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Video: Surfers and antibiotic resistant bacteria

Are surfers at risk of being colonised by antibiotic resistant bacteria? That's what Anne Leonard, a PhD student at the University of Exeter Medical School, is trying to find out.



As our key strength at Exeter, we investigate how changes in the environment and the interactions within it can drive Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in pathogens. Real-world based research also helps us investigate the development of antimicrobials and AMR through the food chain.

Our experts are world-leaders who apply the effects within the environment to policy, the planet and developing technologies. The team can identify areas and people at higher risk of exposure to resistant pathogens and also, the development of resistance with time. This includes the use and spread through livestock from other environments and direct use, leading to exposure in other livestock in streams and soils.

Environment - primary investigators


Professor William Gaze Professor of Microbiology Environment, policy, microbiome, evolution ecology, public health, agriculture, evidence 
Professor Edze Westra Professor / NERC Independent Research Fellow Ecological variables, evolution, immune strategies, bacteria, Phage, CRISPR)
Dr Lihong Zhang Research Fellow Antibiotics resistance, molecular microbiology, environmental microbiology, medical microbiology, microbial ecology
Dr Stineke Van Houte BBSRC Future Leadership Fellow CRISPR-Cas, bacteria-phage interactions, AMR plasmid spread in microbial communities
Dr Anne Leonard NERC Fellow Environment, policy, microbiome, ecology, public health, evidence
Dr Aimee Murray Research Fellow Culturing, molecular methods (qPCR, cloning, functional metagenomics), next generation sequencing, metagenome analyses, evolution experiments
Dr Stefano Pagliara Senior Lecturer in Microfluidics Technology Development; Single Cell Response; Membrane Transport; Drug Uptake; Antibiotic Tolerance; Ageing
Professor Angus Buckling Professor of Evolutionary Biology Evolutionary ecology, antimicrobial resistance
Dr Uli Klümper Marie Curie Fellow AMR selection dynamics, Plasmids, Horizontal gene transfer
Professor Stuart Townley Professor in Applied Mathematics Systems modelling, analysis and management
Dr Michiel Vos Senior Lecturer Microbiology Evolutionary ecology, population genomics, bacterial genome evolution, ecology of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes

Professor Sarah Gurr

Chair in Food Security Antifungals, fungicide resistance, evolution, global movement and stewardship of antifungals