AUM Faculty & Staff
Professor | College of Sciences
Ph.D. (1994): University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland
M.S. (1989): University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland
B.S. (1985): University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Professor Okeke is a Distinguished Research Professor of Industrial and Environmental Microbiology in the Department of Biology and Environmental Science. His research interests include: biofuel and co-products, biosensors, bioremediation, enzyme biotechnology, effects of pollutants on microbial communities, indicators of microbiological safety of water and food, and genetic engineering of microbes. He teaches industrial microbiology, environmental microbiology, special topics biotechnology, general microbiology and directed research. Professor Okeke did postdoctoral work at the University of California, Riverside; Gifu University, Japan; and the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Trieste, Italy. Dr. Okeke has 60 research papers in peer reviewed journals, three US patents, two books, numerous conference abstracts and several research grants including a million dollar grant for research on fuel ethanol from biomass. His excellence awards include Alumni Professor, Ida Belle Young Endowed Professorship. He is the founding Director of the Bioprocessing and Biofuel Research Lab (BBRL). Dr. Okeke served as Associate and Assistant Editor for two peer reviewed international journals; the Journal of Environmental Quality and Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology.
Lab Coordinator | College of Sciences
M.A. (1991) Auburn University at Montgomery
B.A. (1989) Auburn University at Montgomery
Mr. Randy Richardson has served the Department of Physical Sciences as Laboratory Coordinator since 1994. In this capacity, Mr. Richardson maintains the chemistry laboratory in all aspects including chemical maintenance, safety, and instruction of students while in laboratory classes. Mr. Richardson has served on several committees while at AUM including: AUM’s ADA Task Force – Helps assure AUM is in compliance with regulations related to the Americans With Disabilities Act. AUM’s Diversity Council – Established to assist the University in developing statements offering the views of the institution towards fostering and maintaining respect for the many diverse individuals that comprise the AUM population. Mr. Richardson further serves the Department of Physical Sciences and AUM as the webmaster for the Departmental web pages. He was selected to receive the Outstanding Staff Award “Administrative Category” for exemplary service and dedication, academic year 1999- 2000. Mr. Richardson is charged with the production aspects of all departmental laboratory manuals, as well as co-author of several of the manuals. Departmental Laboratory manuals are a major source of funding for the department and helps fund purchases of much needed equipment for student use in the laboratories, such as an NMR Spectrophotomter, several Jasco spectrophotometers, and a fluorimeter.
Lab Coordinator | College of Sciences
B.S., Zoology, Auburn University
M.S., Biology, University of Arkansas
Bio: Ben Rogers is a biology lab coordinator for beginning biology labs at AUM. His primary area of interest in biology is birds of prey. He studied the dynamics of a winter bald eagle roost in Arkansas for his master’s degree under the Dr. Douglas James at the University of Arkansas. He is a former zoo keeper, and has also worked for the Peregrine Fund’s aplomado falcon re-introduction project in southeast Texas. Some of his other research work involved Mitchell’s satyr butterfly surveys, salamander body sizes, and sexual dimorphism in red-tailed hawks.
He maintains a strong interest in biology education, along with a fascination for weird insects and fossil hunting.