UGWUMBA, A. A.A: Research

Research Focus:

My   research   focus   is   mainly  on   fish   biology/aquaculture   as   well   as   environmental biology/pollution.

My interest in fish biology particularly at the initial stage of my career led to several studies on the food and feeding habits, age and  growth, as well as reproductive biology of many fish   species   in   many   water   bodies   in   Nigeria.   These   studies   provided   very   useful information for rational exploitation of the fish species in the various water bodies. More recently  such  studies  are  aimed  at  providing  vital  information  for  artificial  production  of local  ornamental  fish  species  for  aquaria  aquaculture,  and  also  the  use  of  local  plants  as anesthetic during transportation of live fish

Nutritional  studies  on  the  biochemical  composition,  energy  levels  and  absorption  of nutrients in the food consumed from the wild, as well as activities of digestive enzymes in the   alimentary   canal   of   culturable   fish   species   studied,   provided   valuable   base-line information necessary for formulation of adequate artificial feeds for culture fishes and also for selection of the right live food to culture for fishes.

My research in aquaculture primarily focused on culture, evaluation and utilization of non- conventional  animal  feed  ingredients  such  as  maggots,  earthworm,  palm  grub,  tadpole, garden snail and termites in the replacement of fish meal in diets of cultured fish. Results from  this  research  on  supplementation  of  fish  meal  with  these  cheap,  yet  adequate  feed materials have significantly reduced running cost of fish culture enterprise by resource-poor fish  farmers.  Several  publications  and  postgraduate  degrees  emanated  from  this  line  of research.  Furthermore,  the  Ph.D  Thesis  from  this  research  won  the  Best  Ph.D  Thesis Award in Biological Science within the Nigeria University System in 2007, under the National  Universities  Doctoral  Thesis  Award  Scheme  (NUDTAS)  of  The  National Universities Commission.

More  recent  interest  on  environmental  biology/pollution  and  toxicology  stimulated  the research  on  limnological  assessments  of  some  inland  and  coastal  water  bodies  in  Nigeria and also the effects of pollutants on the biology of resident biota, in order to establish the impact of anthropogenic discharges/inputs on aquatic organisms. The studies have revealed pollution  status  of  the  water  bodies  studied  and  the  disruption  of  normal  development  of resident organisms with recommendations of remedy measures.

In addition, my recent interest in biodiversity of animals in Nigeria led to my current co- supervision  of  a  Ph.D.  research  on  biodiversity  assessment  of  amphibians  and  reptiles  in Nigeria with colleagues in Kumning Institute of Zoology of Chinese Academy of Science, China, a project that commenced in 2015.