PROF. HARRISON IFEANYICHUKWU ATAGANA
VICE PRESIDENT (SOUTHERN AFRICA)
Prof. Harrison Ifeanyichukwu Atagana is a Professor of Environmental Biotechnology at the Institute for Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability (iNanoWS), University of South Africa. He has Ph.D. Environmental Microbiology, M.Sc. Environmental and Public Health Microbiology, BSc. (Hons.) Botany, Certificate in Education, Postgraduate Diploma in Management, Diploma in Project Management, Certificate in Environmental Law, and Certificate in Integrated Environmental Management (IEM).
He has been involved in environmental management and activism since the 1980s having been involved with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, International Society for Environmental Biotechnology, International Society for Environmental indicators (as a Board Member), and International Phytotechnology Society (as a Board Member).
His background in Botany, Microbiology and Education forms the core of his research activities in environmental biotechnology and science education. His research foci include bioremediation and phytoremediation of soil and water contaminated with recalcitrant organic compounds and heavy metals. He has executed to completion projects on bioremediation and phytoremediation of contaminated soil including soil contaminated with creosote hydrocarbons in a wood treatment factory and treatment of soil contaminated with organic compounds and heavy metals by phytoremediation in South Africa. He is one of the pioneers in compost bioremediation of contaminated soil in Africa having published some the earliest papers in this area in the early 2000s. He has also completed a project on treatment of industrial wastewater from a rubber processing factory in Nigeria.
He is a rated scientist of the South Africa National Research Foundation (NRF), a rating he has maintained for 19 years.
He is a registered Professional Natural Scientist of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, member of the South African Society for Microbiology, Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education and the International Society for Environmental Biotechnology. He serves on the Boards of the International Society for Environmental Indicators, International Phytotechnology Society, and the Alkebulan Society for Environmental Sustainability.
Prof HI Atagana was the founding Director/Head of the Institute for Science and Technology Education (ISTE), University of South Africa (2007-2014) during which he initiated and ran projects such as the Annual ISTE Conference, which he chaired until 2014 and still continues to co-chair. He also initiated and still runs the Annual ISTE Winter School, a science teacher development programme. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Head of the Department of Nature Conservation, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa.
He has been awarded a number of research grants, published over 100 papers in journals of international standing, conference proceedings and edited books, and has presented papers and chaired sessions in many international conferences around the world most of which are environmental remediation related.
He has trained a number of master’s and doctoral students to graduation. He has lectured in a number of South African and African universities and has collaborations with colleagues in South African, Nigeria, Ethiopia, the USA, and China. He has mentored and is still mentoring young academics.