With us at the MEG: Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) effluents are continually discharged into aquatic waterbodies (rivers, lakes) where they may exert a chronic pressure on resident microbial communities. Jessica will try to assess the effect of WWTP effluents on microbial communities thriving in receiving systems. This impact will be studied at two levels: i) the bacterial resistome (the pool of antibiotic resistance genes in the community) and ii) the phylogenetic composition of bacterial communities.
Jèssica Subirats, PhD student within the working group of Dr. Carles Borrego (Catalan Institute for Water Research, ICRA, Girona, Spain) spent 4 months at the MEG in 2017 within the COST-NEREUS Mobility Program to assess to what extent the stress caused by chemical pollutants released by the WWTP induce changes in the resident microbiota and the associated resistome.
Jessica's PhD project is focused on the effect of chemical stressors on microbial communities inhabiting rivers impacted by anthropogenic pollution (European Project GLOBAQUA). She provides to the MEG her expertise on the microbial ecology of biofilms and their responses to chemical and environmental stressors as well as the analysis of antibiotic in water and biofilm matrices. She's now finalizing her PhD in Girona!