PhD Research Student

Project: Monitoring and modelling for early warning of microbial pollution events

Funded by a Commonwealth scholarship

Laboratory-based methods are commonly used to monitor microbial pollution in the environment. In addition to lab-based methods, there has been an increasing demand by policy-makers for models to help inform dynamics of indicator organisms in order to prioritise efforts for environmental and human-health protection. Such models have been used in some countries to provide early warning for microbial pollution associated with extreme weather events such as floods. Modelling for early warning of microbial pollution is a new area of research and has potential benefits to contribute to reduced waterborne disease outbreaks especially in Africa and Asian countries where such disease outbreaks are common.

Project aims are to:

  1. Characterise spatial and temporal patterns of faecal pollution in Scotland across multiple scales, from field to catchment.
  2. Develop and test simple models such as risk-based approaches (SCIMAP-FIO) or Bayesian Belief Networks (BBNs) to better manage microbial pollution.

About me: I have a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Zambia (2006) and a Master of Integrated Water Management from the University of Queensland in Australia (2013). Since 2008, I have worked as Research Scientist in the Water and Environment Research Team at the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research in Zambia. Projects I have worked on are aimed at assessing the quality of ground and surface water in order to monitor pollution and ensure safety for drinking.

From 2016 to date, I have been serving on the board of the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) where I chair a committee that reviews environmental impact assessments of projects implemented countrywide to ensure adequate mitigation against negative environmental impacts. I also lecture masters students studying Environmental Management at the University of Lusaka in Zambia.