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Abbot Oghenekaro, PhD

Science & Engineering/Biology
Donald School of Business, Science, and Technology

Dr. Abbot Oghenekaro is a biologist with specialization in Molecular Plant Pathology. He received his Ph.D., in Forest Ecology from the Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. During his Ph.D, he studied the molecular analysis of the interaction between white rot pathogen (Rigidoporus microporus) and the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). Prior to that, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany and a Master of Science in Mycology and Plant Pathology. Abbot was a Research associate as well as sessional teaching assistant in the Department of Plant Science at the University of Manitoba from 2018-2022. Abbot started teaching at Red Deer Polytechnic in 2022.

Abbot has more than 14 years of both teaching and research experience in universities across three continents. His research interest is in the use of modern molecular techniques in studying fungal diseases in economically important crops. He has written numerous journal publications, a book chapter and completed many conference presentations. He has also supervised undergraduate and masters research projects in mycology, fungal systematics, and plant pathology.


Ph.D (Forest Ecology), University of Helsinki, Finland
M.Sc (Mycology and Plant Pathology), University of Benin, Nigeria
B.Sc (Botany), University of Benin, Nigeria

Main Areas of Teaching

Biology, Cellular Biology, Molecular Genetics, Introductory Mycology, Plant Pathology, Plant disease management, Bioinformatics, Molecular Phylogenetics, Anatomy

Scholarly Activity

Selected Publications

Journal articles
Oghenekaro, A.O, Oviedo-Ludena, M.A, Serajazari, M, Wang, X, Henriquez, M.A, Wenner, N.G, Kuldau, G.A, Navabi, A, Kutcher, H.R, Fernando, W.G.D (2021). Population Genetic Structure and Chemotype Diversity of Fusarium graminearum Populations from Wheat in Canada and North Eastern United States. Toxins. 13, 180.

Fernando, W. G. D, Oghenekaro, A. O, Tucker, J. R, Badea, A (2021). Building on a foundation: Advances in epidemiology, resistance breeding, and forecasting research for reducing the impact of fusarium head blight in wheat and barley. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. 43 (4), 495-526.

Oghenekaro, A.O, Kovalchuk, A, Raffaello, T, Camarero, S, Gressler, M, Henrissat, B, Lee, J, Liu, M, Martínez, A.T, Miettinen, O, Mihaltcheva, S, Pangilinan, J, Ren, F, Riley, R, Ruiz-Dueñas, F.J, Serrano, A, Thon, M.R, Wen, Z, Zeng, Z, Barry, K, Grigoriev, I.V, Martin, F, Asiegbu, F.O (2020). Genome sequencing of Rigidoporus microporus provides insights on genes important for wood decay, latex tolerance and interspecific fungal interactions. Scientific Reports 10, 5250.

Linnakoski, R, Kasanen, R, Lasarov, I, Marttinen, T, Oghenekaro, A.O, Sun, H, Asiegbu, F.O, Wingfield, M.J, Hantula, J and Heliövaara, K (2018). Cadophora margaritata sp. nov. and other fungi associated with the longhorn beetles Anoplophora glabripennis and Saperda carcharias in Finland. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. 111(11): 2195-2211.

Oghenekaro, A.O, Raffaello, T, Kovalchuk, A and Asiegbu, F.O (2016). De novo transcriptomic assembly and profiling of Rigidoporus microporus during saprotrophic growth on rubber wood. BMC Genomics. 17: 234.

Sun, H, Terhonen, E, Kovalchuk, A, Tuovila, H, Chen, H, Oghenekaro, A.O, Heinonsalo, J, Kohler, A, Kasanen, R, Vasander, H and Asiegbu, F.O (2016). Dominant tree species and soil type affect fungal community structure in a boreal peatland forest. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 82: 2632-2643.

Oghenekaro, A.O, Omorusi, V.I and Asiegbu, F.O (2016). Defence-related gene expression of Hevea brasiliensis clones in response to the white rot pathogen, Rigidoporus microporus. Forest Pathology. 46: 318-326.

Oghenekaro, A.O, Daniel, G and Asiegbu, F.O (2015). The saprotrophic wood-degrading abilities of Rigidoporus microporus. Silva Fennica. 49(4): 1320.

Oghenekaro, A.O, Miettinen, O, Omorusi, V.I, Evueh, G.A, Farid M.A, Gazis, R and Asiegbu, F.O (2014). Molecular phylogeny of Rigidoporus microporus isolates associated with white rot disease of rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis). Fungal Biology. 118: 495-506.

Kovalchuk, A, Kerio, S, Oghenekaro, A.O, Jaber, E, Raffaello, T and Asiegbu, F.O (2013). Antimicrobial Defenses and Resistance in Forest Trees: Challenges and Perspectives in a Genomic Era. Annual Review of Phytopathology. 51: 221-44.

Book Chapter
Osemwegie, O.O, Okhuoya, J.A., Oghenekaro, A.O and Dania, T.A (2017). Plant-Fungi Symbiosis Nexus to Agrosystems’ Variables in Crop Production. In: Agricultural Research Updates. Nova Science Publishers Inc., New York. Vol 15. Pg 57-98.

Awards and Honours
Delta State of Nigeria Overseas post-graduate scholarship award - Ph.D., (2011-2016)
University of Helsinki Jubilee travel grant (2012)
Volkswagen Stiftung grant (2017)
FinCEAL (Developing Finnish Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation between Europe, Africa, and the LAC region) Researcher visit grant (2017)


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