Nina Baskerville, postgraduate researcher, CDT SuMMeR: Cohort 1
Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources (CDT SuMMeR)
Postgraduate researcher: Nina Baskerville
Project: CDTS112: Using an interdisciplinary approach to elucidate pollution impacts and antimicrobial resistant pathogen dynamics across terrestrial, estuarine and marine environments
Hosting Institute: University of Exeter (Penryn campus)
I graduated with a BSc in Microbiology in 2021 from the University of Liverpool, where I also completed my MRes in Clinical Sciences in 2022. During my masters, I investigated the impact of Staphylococcus aureus on the evolution of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The rapid and concerning rise of AMR, led me to consider the role of aquatic environments in AMR evolution and transmission. Aquatic environments represent a critical intersection between agricultural, urban and industrial waste, yet the impact on the AMR dynamics of clinically important pathogens remains poorly understood. I am interested in the influence of different environmental selection pressures on AMR evolution and the potential impact of climate change.
PhD research: Using an interdisciplinary approach to elucidate pollution impacts and antimicrobial resistant pathogen dynamics across terrestrial, estuarine and marine environments
My PhD project is focused on understanding AMR dynamics across the water catchment area. The research aims to determine the fate of sewage and livestock associated pathogens in natural aquatic environments and the influence of environmental variables on AMR dynamics and pathogen survival. The research will feed into hydrodynamic models to estimate the effect of future climate change scenarios on the evolution and transmission of AMR in freshwater and coastal environments. The project aims to evaluate the risk to human health and the financial implications of different potential interventions.
Why I applied for the CDT SuMMeR
The emphasis on a transdisciplinary approach particularly appealed to me given the nature of AMR. Combatting the problem of AMR will require cooperation between a vast array of disciplines and sectors. This studentship provided a unique opportunity to learn how to integrate research from distinct disciplines and work with governmental and non-governmental organisations, reflecting my own career aspirations.