PhD: How do birds contribute to the spread of antimicrobial resistant microorganisms?
I am a PhD student at Bangor University, studying the role that gulls play in the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial resistance is a global health issue, and though it is a naturally occurring process, it has been exacerbated by human actions such as overuse and improper disposal of antibiotics. Gulls are commonly seen feeding in urban areas and landfill sites, and as highly mobile animals, they may be capable of carrying and spreading antimicrobial resistance genes between environments. I will also be investigating whether the carriage of antimicrobial resistance is having a negative effect on gull health.
I studied my undergraduate and masters degrees at Cardiff University, and I have worked on a range of seabird research projects in the UK, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. During the pandemic, I worked for Public Health Wales carrying out covid genome sequencing. This led to me getting this PhD – a perfect combination of my interests!