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History of the Department


Department of Plant Biology, formerly known as Botany unit was one of the three units of the then former Department of Biological Sciences. The change of name from “Botany” to “Plant Biology” was consistent with the current trends in Nigeria and world over where modern names are used to replace old ones.  More so, the name Plant Biology is more explicit and self-explanatory than Botany. The Department of Biological Sciences was one the foundation departments of the University of Ilorin.  Courses leading to a degree of Bachelor of Science in Biology were thus offered to foundation students of the Faculty of Sciences who so desired and were qualified.  Simultaneous with the development of undergraduate programmes, the Department also offered graduate courses.  Historically, therefore, the first graduates of this University were two recipients of the M.Sc. degree in Plant Physiology and Plant Pathology, from the Department of Biological Sciences in 1978.

 By 1978, it became obvious that the degree structure (B.Sc. Biology) of the Department offered serious constraints to curriculum development in addition to placing graduates of the Department at an unwarranted disadvantage in the employment market.  The department therefore proposed three additional degrees and obtained approval for an academic programme leading to the award of B.Sc. degree in Botany, Microbiology and Zoology in addition to Biology already in existence.  The first set of students under this new programme graduated in 1981.  Given the present curriculum, the change in degree structure was therefore a question of progressive evolution of the Department.  This is compatible with the general philosophy of the Department of producing graduates with a clear understanding of Biological principles and a reasonable degree of specialization that may be expected at this level The Botany unit of the then Department of Biological Sciences became a  an autonomous Department of Plant Biology in 2005.

Department of Plant Biology services students from College of Medicine, Faculties of Agriculture, Education, Computer and Information Technology, Pharmacy, Nursing, Veterinary Medicine, Environmental Sciences, and Sciences.

The curricula of the Department cover all the areas of specialization: Anatomy; Physiology; Taxonomy; Applied Genetics and Plant Breeding; Biotechnology; Cytogenetics; Plant Pathology; Lower Plants; Environmental Biology. Hence, graduates of the Department are equipped with requisite knowledge in Plant Biology

The Department is headed by a Head of Department appointed by Vice-Chancellor among the most senior academic members.  The department is run through several departmental committees which are advisory to the Head of Department.  All members of staff are members of at least one committee.

There are two types of meetings held in the Department that ensure democratization of policy decisions and implementation:

  1. Academic Staff meetings – comprise all academic staff members
  2. General Staff meetings – This includes in addition to the Academic staff, the Technical and

       Administrative staff.  Such meeting is held at least twice in a semester.


The motto of the Department is ALL Life depends on Plants, “all flesh is grass”.   



The vision of the Department is to be a world class Department with a difference through outstanding researches and community development service while its mission is to produce human resources that will contribute significantly to better scientific environment


Philosophy of the programme

The philosophy of the programme includes:

  1. The programme has been designed to provide a sound understanding of the concepts and methodologies of Plant Biology or Botany in key areas that meet the needs of society.
  2. Production of graduates for the postgraduate programmes with enough knowledge that will make them to be good materials for lecturing at the tertiary institutions and research institutes.
  3. Produce graduate that will be able to compete favourably with graduates of other universities based on their scientific research and their contributions to national development.
  4. Prepare our graduates to be job creators rather than job seekers.

Aim and Objectives of the programme

The aim is to prepare students for higher degree in Plant Biology.

The major objective of this programme is to:

  1. teach and train graduate students in different areas of Plant Biology.
  2. broadly educate students for positions in the conservation and bio-diversity sectors, and to prepare them for graduate and professional studies in the plant sciences at the molecular level.
  3. satisfy the manpower needs of the various sectors of the economy of the developing Nigeria nation.
  4. satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of prospective students
  5. be able to utilize full, the expertise of the various specialists and facilities