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.
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.
I co-wrote Reflections on World Toilet Day with Dr Kishor Acharya and Dr Alemseged Tamiru Haile from IWMI based on five years of Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) supported collaborations with partners across the World. Our main take-away message: Much remains to be done, in low-, middle-, and high-income countries alike, to achieve SDG6.
Another output from our Newton Fund collaboration with partners at KMUTT in Thailand: The paper Valorisation of agricultural waste derived biochars in aquaculture to remove organic micropollutants from water – experimental study and molecular dynamics simulations was just published in the Journal of Environmental Management.
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?
Who would have thought that spending time with your family would become so difficult? So I appreciated the hikes with my brother in the Alps, and my time with parents, relatives, and former schoolmates in Switzerland even more than usual.
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.
Congratulations to Kishor Acharya, Kalyan Pantha, and colleagues in Nepal on receiving an award from the National Academy of Science and Technology, Nepal, for our MinION paper in Scientific Reports.
Read how we were able to establish urban faecal pollution as the main driver of environmental AMR in Central Thailand using HT-qPCR and MinION NGS, in collaboration with our partners at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) in Thailand and the Institute of Urban Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.