Professor Marian Asantewah Nkansah of the Department of Chemistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi has been named among five winners of the 2021 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award for Women Scientists in the Developing World.
The OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World recognises the achievements of researchers who have made significant contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge.
Her research work which won her the award focuses on identifying and characterizing the presence of both inorganic and organic contaminants in water, food, soil, the atmosphere, and other environmental matrices, and on developing strategies for environmental remediation. By preparing and analysing samples from different environments, she can determine the levels and effects of contaminants such as heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are generated by urbanization, industrial activities, and artisanal mining activities. She is striving to create public awareness on the risks associated with exposure to heavy metals, which she has found in unexpected places such as spices, lipstick, edible clay, and classroom dust.
In addition to her research and teaching, Marian has undertaken training in Science Diplomacy. She is involved in advocacy and outreach initiatives of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her achievements have brought her international recognition, including, a feature in the book Women in Science: An Inspiring Story from Africa and a slot on the commemorative Periodic Table of Younger Chemists by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 2019.
Professor Marian Asantewah Nkansah is an Associate Professor of Chemistry, who holds a PhD in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Bergen-Norway; and MSc. and BSc. Degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry respectively, from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi-Ghana.
Prof. Nkansah is a member of the Global Young Academy, Fellow of the Next Einstein Forum, an affiliate of TWAS and AAS, and member of the Ghana Young Academy. She is the Inaugural recipient of the TWAS F.M Al-Kharafi Prize which was established in 2016.
Prof. Nkansah is a member of the Women in STEM Ghana initiative and is committed to the mentorship of school children to consider careers in STEM, university students particularly those enrolled in STEM fields, and younger colleagues on how to have a thriving career. She is the immediate past Warden of the Africa Hall of Residence at KNUST. She enjoys teaching, storytelling, travelling and hiking.