet potato. Crop Protection 137:105311.
- Mwakha, F., Budambula, N., Neondo, J., Gichimu, B., Odari, E., & Kamau, P. et al. (2020). Witchweed’s Suicidal Germination: Can Slenderleaf Help?. Agronomy, 10(6), 873. doi: 10.3390/agronomy10060873