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Dr Anne Leonard

Dr Anne Leonard

Senior Lecturer

 anne.leonard@exeter.ac.uk

 01326 259 015

 Environment and Sustainability Institute 02.02

 

Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


Overview

Dr Anne Leonard is an environmental epidemiologist and microbiologist working across disciplines to understand the presence and dissemination of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in natural environments, and the impact on human health resulting from exposure to resistant bacteria in natural environments.

Anne joined the European Centre for Environment and Human Health in 2013 to undertake a PhD in Medical Sciences. After completing her PhD in 2016, she conducted research with the University of Exeter and the Chinese University of Hong Kong into antibiotic resistant bacteria in coastal bathing waters in Hong Kong. Following on from this, she was awarded an Industrial Innovation Fellowship by the Natural Environment Research Council into quantifying the contributing that landscape-scale processes make to the transmission of antibiotic resistant bacteria in coastal bathing waters.

Qualifications

  • 2023 Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy
  • 2016 PhD (University of Exeter)
  • 2011 MSc (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
  • 2010 BSc (University of Exeter)

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Research

Research interests

I aim to conduct research that provides evidence towards real-world decision-making aimed at protecting and improving public health.

I use a variety of methods to investigate the threat that microorganisms in the coastal zone pose to human health. I have experience of conducting systematic reviews, designing and analysing epidemiological surveys, and public engagement. My microbiological research has utilised culture-based and molecular methods, including membrane filtration, PCR and high-throughput sequencing techniques and analyses. 

Research projects

  • Protecting human health by understanding how climate change can impact pathogens in coastal waters (BlueAdapt, Horizon Europe)
  • Catchment-scale processes contributing to the transmission of antibiotic resistant bacteria in coastal bathing waters (Natural Environment Research Council)
  • What is the research evidence for the risks of human exposure and transmission of AMR in the natural environment? (Natural Environment Research Council)
  • Exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria in Hong Kong’s beaches (University of Exeter and Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Links


