Madeleine Kelly

Ph.D. Candidate

Environmental Studies

Queen's University

2018 - Present 

Supervisor(s): Anna Majury, Stephen Brown, Paul Hynds

Research Project: Investigation of the levels of antimicrobial resistance in private well water derived E. coli in southeastern Ontario

Groundwater is a vital source of drinking water globally, however most groundwater sources remain largely unregulated by the government. The lack if regulation and monitoring of groundwater leaves it susceptible to contamination. UN Sustainable Development Goal number 6 is to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all. However, in order to improve water quality, water-related human health risks must first be identified and investigated. Bacterial contamination of groundwater may represent a hidden risk of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR has been declared one of the top 10 threats to global health in 2019 by the World Health Organization. It is an ever-growing threat and the role of water as a source and dissemination route of antimicrobial resistant organisms (ARO) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) needs to be investigated. The objective of my research is to elucidate the potential roles of natural and anthropogenic drivers in AMR E. coli isolates from private well water sourced from wells in southeastern Ontario.