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Project title: Exploring Irish soil as a reservoir for Antimicrobial resistance

Overview: Antibiotic resistance has been recognized as a serious global threat to human and animal health. Rose is working to elucidate the antimicrobial resistance profile of Irish soil. The main objective of her project will be to identify the soil microbiome. Upon unravelling the complex Irish soil microbiome, she will further analyse the prevalence of Antimicrobial resistance genes (ARG) in the soil, their route of transmission and the extent of transfer into plants, with a greater emphasis on the crop plants and grass that could act as vehicle for ARG into food chain, directly through human consumption or indirectly through grazing animals.

Upon completion of her project we will be able to increase our knowledge of soil microbes in the food chain and identify the extent of antimicrobial resistance in Irish soil. This will help us take the right actions in time to combat the issue of Antimicrobial resistance.

Rose has completed Master’s degree in Food Microbiology as well as Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. She will be combining her previously honed skills of wet lab along with training on dry lab techniques like data analysis and bioinformatics to carry out the project. As a part of VistaMilk Rose will also be participating in a range of Education and Public Engagement activities throughout her Ph.D.

Main research topics include:

  • Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Soil Microbiome
  • Metagenomics
  • Biostatistics
  • Machine Learning

Programme area: Food programme

Supervisors: Dr Orla O’Sullivan, Dr Fiona Brennan, Fr Florence Abram

Location: Teagasc Moorepark

Funding Source: Teagasc, VistaMilk