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Visiting Speaker Seminar: Professor Yongguan Zhu

Dec 7, 11:00 am

The University of Adelaide School of Agriculture, Food and Wine invites you to the following seminar.

Professor Yongguan Zhu, 

Director for Education/Internationalization |  Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute for Urban Environment

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the ecosystem and planetary health

Time:  Friday 7th December 2018, 11.00am
Venue: Plant Research Centre Auditorium

Professor Zhu is a global leader in soil biology and the application of science evidence to tackle global challenges of soil and water resources. He received his PhD at Imperial College, London. He leads a £25 million key priority program on soil microbiome in China, and a number of international research programs related to biogeochemistry and microbial ecology. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Environment International, and the founding editor of Soil Ecology Letters.


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is conferred by mobile genetic elements within organisms including human pathogens. Although AMR is ancient, human misuse and abuse of antibiotics are responsible for its enrichment and global spread, threatening the public health worldwide. AMR can be transmitted to the soil and water microbiome by horizontal gene transfer from AMR-carrying microorganisms released to the environment through human and animal excreta. These sources of AMR genetic elements are often discharged with selective agents such as pharmaceutical or veterinary antibiotics, thus providing selective pressure for organisms that favour the persistence and transmission of AMR. Worldwide movement of humans and animals contribute to the rapid spread of AMR globally with gene copy numbers related to AMR transmission on the order of 1019 per day for humans and up to 1023 for pigs in agricultural production [1].  Recent research by the Zhu group suggests substantial environmental transmission and exposure to AMR genes through wastewater re-use including application of sewage sludge in the production of organic fertiliser for horticulture and agriculture.  Current research from the Zhu group is helping lay the foundation for the biogeography and manage control of the AMR reservoir within soil and water, and the risks associated with potential trophic transfer to food crops and the human microbiome.

[1] Zhu Y-G, Gillings M, Simonet P., Stekel D., Banwart S.A., Penuelas J. (2017). Microbial mass movements. Science, 357(6356), 1099-1100.


Dec 7
11:00 am
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Auditorium, Plant Research Centre
2b Hartley Grove
Urrbrae, South Australia 5064 Australia

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