Research and Extension Services

Research Niches / Signature Themes

The Department is actively involved in research within its areas of focus. Below is a list of ongoing research and the responsible scientists.

  1. Mycological Biotechnology, with special focus on applications of Armilllaria fungus in food processing and environmental remediation. Prof. W. Parawira.
  2. Environmental Microbiology; Food Microbiology and Biofuels. Prof. W. Parawira (Pro Vice Chancellor of Bindura University of Science Education).
  3. Host-pathogen interactions; bioactivity of natural products (including malaria research), Bioenergy (methanogenesis); Bioremediation (water quality). Dr. W. Chingwaru.
  4. Water Quality management for Bindura Municipality (Microbial and Chemical Quality Control). Dr. W. Chingwaru and Dr. M. Mupa (Chairperson, Chemistry Department)
  5. Probiotic bioprospecting, encapsulation technology, bioactivities of secondary metabolites of plants and methane mitigation in ruminants. Dr. C.I. Mbiriri.
  6. Black soldier fly – role in sustainable food and energy production in Zimbabwe; Homeopathic management of arthropod pests, diseases and parasites in livestock; Biological control of arthropod pests using entomopathogenic agents; Establishment of Mashonaland East Apiculture Platform. Dr. N. Mgocheki.
  7. Monitoring of pollution in acid mine drainage (AMD) and commercial agricultural activities using enzyme based bioassays. Dr. Z. Jiri.
  8. Screening of sorghum varieties, wild relatives for resistance to witch weed (Striga asiatica (L) Kuntze) in Zimbabwe; Gene flow between cultivated and wild sorghum: Implications for conservation and food security. Dr. P. Manyanga.
  9. Genetic diversity of African tree species, particularly those in the South of the Sahara, using genetic markers and sequencing technologies. Dr. P. Jinga.
  10. Genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on selected genes in Zimbabwean patients on warfarin medication. Ms. S. Muyambo and Ms. N. Marangwanda (MPhil candidate, BUSE).
  11. Water quality; Use of microorganisms to extract Nickel from ores and concentrates at Trojan Nickel Mine, Zimbabwe; Effect of industrial and sewage effluent on the diversity of macro-invertebrates. Mr. E. Zingoni.
Major findings/breakthroughs

The Department has been moving from strength to strength in its quest to be a beacon of research and innovation excellence. We are proud owners of property in the following products:

  • Probiotic based antidiarrhoeal therapy and prophylaxis preparations (towards completion).
  • Antidiarrhoeal phytomedicines (towards completion).
  • A macrophyte-probiotic based prototype for wastewater remediation (towards completion).
Collaborations/partnerships

The Department is open to establishing collaborative research with research institutions around the globe. Our collaborators are dotted around the world, particularly partners in Europe, USA, South Africa and Namibia.

Research Awards / Grants
  • Dr. W. Chingwaru received BUSE Vice Chancellor’s Publisher of the Year Award (USD2500.00 in 2016).
  • Dr. W. Chingwaru received BUSE Vice Chancellor’s Publisher of the Year Award (Runner up) (USD1500.00 in 2017).
  • Microsoft Azure Grant (2019): Artificial Intelligence for Water Hole Cyanide Detection IN Game Parks, Interdisciplinary Innovative Research worth USD30 000.00. Team-: Dr. W. Chingwaru (team leader), Mr. Z. Chisadza (Electronic Engineering Unit), Mr. W. Mapenduka (Computer Science Dept.), Mr. W. Matombo (Computer Science Dept.) and Mr. M. Taredzerwa (Computer Science Dept.)

Publications in 2019
  1. Bobo E. D., Munosiyei, P., Zingoni, E. and Jinga, P. 2019. Functional characterisation of a Calmodulin-Binding Receptor-Like Cytoplasmic Kinase (GmCBRLCK1) in Glycine max (L.) Merr. using bioinformatic tools. Annals of International Science, 7, 38–47.
  2. Jinga P, Ashley MV. 2019. Climate change threatens some miombo tree species of sub-Saharan Africa. Flora (in press).
  3. Fonteh P., Chingwaru W., Meyer D., Kapewangolo P. (2019) In-vitro Assays for Determining Anti-HIV Potential of Phytochemicals. In: Kumar S., Egbuna C. (eds) Phytochemistry: An in-silico and in-vitro Update. Springer, Singapore
  4. Chingwaru C, Bagar T, Maroyi A, Kapewangolo P, Chingwaru W. 2019. Wound healing potential of selected Southern African medicinal plants, Journal of Herbal Medicine (in press): DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hermed.2019.100263.
  5. Mhlanga THN, Chingwaru C, Chingwaru W. 2019. Water, sanitation and hygiene related risk factors of diarrheal diseases among learners at Mubakwa High School, Lupane District, Matabeleland North Province of Zimbabwe. African Health Sciences, Accepted: Manuscript ID WKR0-2018-03-0272.
  6. Chingwaru W. How to keep cholera, typhoid at bay post-Idai, The Herald, 23rd April 2019 (https://bit.ly/2DGRPDF)
  7. Chingwaru W. Letters to the editor: How to keep cholera and typhoid at bay in the post Cyclone Idai period, The Chronicle 23rd April 2019 (https://bit.ly/2GDKlmD)
  8. Ndava J, Nyika HE. 2019. Human-baboon conflict on resettled farms in Zimbabwe: attitudes and perceptions among local farmers. Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 33(1): 1-10, 2019; Article no.CJAST.46930, ISSN: 2457-1024.
Publications in 2018

