Another guest post, this time by Isobel Stanton, a PhD student who started work with Will Gaze October last year, co-funded by BBSRC and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca Global Environment (co-supervised by Prof Jason Snape). (See here for an overview of some of the work that the University of Exeter does in partnership with AstraZeneca.) She is currently investigating selection for antibiotic resistance in complex microbial communities at very low (environmentally relevant) concentrations of antibiotics. Due to the regulatory interest under the Water Framework Directive, macrolides are being used as a case study. Here goes:
Last month Will, Aimee and I visited Nantes, France for the STEAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting: Environmental contaminants from land to sea: continuities and interface in environmental toxicology and chemistry. We arrived in Nantes on Sunday 22nd May and had some time to explore the city before the opening ceremony that evening. We visited the Cathedral Saint-Peter-and-Saint-Paul, the Château des ducs de Bretagne and Les Machines De L’île Nantes. Unfortunately, we arrived too late and missed Le grand éléphant moving (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrTnYOWi1RI).
We all presented in the session titled “Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment: Ecological Fate and Effects, Resistance Development and Implications for Human Health.” Will and Aimee gave platform presentations; Will talking about co-selection for AMR by biocides and Aimee spoke about her work looking into selection for AMR in the environment. I presented the work I’ve undertaken since starting my PhD, also on selection for AMR in the environment, as a poster presentation. The other sessions had a much more regulatory focus than our work but it was still a good insight into the other side of the industry.Our trip was unfortunately cut short and we had to miss the last day of the conference to make sure we were able to get out of the city (French strikes!). We managed to arrive at the airport hours early, to a scene which looked like the beginning of an apocalypse movie (standstill traffic, cars parked on verges, people trekking with suitcases and the odd casual fire), and ended up being delayed by four hours due to air traffic control strikes). Twelve hours later we arrived back in Cornwall – much more peaceful!