Professor Gbadebo Olaoye who is a Plant Breeder by profession holds B. Agric., M. Phil., (Plant Breeding) at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile –Ife, Nigeria as well as Ph. D. (Plant Breeding) at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA. He joined the services of the University of Ilorin in 1990, first as a Research fellow (Sugarcane Breeder) at the Unilorin Sugar Research Institute (USRI), Ilorin. He later transferred to the Department of Crop Production (now Department of Agronomy) in the same University and rose to the rank of a Professor of Plant Breeding in 2011.
Apart from handling several courses in General Agronomy, Genetics/Plant Breeding and Seed Production Technology at the Undergraduate level, Professor Olaoye also designed and taught (still teaching) courses in Plant Breeding at the Post Graduate level. He has supervised several Undergraduates and Post Graduate students (Masters & Ph. D) and the outcome of their studies as well as his personal research activities (either singly or in collaboration with colleagues) have appeared in several Local, National and International journals.
Among the Administrative positions held are Chairman, Unilorin Sugar Research Institute Farm Planning Committee (1991-1993), Coordinator, Students Farm Practical Training Programme in the Department of Crop Production (1998-1999), Faculty Representative on University’s Library & Publications Committee (1999-2001); Chairman, Students’ Farm Practical Training Programme (1999-2006), Chairman, Planning and Implementation Committee, Faculty of Agriculture Teaching & Research Farm (2006-2207; 20012-2014); Director, Unilorin Sugar Research Institute (USRI), Ilorin (2010 - 2012) and Head, Department of Agronomy (2012 to 2015).
Professor Olaoye has participated (mostly as Team Leader or Collaborating Scientist) in several externally funded projects including (i) Deployment of Stress tolerant Maize Varieties in South Eastern/Kwara States, Nigeria funded by WECAMAN/IITA (2000-2002; 2005-2007), (ii) USAID/IITA Accelerated Dissemination of Striga Management Technology funded by USAID/IITA (2000-2002), (iii) Presidential Initiative on Doubling Maize Production in Nigeria (PIDOM) in South Eastern Nigeria coordinated by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria (2007-2008); (iv) Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) Project (2007 -2015) and later Stress Tolerant maize for Africa (STMA) Project (2016 –Date), funded by Bill and Melinda Gates and coordinated by the IITA, Ibadan, (v) Maize Breeder and Innovation Platform (IP) Leader under the World Bank Project -Support for Agricultural Research and Development for Special Commodity (SARD-SC)-Maize, coordinated by the IITA, Ibadan (2014-2016); (vi) West Africa Sugarcane Development (WASD) Project for Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire:, funded by the CFC/ISO (2012 –Date) and (vii) West African Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP) funded by the World Bank for promoting Community Based seed production, On-farm Technology Promotion and Management of information centres in five (5) rural communities of Kwara State (2013-Date).
Professor Olaoye is a recipient of many local and international awards including the Adult Higher Education Alliance (AHEA), USA, International Professional Award (2006), for his work in promoting the adoption of stem borer resistant maize varieties in the Borer endemic region of south Eastern Nigeria. Along with other maize Breeders and Agronomists in Nigeria, he has also won the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation award (annually) either on Breeding or Promotion of Stress (Drought, Striga, Low-Nitrogen) Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA), in stress ecologies of the Nigeria Savannas (2007 -Date). His collaborative research efforts with other scientists, has also resulted in the release of two indigenously bred sugarcane varieties (ILS-001 and ILS-002) in USRI, several stress tolerant maize varieties (IITA, Ibadan) and two quality protein maize varieties (IAR&T, Ibadan).
Professor Olaoye has served on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Genetics Society of Nigeria (GSN) in several capacities including Editor-in-Chief, Vice President and President. He is currently the President, Sugarcane Technologist Society of Nigeria (STSN). Professor Olaoye is happily married with children.