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Post graduate students

Victoria Clark  Victoria Clark My interests focus on antibiotic resistance in bacteria, particularly concerning the spread of resistance genes on plasmids between bacteria in environments such as rivers near to waste-water treatment plants. My future research will focus on the efficiency of transfer of these plasmids and the result on the fitness of the recipient under different selection pressures. I will be maintaining chemostats that imitate the river environment, also enabling me to control the conditions to investigate the effects these have on the ability to transfer and maintain plasmids acquired by bacterial conjugation.
James Delaney James Delaney

My PhD project is funded as part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA) Doctoral Training Programme. I am interested in the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the environment, more specifically in river systems. One element of my project involves comparative analysis of large metagenomic, ArcGIS, chemical and qPCR datasets, all of which have been derived from sites on the Thames River, in order to gain a greater understanding of the role of the environment in the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Furthermore, I am also conducting Microcosm experiments to analyse the impact of sub-lethal doses of antibiotics on ARG dissemination in river sediment. Current work also involves analysis of river derived sediment samples using Hi-C deep genome sequencing methods. Hi-C methods are a set of molecular biology methods used to interpret the spatial organisation of chromatin in a cell, thereby allowing the number of interactions between genomic loci to be quantified. We hope to apply these methods to link ARGs located on plasmids back to their host organism, to determine the major drivers of environmental AMR.

Evette Hillman Evette Hillman Evette is currently undertaking a PhD study at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) and the University of Warwick where she investigates the role of the gut microbiome in patients with Bile Acid Diarrhoea (formerly Bile Acid Malabsorption). This work is carried out primarily at NIBSC under the supervision of Dr Gregory Amos as well as Dr Sjoerd Rijpkema, Prof. Dr. Ramesh Arasaradnam of Warwick Medical School and the University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire, and Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Wellington of the University of Warwick.
Lobna Hudifa Lobna Hudifa

My research aims are to investigate and develop unique sources of natural products by developing culture-independent as well as culture-dependent methods to cultivate and isolate acidobacteria from Antarctic permafrost soil. The focus is to investigate and isolate biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) from both cultures and DNA, then clone these clusters of genes. I am interested in the ecology of BGCs and the role they might play in adaptation of members of the Acidobacteria genus in extreme environments. The culture-dependent methods have involved enriching soil microcosms, then isolating acidobacteria and other bacterial groups. Genome analysis of such isolates will facilitate design of primers to screen soil samples and in addition monitor which enrichments are optimal for the bloom of these indigenous acidobacteria.

Liu Forest Liu

Visiting postgraduate research student from Nov 2020-Nov 2021. My research interest is to discover new phosphate-acting genes and enzymes in bacteria by establishing metaexoproteomics from chitin-rich or nutrient-amended soils; in order to detect key enzymes involved in recycling nutrients in the rhizosphere. My PhD Project in China is ‘Microbial diversity and metabolic functions of iron and manganese redox-driven carbon dark fixation’ (National Natural Science Foundation of China funded project), Nanjing Agricultural University, China.

Valentin Waschulin Valentin Waschulin

My PhD project is part of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network CARTNET (Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance Training Network) funded through the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. It aims to train young researchers to address the serious and global problems of antibiotic resistance through a wide array of approaches.

In my project, I will exploit current ecophysiological knowledge to explore the distribution and diversity of potential bioactive molecules found in natural habitats and will use metagenomes from a range of habitats with a focus on soils to identify such bioactive compounds. The biosynthetic genes proposed to direct the assembly of novel antibiotic-like molecules will be expressed in different microbial hosts. The resulting metabolites will be isolated and their chemical structure elucidated. Their antimicrobial properties will then be assessed against a panel of antibiotic resistant bacterial pathogens.