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PhD: Quantifying antibiotic resistance and antibiotic resistance selective chemicals in the River Almond Catchment Area – Edinburgh Napier University

Supervisor : Dr. D. Morrison

Deadline : 29th May 2023

Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This is a NERC funded SUPER-DTP studentship, a highly prized integrated PhD training programme, and a CASE-studentship with SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency), the Scottish environment regulator.

Project Background

The alarming rise in resistance to antibiotics is now widely accepted as being one of the most serious public health crises we face today. Recent studies indicate that the natural environment is a significant contributor to the emergence and transmission of resistant pathogens. Resistance is selected in environments polluted with antibiotic residues, heavy metals and other chemicals of emerging concern. The River Almond catchment area has all the ingredients of an antibiotic resistance transmission and selection “hotspot”. Including nine waste-water treatment plants, numerous combined sewer overflows and septic tanks, farm animal waste, mining discharge and landfill sites.

This project will quantify the levels of antibiotic resistant bacteria and genes in a river catchment, evaluate potential sources of antibiotic resistance pollution and assess links between potential sources, prevalence of resistance and concentration of chemicals which select resistance. Such surveillance is key to inform public health interventions and the baseline data gathered in this project will inform suitable intervention targets.


To determine the abundance of antibiotic resistance (ARB) and genes (ARG) and investigate the links with antibiotic resistance selective chemicals along a river impacted by multiple pollution sources in order to provide a baseline for future risk assessment and intervention strategies.

Academic qualifications

A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in Microbiology/Environmental Microbiology/Biology, or a Master’s degree in a relevant field, with good fundamental knowledge/experience of techniques used to study microorganisms.  

PhD here

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