The Biological Natural Products Thematic area was established on 23rd March, 2006 with the aim of improving efficiency and service delivery in the School of Biological Sciences. It is a section of the School of Biological Sciences which cuts across several academic disciplines. Members of the Thematic area are thus drawn from various disciplines, including Animal Physiology, Histology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Vertebrate and Invertebrate Zoology, Microbiology, Ethnobotany, Parasitology, Mycology and Entomology.
The Thematic area is responsible for teaching laboratory techniques and provides teaching and research materials and services to other sections in the School as well as external Institutions and Industry.
The section is responsible for running and coordinating key facilities in the School. The main facilities are the Laboratory Animal Production unit and Insectary. Animals such as Rats, Mice, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Quail, Chicken, Tortoises, Fish, Mosquitoes, Locusts and various invertebrates are maintained in these facilties. Other species are reared on demand.
The section maintains equipments used in natural product research, including freeze-driers, rotary evaporators and vacuum ovens. In addition the section has a range of grinders and mills housed in a dedicated workshop. The section provides guidance on the extraction of natural products and is equipped to conduct biological assays.
The section is well equipped to conduct toxicology and eco-toxicological studies and has a dedicated and accredited laboratory for testing pest control products. The Biological Natural Products Thematic area therefore also serves as an important income generating section of the School of Biological Sciences.