Campus Life

U of L appoints Dr. Erasmus Okine to second term as vice-president (research)

Dr. Erasmus Okine will continue in his role as vice-president (research) for a second term following the approval of the University of Lethbridge Board of Governors.

“We are extremely pleased Erasmus has been reappointed for another five years as our vice-president of research,” says Dr. Mike Mahon, U of L president and vice-chancellor. “His work to create connections between our researchers and external groups cannot be overemphasized. Erasmus has built strong relationships with funding agencies, industry, community groups and government. This work positions the U of L for future success.”

Under Okine’s guidance, the U of L has placed consistently among the country’s top three undergraduate research institutions in Research Infosource’s annual rankings. Total new research funding has also climbed steadily, reaching $20 million in 2017, up from $8 million in 2015 and $11 million in 2016.

Since Okine’s arrival, the number of faculty members named as Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada has doubled, three more U of L names have been added to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, and the first Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the United Kingdom was celebrated.

In addition, 18 more research Chairs were secured by the U of L’s 50th anniversary in 2017 to not only meet, but exceed the U of L’s goal of achieving 50 research chairs by its 50th birthday. Also, Dr. Borries Demeler was recruited as one of the 24 Canada 150 Research Chairs awarded across the country.

Okine has been successful in increasing the number of partners from industry, non-governmental organizations, government agencies and other universities by about 60 per cent.

“I am grateful to be reappointed as vice-president of research and I remain committed to disciplinary pursuits that lead to knowledge and understanding, including basic research, scholarly inquiry, applied and adaptive research, creative activities and knowledge exchange,” says Okine. “Our many partnerships and collaborations reflect the world-class research being done at the U of L and I look forward to continuing to build our research portfolio.”

Okine, a native of Ghana, completed a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science at the University of Ghana before coming to Alberta to complete a PhD at the University of Alberta. Okine has been navigating international research opportunities through his research program, focusing on the impact and mitigation of greenhouse gases and increasing the efficiency and productivity of livestock. His leadership skills have helped international scientists improve the fatty acid profile of beef and milk and helped develop an innovative nutrition tool to reduce methane emissions from cattle. He is a member of the Alberta Research and Innovation Advisory Committee, which provides strategic advice and recommendations research and innovation to the Government of Alberta.

For his leadership in agricultural research, Okine has received a number of awards during his career, including the Alberta Premier’s Silver Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research, being named a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Animal Science and a Fellow of the International College of Nutrition.