Prof Nelson Odume


Institute for Water Research, Rhodes University, South Africa


  • BSc Hons in Zoology - Delta State University, Abraka
  • MSc in Water Resource Science (with distinction) - Rhodes University
  • PhD in Water Resource Science - Rhodes University

Short Biography:

Dr Odume is the Director of the Unilever Centre for Environmental Water Quality (UCEWQ) within the Institute for Water Research at Rhodes University. He is also the coordinator of the African Water Resources Mobility Network - a multi-partner project funded by the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme of the European Union. Nelson has successfully led several research and consultancy projects in the field of water resources, particularly in aquatic ecology, freshwater ecosystem health, water quality, pollution studies, biomonitoring, environmental water requirements, integrated water resource management, ethics and water governance.
Nelson’s research has earned him outstanding local and international awards and recognitions. Notable among them are the Emerging River Professional Awards by the International River Foundation in Australia (,, the Bronze Medal Award by the Southern African Society of Aquatic Scientists (, the National Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, and being named among 100 Inspiring and Aspiring Young Leaders in Africa by the Young Independents of the Times Media Group ( ). He is often called upon as an expert commentator by the media on water issues e.g. Power FM, TVC-News, Nigeria, Reuter (, EL TIEMPO (


Phone: +27 (0)46 603 7693
Google Scholar:

Research Interests:

  • Aquatic ecology – trait-based ecology, biomonitoring, functional ecology, urban water ecology and quantitative ecology.
  • Water quality and ecotoxicology – systems and integrated approach to water quality, emerging pollutants (e.g. microplastics, pharmaceuticals etc.), water quality guideline development
  • Water governance and ethics – development of value-based and ethics approach to water governance; systemic-relationality; ecosystem services and justice

Last Modified: Mon, 29 Mar 2021 15:08:49 SAST