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Phone 64-3-479-5096

Dr Cynthia Winkworth

Research Interests

  • Environmental microbiology/ microbial ecology
  • Land-use impacts on stream ecosystems and public health
  • Waterborne transmission of zoonotic diseases
  • Sustainable natural resource management
  • Antibiotic resistance in the environment

Current Projects

Microorganisms play a key role in stream ecosystem functioning, particularly the flux of energy and nutrients, but little is known about their diversity and almost nothing about their resilience or susceptibility to chemical by-products of agricultural land use. Antibiotics used in the agricultural sector and detected in waterways traversing agricultural land are a particular concern given that antibiotics are designed to cause biological effects. Despite recent and significant agricultural land-use change in New Zealand and the sector's high antibiotic use, the effects of antibiotic by-products on microbial ecology and antibiotic resistance in the environment have yet to be characterised. My research employs a combination of experimental and survey approaches to investigate land-use impacts on stream ecosystems resulting from antibiotic use. (FRST funded Postdoctoral Fellowship with Prof. Colin Townsend)

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