As a young girl in high school, Funmi has always been fascinated by the giant and complex equipment in the biology laboratory. After high school, she began to develop interest in Biology, and her dream came true in 2016 when she bagged a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Tai Solarin University of Education, Nigeria. She graduated as the overall best student with the highest CGPA of 4.84 /5.0. This achievement earned for her an automatic employment as a Graduate Trainee at the Department of Biological Sciences in the University.
Her career in Biology took a drastic turn as she began to fine tune her area of research. Her interest in mosquito research began in 2016 when she saw the rate at which children die from Malaria in Nigeria and many sub-Sahara Africa countries. This saddening event triggered a curiosity in her to understand the biology of mosquitoes and to research possible and sustainable solution to the menace they cause. In 2017, she was awarded a Masters’ degree scholarship in Entomology sponsored by the Malaria Consortium in the United Kingdom. She was selected as one of the seven, exceptional students across Africa and Asia. This award took her to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) where she studied and conducted full-time research on “Ovicidal, larvicidal and repellent activities of ethanolic leaf extracts of three botanicals against the Malaria Vector – Anopheles gambiae.” During the Masters’ thesis research, she tested three plant-based extracts against A. gambiae and discovered that one of them – Duranta erecta – has a great potential to be used as an insecticide for mosquito control. Her commitment towards both the coursework and research at UNN was crowned with the total CGPA of 5.0/5.0.
Having bagged a Masters’ degree in 2019, she moved back to Tai Solarin University of Education to assume the role of an Assistant Lecturer where she lectures and carries out further research projects on mosquito control. She worked on other plant extracts such as Ocimum basilicum and Mentha piperita as natural compounds against the yellow fever and dengue vector, Aedes aegypti. Experiences from these research projects have left her with an unwavering desire to conduct PhD in Biology with a primary focus on mosquito control and insecticide resistance.
Funmilayo joined the Dong’s lab in August 2021. She is currently planning on researching mechanism of repellency in Aedes mosquitoes. She looks forward to identifying mechanisms of repellency in specific botanicals. She owes so much to Science and Biology, and wants to see the field growing continually, while she also continues to grow with it.