November 23, 2017

A Day in the life of an ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGIST

Name: Temitope Olawunmi Sogbanmu, PhD

Qualification: BSc (Hons) Zoology, MSc and PhD Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Management

Secondary School/s attended: Holy Child College, Lagos, Nigeria

Tertiary Institution/s attended: University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

  • I got in to my job through the advice and mentorship of my undergraduate Project Supervisor. At the time to be an environmental toxicologist was quite new and the field of Environmental Toxicology was quite ‘green’. There was a need for trained practitioners and tutors in that field to train the next generation. Thus, after my National Youth Service Corps, I returned to my Alma Mater for a Masters and PhD programme in Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Management. It was during my PhD studies that I applied for the job of an Assistant Lecturer in my current department and University where I am currently a Lecturer-II. Apart from lecturing and training others, I also consult for private companies and the government in the areas of Environmental Impact Assessments and Monitoring Studies

 

  • My day usually starts at 4am and ends at 6pm

 

  • On a typical day, I arrive the University at about 7:30am after dropping off my children at school within the university. When I get to my office, I check my emails and prepare a workplan for the day (usually). I check my lecture (Undergraduate and Postgraduate) schedule, revise my lecture notes/slides ahead of the class. Also, I have sticky notes on my laptop with reminders and deadlines for Conferences and Workshops, Manuscript writing and submissions, Grant proposals, Reports, etc. I assess the various notes to attend to the most urgent deadlines. Furthermore, I go to the departmental office at some point during the day to retrieve mails and get information. My day ends at about 3-4pm at which time I go to pick up my children from school and we head home. However, on the day , I have laboratory sessions or exam invigilation, my day ends at about 6pm.

 

  • The worst part of my job is marking scripts

 

  • A memorable moment I have had was when one of my postgraduate students who had just graduated came visiting. He was very excited as he informed me that he had completed the programme and graduated with a Grade Point Average of 4.3. He was also promoted at his job as a Health, Safety and Environment Officer in a Petroleum Servicing Company. He was very thankful to me for mentoring him during his project (He was my project student) and even his academics. He also came with a ‘sizable gift’ to show his appreciation. I felt fulfilled that I had added value to someone’s life and impacted positively on his career and the environment through capacity building.

 

  • Outside of work I like to spend time with my family, watch movies (though I don’t get much time for this because of domestic duties), travelling, shopping (including window shopping), talking/mentoring young people (I do this at church as a Junior Church Teacher) and at my secondary schools to Junior Secondary students.

 

  • My advise is this, be Disciplined, Adventurous, Bold, God-fearing and Dare to make a difference. Nothing, good, worthwhile or enduring comes easy. So work hard now so you can enjoy later. Finally, what goes around comes around. Take care of the environment around you. If you pollute the environment (air, water, soil), it will turn around to ‘pollute’ you causing ill-health, and diseases.