  1. Chingwaru C, Bagar T, Maroyi A, Vidmar J, Chingwaru W. 2018. Wound healing potential of selected Southern African medicinal plants, Journal of Herbal Medicine (in press)
  2. Chingwaru W. Why Zim’s biomedical scientists hail legalisation of marijuana, The Herald, 3rd May 2018 (https://goo.gl/FJEBmR).
  3. Chingwaru W. Why Zimbabwe’s biomedical scientists hail the legalisation of marijuana, The Chronicle, 3rd May 2018 (https://goo.gl/yUUi9P).
  4. Jinga P, Ashley MV. 2017. A mountain range is a strong genetic barrier between populations of Afzelia quanzensis (pod mahogany) with low genetic diversity, Tree Genetics & Genomes (2018) 14:4, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11295-017-1217-x
  5. Katuruza, S, Mgocheki, N and Kurangwa, W (2018) Pesticidal properties of Chive (Allium schoenoprasum) against Cabbage Aphid (Brevicoryne brassicae) in Rape (Brassica napus). International Journal of Current Research: ISSN0975-833X.
  6. Shoko, O and Mgocheki, N (2018) Pesticidal Effects of Lippia javanica on Sitophilus zeamais in Stored Maize Grain. International Journal of Agriculture Innovations and Research. ISSN: 2319 – 1473.
  7. Ndava J, Diaz-Llera SD, Manyanga P. 2018. The future of mosquito control: The role of spiders as biological control agents: A review. International Journal of Mosquito Research, 5(1): 06-11
  8. Ndava J. 2018. The manuscript titled “A comparative assessment of the acaricidal activity of Tephrosia vogelii on Rhipicephalus appendiculatus and Amblyomma variegatum in Makoni District, Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe” Accepted, Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies.

Publications in 2017

  1. Shikalepo R, Mukakalisa C, Kandawa-Schulz M, Chingwaru W, Kapewangolo P. 2017. In vitro anti-HIV and antioxidant potential of Bulbine frutescens (Asphodelaceae), Journal of Herbal Medicine, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hermed.2017.09.007.
  2. Chabwinja A, Tawonezvi A, Vidmar J, Chingwaru C, Chingwaru W (2017). Enriched cultures of lactic acid bacteria from selected Zimbabwean fermented food and medicinal products with great potential as therapy or prophylaxis against yeast infections. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease (in press). (SJR: 0.423), Elsevier.
  3. Mbawa M, Vidmar J, Chingwaru C, Chingwaru W (2017). Understanding postpartum depression in adolescent mothers in Mashonaland Central and Bulawayo Provinces of Zimbabwe, Asian Journal of Psychiatry (in press), (SJR: 0.506), Elsevier.
  4. Alufasi R, Gere J, Chakauya E, Lebea P, Parawira W, Chingwaru W (2017). Mechanisms of Pathogen Removal by Macrophytes in Constructed Wetlands. A Review, Environmental Technology Reviews. 6(1): 135-144. Taylor and Francis Online. https://goo.gl/QHEEep
  5. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J, Chingwaru C (2017). Biotechnology offers great potential for metal extraction in Zimbabwe: A Review, Journal- South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 117(4), (IF: 0.13) SCIELO. https://goo.gl/jsJ8y4
  6. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J. 2017. Potential of Zimbabwean commercial probiotic products and strains of Lactobacillus plantarum as prophylaxis and therapy against diarrhoea caused by Escherichia coli in children, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 10(1): 57-63, https://goo.gl/UfRGZW . (IF: 0.841), Elsevier.
  7. Ntuli V, Chatanga P, Kwiri R, Gadaga HT, Gere J, Matshepo T, Potlane RP (2017). Microbiological quality of selected dried fruits and vegetables in Maseru, Lesotho. Journal of Microbiology Research. 8(5): 1-20, Academic Journals, https://doi.10.5897/AJMR2016.8130 .
  8. Vidmar J, Chingwaru C, Chingwaru W. 2017. Mammalian cell models to advance our understanding of wound healing – A review, Journal of Surgical Research, 210: 269 – 280, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2016.10.016. (IF: 2.076), Wiley.

