Proceedings of the 6th Biennial Conference of Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World Nigeria (OWSD 2023)

Conference Name: Proceedings of the 6th Biennial Conference of Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World Nigeria (OWSD 2023)
Date: 2-6 July 2023
Location: Port Harcourt, Nigeria (Hybrid)

The 6th Biennial Conference of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) Nigeria, with the theme ‘Diversity and Innovation in Science for Sustainable Development,’ took place from 2 to 6 July 2023. The conference commenced each day at 10 am and kicked off with a Pre-Conference Workshop titled ‘Equipping Next Generation Researchers.’ The event was hosted at the Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and featured a hybrid format, with over 250 participants joining both in-person and virtually.

The conference encompassed nine session tracks, each addressing a specific aspect of scientific advancement and development:

• Track 1: Digital Technologies in Science and Technology Education.
• Track 2: Computational Methods and Scientific Applications.
• Track 3: Green Energy and Sustainable Ecosystems.
• Track 4: Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
• Track 5: Smart Farming, Agricultural Processes, and Food Security.
• Track 6: Environment, Climate Change, and Innovative Solutions.
• Track 7: Medical and Biomedical Research.
• Track 8: Engineering, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence Research.
• Track 9: Social Science and Arts in Science and Medicine.

These specialized tracks allowed participants to explore a wide range of topics and engage in fruitful discussions, fostering knowledge exchange and collaboration, and contributing to the overarching goal of promoting diversity and innovation in science for sustainable development, with a focus on encouraging women’s participation in STEM fields.

We would like to express our gratitude to all the participants for their fruitful work and excellent contribution to CCESEM 2023. Especially, we appreciate the enormous work of the editorial board and reviewers in the preparation of this volume. Also, our special thanks and appreciation go to the members of Atlantis Press. Hopefully, all participants and other readers can benefit scientifically from the Proceedings and find it rewarding in the process.


To all the curious minds and passionate hearts who believe that through the prism of science, diversity becomes our strength and innovation our path and work tirelessly to make it a reality. Your immeasurable commitment to embracing diversity and fostering innovation is an inspiration to us all.


I extend my heartfelt gratitude to those who made this project possible:

• To my unwavering support system, my beloved husband, Chucks, and our remarkable twins, Somto and Muna, who stood by me through the demanding phases of calls, strategy sessions, and the meticulous editing of this book of proceedings. You’re my rock!
• I’m profoundly thankful to themembers of the Scientific Sub-Committee of the Local Organizing Committee, especially Prof. Florence Nduka (my Co-Editor), Lauritta C. Ndedufeiya-Kumasi, and Dr. Linda Uchenna Oghenekaro, for their exceptional handling of the submission process.
• Special appreciation goes to Prof. Mary Iwundu for generously co-sponsoring the cost of plagiarism checks for submitted manuscripts.
• I am indebted to Prof. Olayinka Nwachukwu, the National Chairperson, and all the national officers of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) Nigeria, for their approval and support in publishing this Book.
• To the devoted members and executives of OWSD University of Port Harcourt Branch, who made hosting the 6th Biennial Conference possible. Your unwavering commitment and cohesion made a remarkable difference.
• Writing a book is more challenging and rewarding than I ever imagined. The constant encouragement from the members of OWSD UNIPORT, who always said, “You can do it,” means the world to me.
• My heartfelt appreciation to my mom, who is my most avid reader and a continuous source of inspiration. Your love spurs me on, Mom. I love you immensely.
• My siblings, De Vin, Raymond, Adanne, Obinna, Anayo, Nneka, Ikechukwu, and Ikemba, have always been understanding when I couldn’t answer their calls because I was engrossed in the manuscript. I appreciate your patience and support.
• I extend my gratitude to our plenary speakers, Prof. Mike Faborode and Dr. Gertie Arts, for their inspiring contributions to this book of proceedings.
• A warm thank you to Prof. Owunari A. Georgewill, the 9th Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, and Prof. Joseph A. Ajienka, the 7th Vice Chancellor, for their moral support. I also appreciate the encouragement from the GMD of Cypher-Crescent Ltd., Engr. ThankGod Egbe, Prof. Stephen A. Okodudu, and many others who have been instrumental in this journey.
• Mary James deserves special recognition for her diligent efforts in finding a suitable publisher.
• I express my deep appreciation to Phumelele Higgins for agreeing to write the foreword for this work.
• A very special thanks to Atlantis Press, a part of Springer Nature, for embarking on this journey with me and for their invaluable suggestions and support from their dedicated team members throughout the process. Your contributions have made this endeavour a reality, and I am truly grateful.


