Oyeyemi Ajayi became a Borlaug LEAP Fellow in the Winter of 2012, while studying the underlying connections between global climate change and heat stress in tropically-adapted and temperate adapted cattle species. The objectives of this research project were to carry out the computational genome-wide identification of heat stress genes in the bovine genome; to study the thermoregulatory organs [skin, kidney, heart, brain (hypothalamus), and adrenal glands] in African Bos indicus (White Fulani, Sokoto Gudali) and African Bos taurus (Muturu, N'dama) compared to representative taurine and indicus cattle in the USA (Angus, Brahman) to identify differentially expressed genes involved in heat stress; and to report upon the results of the population genetic analysis of mutations in some identified heat stress genes that in the long term may be useful in selection and molecular animal breeding of heat tolerant cattle. This last part of his research was recently published in the Journal of Genomics.
Ajayi is dedicated to the mission of providing everyone in his home country of Nigeria with access to safe, nutritious, and affordable food for sustenance and good health. He believes science and technology play a significant role in overcoming the barriers and challenges many rural Nigerians face as they begin trying to develop more sustainable livelihoods. He has plans to work with smallholder farmers in Sub Saharan Africa to improve their livelihood and economic potentials through research and education.
He is currently a PhD student in the Department of Environmental and Plant Biology at the Ohio University. He utilizes molecular biology, genetics, and biochemistry to investigate the molecular basis of plant growth and development under normal growth and drought stress conditions. In addition, he utilizes his computational skills to investigate molecular pathways involved in abiotic stress signaling in diverse species of plants to better understand the molecular dynamics of plant responses to climate change.