Dr Tara Beattie


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Using participatory methods to design an mHealth intervention for a low income country, a case study in Chikwawa, Malawi
Laidlaw Rebecca, Dixon Diane, Morse Tracy, Beattie Tara K., Kumwenda Save, Mpemberera Grant
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, (2017)
The use of minimum selectable concentrations (MSCs) for determining the selection of antimicrobial resistant bacteria
Khan Sadia, Beattie Tara K., Knapp Charles W.
Ecotoxicology Vol 26, pp. 283-292, (2017)
Antibiotic resistant bacteria found in municipal drinking water
Khan Sadia, Knapp Charles W., Beattie Tara K.
Environmental Processes Vol 3, pp. 541-552, (2016)
Relationship between antibiotic- and disinfectant-resistance profiles in bacteria harvested from tap water
Khan Sadia, Beattie Tara K., Knapp Charles W.
Chemosphere Vol 152, pp. 132-141, (2016)
A qualitative study to inform the design, content and structure of an interactive SMS messaging service in Chikwawa, Malawi
Laidlaw Rebecca, Morse Tracy, Beattie Tara
2nd Behaviour Change Conference, (2016)
Healthy settings approach – is it the key to holistic community health and development?
Morse Tracy, Lungu Kingsley, Masangwi Salule Joseph, Beattie Tara
19th College of Medicine Research Dissemination Conference, (2015)

more publications


Contributes to Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching programmes:

  • 17347 Water and Environmental Management
  • CL423 Solid Waste Management and Contaminated Land
  • CL904 Waste Management and Landfill Design
  • CL913 Public Health Studies
  • CL914 Infection and Vector Control
  • 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

Compost microflora on BCYE agar


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.

Video: Acanthamoeba trophozoites moving on the surface of a contact lens (x200 magnification, speeded up 20x)
Full Res Version Acanthamoeba trophozoites moving on the surface of a contact lens (x200 magnification, speeded up 20x)

Video: Rupture of Acanthamoeba trophozoite exposed to Miltefosine
Full Res Version Rupture of Acanthamoeba trophozoite exposed to Miltefosine

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

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)
Invited to present at British Science Festival
Glasgow Caledonian University

more professional activities


FAST (for accelerated sustainable transformations) microbes
Beattie, Tara (Academic)
EcoEcosse, a SME marketing automated composters which speed up composting of food waste, required analysis of the compost starter cultures provided with their machines and outputs from a commercial scale machine based at the Lord Todd refectory on Strathclyde University Campus and a domestic scale machine operated at home.
Period 01-Dec-2012 - 31-Mar-2013
Bug-free prostheses: Reducing infection risk and improving reliability
Lunn, Rebecca (Principal Investigator) Beattie, Tara (Co-investigator) Knapp, Charles (Co-investigator) Martin, Robert (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Nov-2009 - 30-Apr-2011
Scotland Chikhwawa Health Initiative (SCHI) - Healthy Settings
Beattie, Tara (Principal Investigator) Morse, Tracy (Co-investigator)
Period 01-May-2013 - 30-Sep-2016

more projects


Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir Building

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