Congratulations to Hannah Williams and Laurence Shaw

Congratulations to both Hannah Williams and Laurence Shaw who have both now left the lab (after short positions) to new roles. Hannah is now working at Public Health England as a mathematical modeller. Laurence is now working for Nottingham Trent University as a lecturer in statistics. Wishing both Hannah and Laurence all the best in what I am sure will be fabulous careers. Both are on fixed term contracts so if you are reading this and looking to recruit an excellent mathematician/statistician then both Hannah and Laurence have my highest recommendation!

On AMR Panel with Lord Jim O’Neill at University of Nottingham Chancellor’s Lecture

Last night I had the enormous privilege of being on a panel following Lord Jim O’Neill’s lecture on AMR as part of the University of Nottingham’s Chancellor’s Lecture series.


It was a real coup for the university to have Jim O’Neill speak. It was a great event – well attended by alumni and many other’s. The lecture was brilliant: O’Neill is a very engaging speaker and spoke with confidence and passion on the findings of his report. He mainly focussed on the ten point plan:



It was especially interesting seeing AMR from the perspective of an economist: not just in quantifying the problem in monetary terms (his argument that $40B spend will save $100T costs is compelling) but also how he breaks down the solutions into ‘supply’ and ‘demand’ side solutions and especially his emphasis on the importance of reducing demand for antibiotics through 6 of his points. (I’m not sure where our emphasis on waste management fits into that – but that is another matter – and actually having an economist (Steve Ramsden) on our project also helps framing it).

Professor Liz Sockett kindly asked me to serve on the panel (along side Dr Mat Diggle from EmPath) – this was a new experience for me – I was a little nervous – but the questions were good and interesting. The first couple of questions were more clinically focussed and answered by Liz and Mat. A question came up about how we prevent rapid spread of resistance to any new antibiotics we might discover. Mat gave a good answer from a clinical perspective, and I was able to add that there would need to be very wise use (if at all) of any new clinically important antibiotics in veterinary use. (To be fair, that point is  made in the O’Neill report anyway!) And then got a question direct to me about agricultural waste  management practises in developing countries. This was a nice one – as I have recently visited China and then had visitors from South Africa. So I was able to speak about the challenges of AMR from pig farming in China – the Chinese government are very committed to environmental research and China has a very well-funded research programme; South Africa is also very interesting because there is a mix of modern farming where the challenge of reducing antibiotic use is similar to in the UK, and then traditional subsistence farming, where nutrition is the biggest challenge, and the antibiotic challenge is more about access to antibiotics rather than use reduction.

After the talk, many interesting people came to speak with me, which was really nice, while Professor Christine Dodd looked after our stand and she also received many questions.

Official photographs will follow. The photograph at the top is thanks to Adam Roberts (from his twitter feed).





Job Opportunity – Research Technician for EVAL-FARMS project

We are advertising for the second research technician post for the EVAL-FARMS project. The post-holder will be responsible for sampling from the slurry tank, with a particular focus on measuring water quality and preparation of samples for pharmaceutical analysis. The post-holder will work very closely with other team members.

Research Technician

Closing Date
Monday, 6th February 2017
Job Type
Technical Services
School of Biosciences – Technical Services
£22494 to £26829 per annum, depending on skills and experience. Salary progression beyond this scale is subject to performance

Applications are invited for the above full-time post based within the School of Biosciences at the Sutton Bonington Campus.

The post is to provide technical support on a NERC funded research project “Evaluating the Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance in Agricultural Manures and Slurries”.

The role holder will assist with the collection of wastewater slurry and soil samples & sample processing for water quality parameters and sample preparation/wet chemistry ready for LC-MS and ICP/AAS analysis. The role will require working off-site.

Duties will include:

  • Processing samples for water quality indicators (e.g. DO, TSS, COD, TOC) including spectrophotometer use.
  • Sample preparation of environmental samples for antibiotic drugs and metals suitable for LC-MS and ICP/AAS analysis.
  • Ensuring stocks & equipment in own areas of responsibility are maintained & available for use.
  • Maintaining a safe working environment in accordance with statutory & University Health & Safety procedures.

Full details can be found in the job description.

Candidates must have a HNC in a relevant subject or equivalent qualifications plus considerable relevant technical/scientific experience OR substantial work experience in a relevant technical or scientific role.

Candidates should have proven technical and/or experimental expertise in techniques for characterising environmental samples for water quality parameters e.g. DO, TSS, TDS, COD, TOC etc.

This full-time post is available as soon as possible on a fixed-term contract for a period of 15 months.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to: Dov Stekel tel: 0115 9516294 Or email Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

The University of Nottingham is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.