Dr Chikere Nkwonta

Dr Chikere Nkwonta


I have been involved in academic research and innovation for over 13 years now and have worked in both higher education and research-based institutions as a lecturer and researcher within Africa and Europe. With a background in Biochemistry and Microbiology, I obtained a PhD in Agrifood – Biochemistry and Biomedicine from Cranfield University, UK.

Since then, I have held different research positions with the most recent being a career development fellowship at Tegasc National Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin. During this period I worked on Irish government funded project “Ensuring food safety in grass systems using N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT) -treated urea”.

My focus was on assessing the potential for biotransfer/contamination of fertiliser inhibitor technologies N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric Triamide, dicyandiamide) into milk of cows grazing treated fields as well as their fate in milk products at various stages of production/processing. I developed and validated a green extraction method and a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for the separation and detection of the fertilizer inhibitor residues in milk and grass matrices.

Prior to that, I worked at Queen’s University Belfast, on and EU funded project under the European Institute of Technology – Food division (EITFOOD) which focused on in-field early detection and quantitation of mycotoxins in wheat (Precision farming).

Moreso, I started the Postharvest Research group at the southeast zonal biotechnology centre, University of Nigeria where my team worked on innovative sustainable oyster mushroom farming, and domestication of local edible species using a combination of tissues culture technique, and agro waste plant materials as substrates.


  • Module lead
  • MSc Project Supervisor

Research interests

My research experience spans across the field of Biosciences and Analytical Chemistry/Biochemistry with direct applications to Nutrition, Postharvest Food quality, safety and security. My technical expertise lies within the use of high throughput instruments such as different models of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), Gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS).

I have hands-on experience in analytical method development and validation in line with international standard analytical guidelines such as European Union guidance document on analytical quality control and method procedures for pesticides residues analysis in food and feed SANTE/12682/ 2019.

Additionally, I am conversant with working in full compliance with international laboratory (reference laboratory) procedures in line with ISO17025 standards/accreditation. In particular, I am interested in:

  • assessment of postharvest food quality (macro/micro - nutrients and polyphenols) as impacted by storage, processing and packaging
  • investigation of agro-based chemical residues (small molecules), veterinary pharmaceuticals/additives and fungal/mycotoxin bio-transfer/contamination in food and feed produce
  • toxicological assessment of novel plant-based food/diet formulations and phytochemicals using cell lines and animal models

I am happy to discuss with anyone interested in collaboration, MSc project or a PhD study in any of these areas.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD (Agrifood Science - Biochemistry and Biomedicine)
  • MSc (Nutritional Biochemistry)
  • BSc (Biochemistry and Microbiology)

Professional memberships

  • Royal Society of Biology
  • International Society of Horticultural Sciences

Student education

  • Module lead in UG and PGT programmes
  • Research Supervisor for PGT masters in Food Science and Nutrition