This book of proceedings of the 6th Biennial International Conference by the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) Nigeria Chapter is an effectively woven articulation of the conference proceedings. This book of proceedings articulates how the Nigeria Chapter has successfully managed to implement the agenda of Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, an international organization that provides research training, career development, and networking opportunities for women scientists throughout the developing world at different stages of their careers. The book of proceedings is written under the auspices of Prof. Eucharia Oluchi Nwaichi, who is a Local Organizing Committee Chairman at this conference.

Prof. Eucharia Nwaichi is a phenomenal woman and proud scientist who passionate about women in science and the role of science in economic development. She is an environmental biochemist, soil scientist, and toxicologist. As a scientist myself, I had the honour of meeting Prof. Nwaichi for the first time in South Africa, Cape Town, years ago during the World Intellectual Property Summer School (WIPO) in 2011. She came across as someone who is an all-rounder in science, technology, and innovation. Throughout the years I have developed a close relationship with Prof. Nwaichi as a colleague and acquaintance in the science and innovation space. I have seen her blossoming and achieving great strides. I furthermore had an opportunity to work closely with her in the international women in science developmental programmes where she showed knowledge and her love for science. I have continued to cheer her along the lines on different milestones in her career as a scientist. Amongst others are her super leadership at the OWSD University of Port Harcourt Branch and as the Vice President of the OWSD Nigeria Chapter, where she has successfully showed her leadership qualities in spearheading developmental projects. Prof. Nwaichi is also a recipient of 2022 John Maddox Prize, a prestigious award she received for engaging communities in conflict to address pollution in the oil fields of the Niger Delta with research and interestingly, is the first African to win it. It is without a doubt that she is a giant in her own right and have played a critical role in supporting women in science and innovation in Nigeria and globally.

The book of the proceedings of the 6th Biennial International Conference by the Organization for Women in Science has 25 chapters. The book is titled ‘Science for Sustainable Development: Embracing Diversity and Fostering Innovation’ and covers a wide range of scientific studies that has been commissioned as part of the programmes of the Nigeria Chapter for Organization of Women in the Developing World. The studies demonstrate the use of science and innovation to make scientific discoveries, solve day-to-day problems, the use of ICT for economic development, science and innovation leadership, women in scientific research, innovative agricultural methods, and measuring leadership capabilities of women in science. Prof. Nwaichi is naturally the best person to edit this book because she is a mature scientist with a good understating of conducing scientific research, interpreting results and an expert in evidence-based research. Prof. Nwaichi was awarded the Leadership evidence award in 2020 for her contributions in science and evidence-based support for policymakers in Nigeria. Her research interests on waste management, pollution prevention and phytoremediation is a great strength in editing this book. An excellent team of STEM researchers assembled in the 6th Biennial Conference of OWSD Nigeria birthed amazing contents and authors in this book of proceedings. Reading through the chapters of the book will give you a clear understating of the potential of Africa’s researchers, in particular Nigeria, as using evidence-based scientific research for economic development, is laid bare. This book is important to me because it is a demonstration of the work done by varied career women scientists in Nigeria and other countries. In my conversations with Prof. Nyuawa about the book, she spoke eloquently about the book, its contribution to evidence-based research and the levers to uplift earlier career women in science and innovation. One most important observation that comes across the book is the realization that science is a cross-cutter and a tool to support economic development.

This book is important because it is a footprint of the work done by Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World Nigeria and their collaborators. It brings to the fore scientific evidence-based research that speaks to day-to-day challenges and how science can be used as a tool to find solutions and support sustainable development. Furthermore, the book provides lessons, recommendations, and alternative ways of using evidence-based research for economic development. This book is a must read for all STEM researchers at large and will lift women struggling with their STEM careers and exemplifies collaboration for innovation.

Phumelele Higgins
CEO & founder: Lead and Excel Management Consulting
Pretoria, South Africa