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Ali Heydari

School of Health Sciences
College of Health


Thesis Title
Resistance of Environmental Bacteria to Heavy Metals and Antibiotics in Selected New Zealand Soils

Research Description
The application of superphosphate fertilizers, animal remedies and other soil treatments in agriculture and horticulture is resulting in the accumulation of specific heavy metals in soil. Presence of these metals in the biosphere leads to induction of metal-resistance in soil bacteria, and may co-select for resistance against a broad range of antibiotics. Development of broad antibiotic resistance in soil bacteria could pose both direct risks to human and animal health, and indirect impacts on the livestock industry and primary production, including potential for social and financial losses. We aim to investigate resistance/tolerance of soil-borne bacteria sampled from some selected regions of New Zealand. Pastoral, cropping and background soils on the same soil type sampled at different seasons are used. Cadmium, zinc or mercury salts, as well as some common antibiotics are considered in the project. We found significant differences between soils in bacterial resistance to the heavy metals and antibiotics. Bacterial community dynamics has been examined in microcosms. NGS for whole genome and 16s rDNA is done to reveal differences in the genetic diversity of bacteria in metal-treated soils compared to controls.

Research Importance
My research project is important for different aspects of health, agriculture, veterinary and etc.

Research Benefit
Different parts of society and industry may benefit from my research project, as health, food and agriculture are substantially related to each other .

Personal Description
I'm originally from west of Iran, Hamadan. My wife and I migrated to New Zealand to continue our postgrad studies. I chose Massey as a New Zealand leading university in environmental sciences.

Dr Barry Palmer
Dr Jacqui Horswell
Dr Gerty Gielen
Dr Nick Kim
Dr Collette Bromhead

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