Dr Tara Beattie


Civil and Environmental Engineering


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)
Measurement of diesel combustion-related air pollution downwind of an experimental unconventional natural gas operations site
Ezani Eliani, Masey Nicola, Gillespie Jonathan, Beattie Tara K, Shipton Zoe K, Beverland Iain J
Atmospheric Environment Vol 189, pp. 30-40 (2018)
Assessment of implementation of the health management information system at the district level in southern Malawi
Kasambara Ansley, Kumwenda Save, Kalulu Khumbo, Lungu Kingsley, Beattie Tara, Masangwi Salule Joseph, Ferguson Neil, Morse Tracy
Malawi Medical Journal : the Journal of Medical Association of Malawi Vol 29, pp. 240-246 (2017)
Summary Report of 2-Day Workshop - Developing a Road Map for Health Surveillance Assistant Training
Morse Tracy, Beattie Tara

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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

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)
Invited to present at British Science Festival

More professional activities


Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Hope, Caitlin
Beverland, Iain (Principal Investigator) Beattie, Tara (Co-investigator) White, Chris (Co-investigator) Hope, Caitlin (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2023
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Mabonga, Fiona
Beverland, Iain (Principal Investigator) Beattie, Tara (Co-investigator) Mabonga, Fiona (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 01-Jan-2020
EPSRC Institutional Sponsorship: Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) / R160677-111
Beattie, Tara (Principal Investigator) Beverland, Iain (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2017
Scotland Chikhwawa Health Initiative (SCHI) - Healthy Settings
Beattie, Tara (Principal Investigator) Morse, Tracy (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2013 - 30-Jan-2016
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.
01-Jan-2012 - 31-Jan-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) Meier, Margrit-Regula (Co-investigator) Sanchez, Marcelo (Co-investigator) Webb, Steven (Co-investigator)
In this feasibility study, we propose to investigate key controls on the coupled mechanical and biological performance of prostheses with the aim of building a unique cross-disciplinary research team to design novel antimicrobial lining materials and prosthetic interface systems. In the UK there are approximately 62,000 amputees and conservative estimates suggest that there are more than 10 million people in the world who live with limb loss. Thus, developing functional, comfortable, cheap and safe prosthetic limbs has social and economic impacts that spread through the developed world and beyond. A major cause of prostheses failure is bacterial fouling of the socket, which occurs in up to 50% of patients in the developed world. A prosthetic socket envelops the residual limb snugly to provide two main functions: (1) a solid interface to transmit forces created through the interaction with the environment onto the residual limb and (2) an attachment point for the components replacing the missing body parts. Through this tight connection between the prosthesis and the limb, a closed environment is generated that provides ideal conditions for bacterial growth. Bacteria not only cause unpleasant odour but also lead to infection and ultimately a breakdown of the whole prosthetic system. Even if a user keeps a prosthetic socket meticulously clean, it is inevitable that over the lifetime of a prosthetic socket (max 3 years) bacteria will settle. Skin problems are frequent and studies on lower limb prosthetics users have shown they occur in 34% to 50% of patients. Infections can have a major negative impact on the use of the prosthesis and hence are highly detrimental to the users' quality of life. The feasibility study will begin to collect data on the microbial populations present on the skin and within the liner. Molecular techniques will be used to sequence microbial DNA to determine the species present and catalogue the genes which may play key roles in community function. Electron microscopy will be used to image the structure of the microbial populations living upon the liner. Once these data are available, we will begin to develop multidisciplinary models of the prosthetic interface. This model development is made possible by the wide range of expertise provided by the cross-disciplinary team: we will develop both conceptual and mathematical models that describe existing interfaces and proposals for new lining materials and prosthetic interface systems.
01-Jan-2009 - 30-Jan-2011

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Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir Building

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