|Residence||Abuja, Abuja Municipal, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria|
Francisca Nneka Okeke FAS, is a Nigerian scientist and Professor of Physics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and first female head of a department in the University.
In 2011, she was elected as fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science, the apex scientific organization in Nigeria. She was inducted into the academy alongside Abba Gumel, a Professor of Mathematical biology and fellow of the African Academy of Sciences.
Okeke has dedicated much of her career to studying the ionosphere and the “equatorial electrojet phenomenon.” Energized by the sun, the electrojet is a river of electric current that traverses the globe eastward around the dip equator and causes the magnetic field at the dip equator to vary almost fives time more than anywhere else on the planet. (The dip or magnetic equator differs from the equator by a few degrees, as the Earth’s magnetic north pole is different from what we generally think of as the north pole.)
Okeke’s research on how solar activity in the ionosphere affects the Earth’s magnetic field could lead to a better understanding of climate change and help pinpoint sources of dramatic phenomena like tsunamis and earthquakes.
She was named L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards Laureate for Africa in 2013