Dr Olabimpe Yewande Orubuloye
I am passionate about knowledge- and result-driven research geared toward understanding the behavioural and chemical ecology mechanisms modulating the interactions of insect pests and disease vectors. Signal chemicals or semiochemicals including pheromones and allelochemicals are important for organisms to locate host, food source, mate, breeding site, and avoid competition, non-hosts and natural enemies. Such semiochemicals can be used to manipulate the behaviour of pests and vectors, and control them in an environment-friendly manner suitable for sustainable development.
My PhD research focused on understanding the chemical ecology basis of the differential interactions between tsetse flies, vectors of African trypanosomosis, and their equid hosts. The research involved field sampling and evaluation in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as laboratory studies employing gas chromatography – electroantennographic detection (GC/EAD) and GC - mass spectrometry. I showed that skin odours play a role in the avoidance of zebra by tsetse flies compared to donkey and horse, identified the chemicals responsible as three ketones and formulated them into a three-component repellent blend. The identified blend repelled both riverine and savannah tsetse flies in the field and represents a potential effective semiochemical-based tool in the integrated management of tsetse flies and elimination efforts of African trypanosomosis.
My postdoctoral research is designed to improve knowledge of the behavioural and chemical ecology of plantation forest pests in South Africa and develop an integrated pest management toolkit for their control. I am supervised by Prof. Jeremy Allison (https://www.fabinet.up.ac.za/index.php/people-profile?profile=1270), Prof. Bernard Slippers and Prof Brett Hurley. In addition to my PhD degree in Entomology and research in chemical ecology, I have a background in Chemistry (MSc Organic Chemistry; B.Tech. (Hons.) Pure and Applied Chemistry). I am a member of the International Society of Chemical Ecology and the Entomological Society of America.