Spatiotemporal variation of bacterial hazards in the Akaki catchment, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Molecular markers link Vibrio cholerae hazards in the Akaki catchment to human sewage pollution. 0.6-20% of fecal coliforms in the rivers of the catchment had ESBL producing antibiotic resistance traits. Hazards were highest in the dry season when river water is used for irrigation. Read our paper in Science of the Total Environment.

Metal exposure of residents in the Akaki catchment

Sometimes you find the opposite of your hypothesis. Despite of the river pollution from domestic, industrial, and commercial activities in Addis Ababa, higher metal levels were found in nails of residents living in the upstream rather than the downstream area of the Akaki river catchment. Excellent work led by Dr Dessie and colleagues in Ethiopia.

Woman washing cloths in the Leghendai

If universities want to hit climate targets, they should use their land for carbon offsetting

Universities could use their massive land holdings to offset carbon in their own backyard. My Piece in The Conversation is based on Jiaqian Wang’s work. The figure panel a) below shows how arable land stores the least amount of carbon per surface area, while panel b) shows that most of the current land use at Newcastle University’s Nafferton and Cockle Park farms is arable. Panel c) shows how medieval slash and burn agriculture created a boundary between agricultural land and woodland at Nafferton farm, that leaves trees only in the most inaccessible places such as Whittle Dene.

On-site molecular diagnostics

Kishor, Adrian, Rixia and Aom skillfully delivered a fantastic on-site molecular diagnostics workshop for delegates from Newcastle University, the University of Glasgow, and the University of Leeds. Using Russell’s BeWISe Van and our Suitcase Lab we were able to demonstrate the on-site detection of marker genes for human host associated Bacteroides (HF183) in river water. A global first?

Highly variable metaldehyde dissipation in soil can explain its environmental persistence

Nathan Keighley has published a first paper from his PhD on the variability of metaldehyde biodegradation rates in UK soils for locally relevant environmental conditions. These findings can explain why the compound is found in surface water and causing problems for drinking water providers, contrary to the predictions of regulatory environmental fate assessments. Nathan’s PhD is part of the IAFRI partnership between Fera Science Ltd and Newcastle University.