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Publications

Journal articles

Farrell ML, Chueiri A, O'Connor L, Duane S, Maguire M, Miliotis G, Cormican M, Hooban B, Leonard A, Gaze WH, et al (2023). Assessing the impact of recreational water use on carriage of antimicrobial resistant organisms. The Science of the Total Environment, 888
Munk P, Brinch C, Møller FD, Petersen TN, Hendriksen RS, Seyfarth AM, Kjeldgaard JS, Svendsen CA, van Bunnik B, Berglund F, et al (2023). Author Correction: Genomic analysis of sewage from 101 countries reveals global landscape of antimicrobial resistance (Nature Communications, (2022), 13, 1, (7251), 10.1038/s41467-022-34312-7). Nature Communications, 14(1). Abstract.
Stanton IC, Bethel A, Leonard AFC, Gaze WH, Garside R (2022). Existing evidence on antibiotic resistance exposure and transmission to humans from the environment: a systematic map. Environmental Evidence, 11(1). Abstract.
Munk P, Brinch C, Møller FD, Petersen TN, Hendriksen RS, Seyfarth AM, Kjeldgaard JS, Svendsen CA, van Bunnik B, Berglund F, et al (2022). Genomic analysis of sewage from 101 countries reveals global landscape of antimicrobial resistance. Nature Communications, 13(1). Abstract.
Leonard AF, Morris D, Schmitt H, Gaze WH (2022). Natural recreational waters and the risk that exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria poses to human health. Curr Opin Microbiol, 65, 40-46. Abstract.  Author URL.
Robins K, Leonard AFC, Farkas K, Graham DW, Jones DL, Kasprzyk-Hordern B, Bunce JT, Grimsley JMS, Wade MJ, Zealand AM, et al (2022). Research needs for optimising wastewater-based epidemiology monitoring for public health protection. JOURNAL OF WATER AND HEALTH, 20(9), 1284-1313. Author URL.
Manaia CM, Aga DS, Cytryn E, Gaze WH, Graham DW, Guo J, Leonard AFC, Li L, Murray AK, Nunes OC, et al (2022). The Complex Interplay Between Antibiotic Resistance and Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products in the Environment. Environ Toxicol Chem Abstract.  Author URL.
Leonard AFC, Garside R, Ukoumunne OC, Gaze WH (2020). A cross-sectional study on the prevalence of illness in coastal bathers compared to non-bathers in England and Wales: Findings from the Beach User Health Survey. Water Research, 176, 115700-115700.
Marano RBM, Fernandes T, Manaia CM, Nunes O, Morrison D, Berendonk TU, Kreuzinger N, Tenson T, Corno G, Fatta-Kassinos D, et al (2020). A global multinational survey of cefotaxime-resistant coliforms in urban wastewater treatment plants. Environment International, 144, 106035-106035.
Borja A, White MP, Berdalet E, Bock N, Eatock C, Kristensen P, Leonard A, Lloret J, Pahl S, Parga M, et al (2020). Moving Toward an Agenda on Ocean Health and Human Health in Europe. FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE, 7 Author URL.
Stanton IC, Bethel A, Leonard AFC, Gaze WH, Garside R (2020). What is the research evidence for antibiotic resistance exposure and transmission to humans from the environment? a systematic map protocol. Environmental Evidence, 9(1). Abstract.
Leonard AFC, Yin XL, Zhang T, Hui M, Gaze WH (2018). A coliform-targeted metagenomic method facilitating human exposure estimates to Escherichia coli-borne antibiotic resistance genes. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 94(3). Abstract.
Leonard AFC, Zhang L, Balfour AJ, Garside R, Hawkey PM, Murray AK, Ukoumunne OC, Gaze WH (2018). Exposure to and colonisation by antibiotic-resistant E. coli in UK coastal water users: Environmental surveillance, exposure assessment, and epidemiological study (Beach Bum Survey). Environ Int, 114, 326-333. Abstract.  Author URL.
Leonard AFC, Singer A, Ukoumunne OC, Gaze WH, Garside R (2018). Is it safe to go back into the water? a systematic review and meta-analysis of the risk of acquiring infections from recreational exposure to seawater. Int J Epidemiol, 47(2), 572-586. Abstract.  Author URL.
Leonard AFC, Zhang L, Balfour AJ, Garside R, Gaze WH (2015). Human recreational exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria in coastal bathing waters. Environment International, 82, 92-100. Abstract.
Leonard AFC, Zhang L, Balfour AJ, Garside R, Gaze WH (2014). Human recreational exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria in coastal bathing waters. Environment International Abstract.

Chapters

Robins K, Leonard AFC, Farkas K, Graham DW, Jones DL, Kasprzyk-Hordern B, Bunce JT, Grimsley JMS, Wade MJ, Zealand AM, et al (2023). Research needs for optimising wastewater-based epidemiology monitoring for public health protection. In  (Ed) Wastewater-based Epidemiology at the Frontier of Global Public Health, IWA Publishing.

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External Engagement and Impact

Committee/panel activities

  • Member of the Cornwall Antimicrobial Resistance Group
  • Member of the University of Exeter Research Ethics Committee
  • Member of NEREUS COST ACTION ES1403

Media Coverage

  • Countryfile (BBC One 14/01/18)
  • Michael Mosley Vs the Superbugs (BBC Four 17/05/17)
  • Spiegel (17/05/17)
  • New York Times (04/04/17)
  • No Such Thing As a Fish – Episode 106 (25/03/16)
  • Microbiology Society (20/01/16)
  • Buzzfeed (09/06/15)
  • The Victoria Derbyshire Show (BBC One 08/06/15)

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Teaching

Teaching interests include environment and human health, microbial ecology and evidence synthesis.

Undergraduate teaching

  • Oceans and Human Health
  • Frontiers of Global Health
  • Global and Planetary Heath Special Studies Unit
  • Research Special Studies Unit
  • Doctors as Teachers Special Studies Unit

Postgraduate teaching

  • The Global Antimicrobial Resistance Crisis

Continuing Professional Development

  • A One Health Perspective on Antimicrobial Resistance

Modules

2023/24


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Supervision / Group

Research Fellows

  • Cara Patel
  • Isobel Smith
  • Nina Baskerville

Postgraduate researchers

  • Elitsa Penkova

Alumni

  • Jonathan Warren

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