Dr Tara Beattie

Senior Lecturer

Civil and Environmental Engineering


Has expertise in:

    An environmental engineer with a focus on public health, Tara took on the role of course director for the MSc Environmental Engineering in 2019. She has expertise in environmental management, particularly surface water, solid waste management, and she also runs the departments only dedicated public health module, which introduces students from a non-health background to the fundamental issues around public health. Her research revolves around providing the scientific evidence of environmental risk to public health and eliciting behavioural change towards health enhancement. Much of her research has been based in Malawi delivering public health interventions. She is part of a multidisciplinary research team who have just been awarded £3million by the National Institute for Health Research to set up a Global Health Research Group on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing which will be located in Malawi.

    Media articles


    Acanthamoeba research

    Daily Mail 
    Belfast Telegraph


Solid waste recycling with Higher Education in developing countries : a case study of the University of Lagos
Mbama Charles A, Otegbulu Austin, Beverland Iain, Beattie Tara K
Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management (2022)
Process evaluation of "the Hygienic Family" intervention : a community-based water, sanitation and hygiene project in rural Malawi
Panulo Mindy, Chidziwisano Kondwani, Beattie Tara K, Tilley Elizabeth, Kambala Christabel, Morse Tracy
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Vol 19 (2022)
Exposure to air pollution in rural Malawi : impact of cooking methods on blood pressure and peak expiratory flow
Mabonga Fiona, Beattie Tara K, Luwe Kondwani, Morse Tracy, Hope Caitlin, Beverland Iain J
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Vol 18 (2021)
Environmental health practitioners : a key cadre in the control of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa
Morse Tracy, Chidziwisano Kondwani, Musoke David, Beattie Tara K, Mudaly Selva
BMJ Global Health Vol 5 (2020)
Rapid selection of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in complex water systems by chlorine and pipe materials
Khan Sadia, Beattie Tara K, Knapp Charles W
Environmental Chemistry Letters Vol 17, pp. 1367-1373 (2019)
Social capital insights from healthy settings needs assessment in Malawi
Rippon Sarah, Beattie Tara K, Lungu Kingsley, Kumwenda Save, Morse Tracy
PLOS One Vol 13 (2018)

More publications


Contributes to Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching programmes:

  • CL446 Water and Environmental Management
  • CL413 Solid Waste Management
  • CL904 Waste Management and Landfill Design
  • CL913 Public Health Studies
  • EV921 Water and Environmental Management

Research interests

Ecology of Legionella species in compost environments - Legionnaires’ disease is a severe pneumonia caused by Legionella, usually Legionella pneumophila associated with contaminated aerosols from water systems, e.g. air conditioning, water cooling towers. However, in recent years several cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Scotland, caused by Legionella longbeachae have been linked to compost; most recently 4 cases occurring in Lothian have been reported in the media. The ecology of these organisms within compost is largely unknown. Studies have included work on: the presence of Legionella species in compost commercially available in the UK; the effect of greenhouse storage on Legionella survival in compost; the influence of free-living amoeba, particularly Acanthamoeba species, on Legionella ecology. See See Legionella spp. in UK composts – a potential public health issue


Scotland Chikhwawa Health Initiative – Funding through the Scottish Government International Development fund (2013-2016) is enabling the implementation of a Healthy Settings Programme in the Chikwawa district of Malawi. Healthy Settings aims to achieve healthy communities by not only addressing access to curative health services, but concentrating on the environmental, sociological and economic determinants for health in the home, school and work environments using a community led approach. The programme will be implemented in a cluster of 18 communities, 6 schools, 5 markets and a health centre in Chikhwawa to support the District Health Office to reduce risks to health in vulnerable communities. Community development through Healthy Settings has to come from the community itself and therefore the approach focuses on supporting and facilitating a community profiling process and the development of action plans by community members to give local solutions to health issues. In doing so we hope to ensure sustained change and improvement. For further information see an Overview of the Scotland Chikhwawa Health Initiative 2013 - 2016

Ocular infection - specifically keratitis caused by the free-living protozoa Acanthamoeba, and the association with contact lenses; much of this work has focused on newer generation silicone hydrogel lenses. Studies have included work on: The effect lens material has on Acanthamoebal attachement to contact lenses; the efficacy of contact lens disinfection solutions against Acanthamoeba; Potential new drugs for the treatment of ocular infection with Acanthamoeba; isolation and molecular typing of clinical and environmental isolates of Acanthamoeba.


Current Research Students

  • Sandra Currie (primary supervisor) – Ecology of Legionella species in compost
  • Sarah Rippon (secondary supervisor) - Measuring the Impact of Health Settings Approach in Malawi
  • Neil Pratt (secondary supervisor) – Automated HACCP systems in small scale environments
  • Ansley Kasambara (secondary supervisor) - Maternal Health Data Consitency and Management: A Longitudinal Study in Chikhwawa District
  • Becky Laidlaw (second supervisor) - use of mHealth in health promotion programmes


Professional activities

PhD viva external examiner
External Examiner for 2 MSc programmes at University of Salford
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (External organisation)
Interviewed on Gardener's Question Time Radio 4
Media reporting of Legionella research
Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (External organisation)

More professional activities


Measurement and modelling of the health effects of exposure to air pollutants from the use of wood burning stoves in urban areas
Beattie, Tara (Co-investigator) Beverland, Iain (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2026
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing
Morse, Tracy (Principal Investigator) Beattie, Tara (Co-investigator) Davidson, Jennifer (Co-investigator) Henderson, Marion (Co-investigator) Morton, Alec (Co-investigator) Quinn, Neil (Co-investigator) Sosu, Edward (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2026
Measurement and modelling of the health effects of exposure to air pollutants from the use of wood burning stoves in urban areas.
Beattie, Tara (Principal Investigator) Beverland, Iain (Principal Investigator) Beattie, Tara (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2025
Measurement and modelling of the health effects of exposure to air pollutants from the use of wood burning stoves in urban areas.
Beattie, Tara (Principal Investigator) Beverland, Iain (Principal Investigator) Beattie, Tara (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2025
Impact of COVID-19 on health centre service delivery in urban and rural Malawi
Beattie, Tara (Co-investigator) Morse, Tracy (Principal Investigator)
14-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2020
Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Hope, Caitlin
Beverland, Iain (Principal Investigator) Beattie, Tara (Co-investigator) Hope, Caitlin (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2024

More projects


Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir

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