Area of Expertise
- Antibiotic resistance in the environment
- Antimicrobial resistance
- Susceptibility assays
- Biological indicators of environmental pollution
- Microbiological community stability in engineered and natural systems
- Eco-toxicology, bioremediation
- Outdoor, microcosm/mesocosm experimental systems
Routine research services
- DNA/RNA analyses
- PCR (polymerase chain reaction)
- Genetic probe design (primer design)
- Community analysis (sequencing, DGGE)
- Biological assessments of soil, sediment and water
- Molecular and microbiological techniques
- Phytoplankton, algae
- Water quality monitoring
- Soil quality determinations
- Wastewater analysis
- Descriptor / inferential
- Multi-parametric analyses
- Non-parametric analyses
- Community analyses
Prize And Awards
- 2018 to current, Reader University of Strathclyde
- 2009 to 2018, Senior Lecturer, University of Strathclyde
- 2006 to 2009, Senior Researcher, Newcastle University, England
- 2006, PDRA, Dept. Geological Sciences, The University of Kansas, USA
- 2002 to 2006, Researcher/instructor; CEAE, The University of Kansas, USA
- 2015 - Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
- Environmental Microbiology
- Soil & Water Quality
- Antibiotic resistance in the environment
Microorganisms are omnipresent and capable of impacting the entire biosphere. They, especially the bacteria, are highly diverse in terms of structure and function, and they can play a major role in cycling of nutrients, remediation of contamination, and public health. My research interest involves the integration of state-of-the-art microbiological measurement technologies and ecological principles into the realm of environmental protection and sustainability.
Some on-going projects:
Team AWARE - Amoebae With Antimicrobial Resistant Endosymbionts (with UWS and IISD-ELA, U. Manitoba, etc.)
The project examines the role of free-living amoebae (a protozoan found in waters and sediment) as a mechanism and vector in developing and spreading antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. Free-living amoebae harbour bacteria and essentially could be protected, to an extent, from toxic compounds in the environment. However, for some additional reason, they further enhance the potential for bacteria to become resistant. Some of the bacteria are fish pathogens. So their mechanism as a driving force for drug resistance must be investigated.
This investigation takes place within a whole-lake exposure study at the Experimental Lakes Area (Ontario), which includes the impacts of multiple trophic levels within a lake--including Lake Trout. Comparisons of bacterial populations and their resistance traits in the water, sediment, amoebae and fish will be made as preliminary results towards understanding whether similarities in their distribution occur and whether QAC disinfectants also contribute to the selection pressure.
Team DAGGAR - Dangerous and Growing Globally, Antimicrobial Resistance.
Work-related to antimicrobial resistance evolved from pharmaceutical eco-toxicology with the development of microbial-community endpoints. This work resulted in international exposure and award-winning publications. International collaborations include researchers and government/policy agencies in Australia, UK, USA, Canada, Cuba, Denmark and The Netherlands. The research focus has been to measure resistance genes and antibiotics in the environment quantitatively; it extends previous qualitative observations to a predictive level aimed at solving practical problems. The investigations of PEC (pollutants of emerging concern) continue, as it remains a contemporary international problem.
Team ARMOR – Antimicrobial Resistance May Offer Resilience? (stability and resilience of microbial communities and performance during pollution stress).
Microbial community dynamics are examined in response to contaminant exposure in engineered bioreactors. The research endeavours to find ecologically resilient and economically robust processes to avoid significant investment in a new (or upgraded) treatment process as new regulations emerge.
GR-AMS - Greco-Roman Antimicrobial Minerals. Multi-disciplinary, collaborative project.
British Colonialism, Marine Sciences and Fisheries Governance. Interdisciplinary project with History Department and U. Mzuzu in Malawi.