- Postgraduate Researcher
Luisa Andrade is a PhD researcher in the iCRAG groundwater research spoke. Luisa graduated with a BSc in Civil Engineering in 2016 from the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) and worked as a Research Scientist in University College Dublin, before joining iCRAG under the supervision of Dr. Jean O’Dwyer. Her research focusses on assessing the impacts of anthropogenically produced and naturally occurring environmental factors on groundwater contamination, particularly to drinking groundwater sources.
Groundwater is one of the most extracted raw materials worldwide and, in many cases, the least understood component of the water cycle. In addition, consumption of contaminated water represents a potentially significant source of health issues for the more than 2 billion people that rely on this resource for daily consumption. Many external (weather, land-use, etc.) and source-specific factors (local geology, distance to contamination sources, etc.) can increase groundwater exposure and susceptibility to contamination. Thus, it is important that significant drivers of groundwater contamination are identified so we can effectively mitigate future contamination and prevent adverse public health consequences.
Antibiotic resistance has been classified by the World Health Organization as one of the biggest threats to global health today. Despite being considered natural components of the environment, human interference, including the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, have radically changed their ecology leading to dangerously high levels of increasingly harder to treat infections. In that context, groundwater acts as a reservoir of resistance genes and resistant bacteria and offers direct and indirect exposure routes to human and animals that are in contact with it, making it a potentially important vector for the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. Accordingly, the SMARTIE (Spatiotemporal multiscale Modelling of Antibiotic Resistance in the Irish Subsurface Environment) research project aims to combine traditional hydrogeological fieldwork, geo-referencing, molecular microbiology, analytical chemistry, hydrological catchment simulation and risk assessment techniques to assess the spatial and temporal occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in Irish groundwater bodies and elucidate environmental and anthropogenic drivers of antibiotic resistance in groundwater, recognising its risk to public health.
- Postgraduate Researcher
- Earth System Change
- Environmental Geoscience