Dr Rachael Chidugu-Ogborigbo

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About me

Using molecular and systematic taxonomy, my research investigates sponge evolution, biology and species specificity. With this, a new sponge species of Amorphinopsis was discovered in the oil-rich region of Niger Delta, Nigeria for the first time and has been named Amorphinopsis kalibiama. My research also developed and established for the first time the amenability of the alkaline comet assay and H2DCF-DA assay with cryopreserved single sponge cells.

My research, therefore, is focused on deploying sea sponges as a reliable tool and a model system to investigate the mechanism of genotoxicity and cytotoxicity of aquatic pollutants. With the emphasis on Bioaccumulation and bioavailability of environmentally relevant xenobiotics (Heavy metals, PAHs, Organochlorines and Oil spill chemicals), my research investigates exposure, uptake, fate, metabolic activity and biological effects in both field samples and laboratory single sponge cell exposures.

Overall, the aim is to identify and build up batteries of sensitive biomarkers (Oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, glutathione depletion, Endocrine disruption, DNA Damage and P450 CYP1A1 Metabolic activity) of environmentally relevant xenobiotics as a reliable tool for biomonitoring and chemical risk assessment in the aquatic system.

Area of expertise

I am an Ecogenotoxicologist and my areas of professional expertise are:

  • Investigating molecular, biochemical and cellular responses of aquatic organisms to inorganic and organic pollutants
  • identification of sensitive biomarkers for biomonitoring and chemical risk assessments
  • Sea sponge systematics, Evolution and Palaeobiology


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