The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in pathogens is increasing and, if unchallenged, it is estimated that 10 million deaths could result per year by 2050 due to AMR-related infections. At the same time, the UK Committee on Climate Change issued recommendations to reduce meat and dairy intake by 20% by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is currently a lack of research into the effect that such a shift in dietary intake may have on our risk for pathogens of concern for food-borne illnesses, such as E. coli, Campylobacter, and Salmonella. Further, there is a lack of knowledge on the effect of switching to plant-based foods on the development of AMR in our food systems and the environment. To close this gap, a detailed understanding of the areas of risk for AMR within our food systems is needed.
The overall goal of this project is to evaluate food systems and model different diet scenarios to track, predict, and simulate the potential disease risk from foodborne pathogens and estimate the risk for the presence or development of AMR in our food systems and environment.
The specific aims of the project could include the following and may be adapted to fit the student’s prior experience and/or research interests:
1. Describe food systems in the UK, including the drivers and sources of AMR and the distribution of antimicrobial resistant genes.
2. Model the risk of AMR and food-borne illness if current government guidelines for reducing meat and dairy consumption are followed vs. if current dietary trends continue.
Conduct a quantitative risk assessment for the exposure to food-borne illnesses and AMR under different diet scenarios.
Funding information and application procedures:
This 3.5 year studentship opportunity is open to UK and international students and provides funding to cover stipend, tuition fees and consumable/travel costs.
Application form can be downloaded via https://www.ed.ac.uk/sites/default/files/atoms/files/rdsvs_gaffs_roslin_foundation_studentship_application_form_2024-25.doc
Please send your completed Application Form to [Email Address Removed]
If you are applying for more than one studentship please submit a separate application with a closing date of noon on 8th January 2024 at https://www.ed.ac.uk/roslin/work-study/opportunities/studentships