Publications in 2016

  1. Chingwaru W, Glasshoff RH, Vidmar J, Kapewenolo P, Sampson SL (2016). Mammalian cell cultures as models for Mycobacterium tuberculosis – Human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) interaction studies. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 9(9):832-8. doi: 10.1016/j.apjtm.2016.07.002 . (IF: 0.841), Elsevier.
  2. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J. 2016. Culture, Myths and Panic: Three Decades with a Generalised HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Zimbabwe and Beyond, Global Public Health, (IF: 1.205), Taylor & Francis Online. 1-16. [Epub ahead of print].
  3. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J (2016). A novel porcine cell culture based protocol for the propagation of hepatitis virus. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease. 6(8): 596-602. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2222-1808(16)61092-7. (SJR: 0.423), Elsevier.
  4. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J (2016). Prevalence, perceptions, and factors influencing the use of traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) in Zimbabwe’s adult population: The case of Bindura District. European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 8(4): 484-493. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/euijim.2016.03.007. (IF: 0.769), Elsevier.
  5. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J (2016). Thirty years on with HIV epidemic in Zimbabwe (1985-2015). HIV and AIDS Review. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hivar.2015.10.002. (SJR: 0.170), Elsevier.
  6. Jinga P, Palagi J and Ashley MV (2016). Development of microsatellite loci of pod mahogany, Afzelia quarizensis (Fabaceae) by illumine shotgun sequencing and cross – Amplification in A. African. Applications in Plant Sceince. doi:10.3732/apps.160010.
  7. Parawira W. (2016) Are you ready for a STEM career? Feature The Sunday Mail 21st and 28th February 2016.
  8. Parawira W. (2016) Mapping Zim’s Innovation, Commercialisation of Technology. The Sunday Mail, 11th September 2016.
  9. Parawira W. (2016) Science is our Natural World. Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, STEM Supplement. The Sunday Mail 14 February 2016.
  10. Parawira W. (2016) Students urged to enter Science, Mathematics Olympiads. The Herald, 22nd July 2016.
  11. Parawira W. and Dzomba P. (2016) Practical work vital in teaching STEM subjects. Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, STEM Supplement. The Sunday Mail, 7 February 2016.

Publications in 2015

  1. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J, Kapewangolo PT, Mazimba O, Jackson J (2015). Therapeutic and Prophylatic potential of Morama (Tylosema esculentum). A review. Phytotherapy Research. Phytother Res. 29(10):1423-1438. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5419. (IF: 2.694), Wiley.
  2. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J, Kapewangolo PT. (2015). The Potential of Sub-Saharan African Plants in the Management of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infections: A Review. Phytother Res. 29(10): 1452-1487. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5433. (IF: 2.694), Wiley.
  3. Gere J, Karidzagundi R, Ntuli V, Nyamugure T, Mudyiwa SM, Kundhlande A (2015). Filling considerably breaks seed dormancy of Berchemia discolour Hemsley. African Journal of Plant Science. 9(6): 274-278.
  4. Gere J, Yessoufu K, Daru BH, Maurin O, Van Ber Bank M (2015). African continent a likely origin of family comberetaceae (Myrtales). Annual Research and Review in Biology. Vol 8 issue 5 page 1-20.
  5. Masvodza RD, Gasura E, Zifodya N, Sibanda P, Chisikaurayi B (2015). Genetic diversity germsplasm (Helianthus annus) for the National breeding program. Journal of Cereals and Oil Seeds. doi: 10.5897/JCO2014.0130.

The Biological Sciences Department engages with the Zimbabwean community in a number of ways, including:

  • Aquaculture research, development and commercialization. Mr. E. Zingoni & Mr. W. Mhlanga)
  • Apiculture training in the Mashonaland provinces. Dr. N. Mgocheki.
  • BUSE National Biology Olympiads for A’ Level and O’ Level students. Biological Sciences Department staff.
  • Schools Outreach Programme: lectures and practicals for A’ Level and O’ Level students. Biological Sciences Department staff.
  • Annual Biology Symposium and Expo. Biological Sciences Department staff.
Highlights in Extension Services

We are a major player in the Annual BUSE National Biology Olympiads for A’ Level and O’ Level students. Through this activity, the Department has become a household name at many High Schools around the country. Through this venture, our Department has continued to attract an increasing number of students into our undergraduate programmes.

We are proud to have offered technical support and lectures to students from schools around Zimbabwe in our Schools Outreach Programme. This programme has also increased our visibility in the country.

Research in the Biological Sciences Department
Students conducting research in the laboratory
Students conducting research in the laboratory