Fern Fairgrieve


Studying my BSc (Hons) in Biomedical science at Edinburgh Napier I covered a wide range of scientific topics. Sadly COVID hit when I was in 2nd year and I didn’t feel ready when graduating which prompted me to pursue my MSc. This is where I found my confidence in myself as an academic and the enthusiasm to continue my studies. Although my scientific interest are very broad, I have always been very passionate about public health and the impact that the environment can have on health due to my grandfather’s battle with Asbestosis and Mesothelioma. As well as how we can impact the health of the environment, which is how I ended up where I am now. When I am not reading scientific papers I am an avid reader of fantasy and romance books and love to watch foreign dramas and eat Asian food.

Quantifying antibiotic resistance and antibiotic resistance selective chemicals in the River Almond Catchment Area – a baseline for risk assessment and intervention targets

PI and Institution:
Donald Morrison, Edinburgh Napier

PhD aim:
To determine the abundance of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and genes (ARG) and investigate the links with antibiotic resistance selective chemicals along a river impacted by multiple pollution sources in order to provide a baseline for future risk assessment and intervention strategies.

PhD objectives:

  • Use culture dependant and qPCR to detect and quantify ARB and ARG along the length of the River Almond.
  • Identify the major sources of antibiotic resistance pollution in the River Almond, focussing on point sources (WWTP, combined Sewer Overflow, mining discharge) and diffuses sources (agricultural sites) using GIS data and Microbial Source Tracking.
  • Determine the potential relationship between the abundance of ARB and ARG and the concentration of antibiotic resistance selective chemicals.
  • Using metataxonomic and WGS investigate whether “naturalized” (environmental) E. coli, as distinct from enteric E. coli, can be used as indicators of environmental selection of resistance.

Contact details:
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PhD_Fern
LinkedIn: Fern Fairgrieve