Professor Osinowo was born in 1950 and spent his early childhood at the Federal Department of Agriculture, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Nigeria, an agricultural research station founded in 1896 and one of the oldest in the world. His father was an agriculturist. This background probably accounts for Olusegun’s interest in agricultural research. A Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with special honours in Animal Science from the University of Ibadan in 1972 was followed with a Master of Science Degree in Agriculture from the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia in 1976, capped with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Veterinary Physiology from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1979. Olusegun was mentored by a number of leading authorities in Reproductive Physiology at the time, including Professor Jorgen Steinbach at Ibadan, Professor Steve Salamon at Sydney, and Dr. H.M. Dott at Cambridge. Since graduation, Olusegun has had nearly four decades of unbroken tenure as a researcher at the National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI), Shika, Zaria (18 years) and the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) (20 years).
Olusegun’s early research interest was on cattle. His first research publication was a pioneering study on skinfold thickness in Nigerian cattle breeds. This was followed by a detailed and systematic study on scrotal and testicular dimensions in West African cattle breeds and their relationship to spermatozoa production. During a one-year stint (1978) as a Visiting Scientist at the Animal Research Station, Cambridge, he co-authored three papers on efficiency of sperm washing, enzyme leakage from mammalian spermatozoa and reversible inhibition of sperm motility by low concentrations of formaldehyde.
Perhaps Olusegun’s major contribution to animal production in Nigeria was his pioneering work on intensive breeding of Yankasa sheep. This led to the development of protocols for the achievement of twice-yearly lambing, with its massive improvement in productivity. Spin-offs from this research included development and trial of first sheep artificial insemination in Nigeria, establishment of the largest and most successful sheep improvement programme in the country, assisted by the Directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructure, and a definitive study of gestation length in Yankasa sheep.
Olusegun’s movement to FUNAAB opened new vistas for research. Notable achievements included definitive studies on milking potentials of Nigerian goat breeds and their responses to heat stress. His pioneering work with his colleagues and students has firmly established FUNAAB as the leading institution in Nigeria and perhaps the world in research into the physiology of the Giant African Land Snails. This has led to the establishment of NETGALS, Research Network on Giant African Land Snails, which by June 2014 would have held three annual research meetings at FUNAAB.
Olusegun has served on several expert panels on livestock production set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria. As far back as 1982 he was Chairman of the First National Conference on Beef Production held in Kaduna. The recommendations of that Conference are even more relevant today in view of the increasing frequency of Farmer-Nomadic Fulani conflicts across the country.
Olusegun was the pioneer Dean of the Postgraduate School, pioneer Head of the Department of Animal Physiology and also pioneer Director of the Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), FUNAAB. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society for Animal Production and also a Fellow of the Animal Science Association of Nigeria. He is married to Morountodun and they have three children. Olusegun has been a Professor of Animal Physiology for 25 years and was the pioneer head of the Department of Animal Physiology, FUNAAB, where he till lectures. Olusegun’s 93 publications can be viewed on Google Scholar Citations.