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I am a PhD student working between St. Andrews University and the James Hutton Institute, supervised by Prof. David Paterson, Dr. Emma Defew , Dr. Lisa Avery and Dr. Marc Stutter.
I am researching the ‘Influence of Sediment Characteristics on Transport of Pathogens from Freshwater to Coast’. This will involve extensive sampling on several estuaries including the Ythan and the Eden, characterising the temporally and spatially changing sediment and aquatic environments within the estuary, and assessing Fecal Indicator Organism (FIO) loading in the different environments. Pathogen-sediment interactions will be analysed using a suite of analytical methods including the CSM (Cohesive Strength Meter) in situ and in vitro. The use of Fourier-Transform Infra-Red Spectroscopy will also be used for the characterisation of the sediment matrix. Molecular work will also be undertaken to identify the sources of pathogen communities and whether this has any influence in their persistence or resuspension.
I achieved my BSc in Biology from Bangor University in 2012. My dissertation project was a continuation of an SfAM funded ‘Students into Work’ project I worked on in 2011. It focussed upon the role of estuarine suspended particulate material in the persistence of Escherichia coli in the environment, and involved long and short-term microcosm experiments with some molecular work.