Really good series of pieces on SARS-CoV-2 wastewater epidemiology by BBC Look North. Credit to Marcos Quintela-Baluja, Kelly Jobling, Vincenzo Padricello, Katie Robins, and Rui Xin. See https://twitter.com/i/status/1323721151005233152 and https://twitter.com/i/status/1323719413191901185.
Amelie is on a POST Fellowship
In September, Amelie started a three-months fellowship in UK Parliament. She is working in the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), the Parliament’s in-house source of independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public policy issues related to science and technology. Within this fellowship, Amelie is learning how to write for policy and express complex ideas to a broad audience. At the end, Amelie will publish an impartial briefing for Members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords on screen time/use and health in young people. Amelie’s fellowship is sponsored by the Nuffield Foundation.
UK-Malaysia Water Expert Forum “The Linkage between Wastewater, Health and Sustainable Sanitation”
Professor David Graham joins Professor Dato’ Ir Dr Zaini Ujang (Secretary General to the Environment Ministry of Malaysia) and Professor Azmi bin Aris (Director of Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Water Security, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia) as panellists and moderator for this webinar. Special thank you to Prof Dr Zainura Zainon Noor for leading the event. The webinar took place 17-19 August 2020. View day two of the webinar here.
First virtual conference attendance
PhD researcher Amelie Ott attended her first virtual conference this May. Due to COVID-19, the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Europe 30th Annual Meeting Open Science for Enhanced Global Environmental Protection was moved within a few weeks from a face-to-face meeting in Dublin, Ireland to a virtual conference (3-7 May 2020).
Conference attendees were able to watch all platform and poster presentations on demand with the opportunity to ask their questions to the presenters in a chat box. Each session had a live Zoom Q&A to allow for more in depth discussions between presenters and conference attendees.
Even though that Amelie missed the networking opportunities while enjoying a pint of Guinness after a long conference day, she was impressed by the well organised virtual conference experience and the opportunity to easily watch relevant presentations (rather than having to run switching rooms between parallel sessions). The photo below shows the virtual conference “entry hall”.
Amelie gave two pre-recorded platform presentations at SETAC, one on her PhD project talking about “Monitoring and modelling antibiotic resistance in a Southeast Asian river catchment” and the other one on a previous research project on “Multi-laboratory validation of a new marine biodegradation test for persistence screening”.
Amelie’s registration fee was covered by the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) Meeting Attendance Grant.
Monitoring Sewage for SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 virus
Engineering and Physical Sciences Council (EPSRC) funds have been provided to sample and analyse sewage to estimate local concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 (the COVID-19 virus) across networks in Spain and North East England. The aim is to develop a way to quantify the prevalence of the COVID-19 infected individuals across the regions based on sewage data. If successful, this monitoring would help public health officials identify possible infection ‘hot spots,’ which captures both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals across a community.
The project is being co-led by Professor David Graham and Dr Marcos Quintela, with their close colleague Professor Jesús Romalde in Santiago. They also will be working with water industry partners Northumbrian Water and Labaqua, which is part of the SUEZ corporation.
The GrahAM Research Group focus primarily on work surrounding antimicrobial resistance (AMR), taking a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to global health and well-being. The team of researchers, led by Newcastle University Prof David W Graham, utilises a holistic ‘One Health Approach’, and contributes to several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Our research provides guidance to various international organisations, including the World Health Organisation, and bridges sustainable development, engineering, health, and sociotechnical mitigation options for reducing global AMR.
The main topics we explore are
- the transmission, fate and impact of antibiotic resistance genes in the environment resulting from human activity;
- energy minimization in water, wastewater and solid waste management systems;
- the microbiology and ecology of greenhouse gas suppression and production in geochemical settings, especially in Polar regions; and
- water and environmental quality in the developing and emerging world.