Courtney's undergraduate research focused on plant and microbial genomics. In her current research, she has married those interests with the aims of our CEE department to investigate the survival of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) derived from transgenic crops in the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) system. She will be attempting to understand the availability of these genes to be taken up by bacteria in the wastewater system as well as relevant agricultural systems (sourced from WWTP-derived biosolids) and quantify how this has impacted antibiotic resistance rates in their respective prokaryotic communities. She is also looking into the functional effects on rhizosphere communities associated with transgenic vs. conventional corn, paying particular attention to sensitive nutrient cycling bacteria. She has worked in several other research areas including the potential effects of a nTiO2-UV treatment system for organophosphates on aquatic bacteria, the functional effects of Triclosan on soil microorganisms, and the development of a coco peat wastewater treatment system for use in developing nations.
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B. S. in Biology from Stetson University in 2011
- Transgenic crops
- Plant-Microbe interations
- Rhizosphere communities
- Antibiotic resistance in soil and WWTP bacteria
- Effect of anthropogenic chemicals on soil microorganisms