cell as seen under a microscope

USDA NIFA Antimicrobial Resistance in Agriculture (AMR in AGRI)

The US Salinity Lab located on UCR campus and Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at UCR are accepting current UCR Undergraduates through RISE program to participate in one of the following summer research projects. This application is due April 16, 2024 at 11:59 PM.

Research Projects

Project 1 (Mentor: Dr. Daniel Ashworth from USDA-ARS-USSL):
Investigate the effect of antibiotic residues on the development and transmission of antibiotic resistance in water/manure-soil-plant systems. Students will be help conduct pot experiments; collect soil, plant, and earthworm tissue samples; and extract and analyze samples for chemical residues. Students will be supervised by Dr. Ashworth and post- docs.

Project 2 (Mentor: Dr. Mark Ibekwe from USDA-ARS-USSL):
Examines susceptibility of bacterial to antimicrobials and conducts sequencing of DNA from environmental samples. Students will be supervised by Dr. Ibekwe and a project scientist and a postdoc. Students will conduct susceptibility experiments, growing of bacterial in culture media, extraction of genomic DNA for environmental samples and bacterial isolates, preparation of DNA for sequencing, and some basic bioinformatics analysis.

Project 3 (Mentor: Dr. Jorge Ferreira from USDA-ARS-USSL):
Investigate the growth and development of vegetable crops irrigated with municipal recycled water with higher salt concentration and with antibiotic contaminants not present in regular freshwater used in traditional crop irrigation in California. Students will be supervised by Dr. Ferreira and a Ph.D. associate scientist. Students will be trained in experimental set-up, conduction, data collection, and sample preparation for ionomic analysis, including the accumulation of salts in plant tissues.

Project 4 (Mentor: Prof. Yujie Men, from CEE):
Examine environmental exposure to a mixture of contaminants (antibiotics + non-antibiotics) and its influence on the emergence of antibiotic-resistant genes in environment isolates. Students will be supervised by Dr. Men and a Ph.D. student, conduct exposure experiments, isolation of environmental bacteria, analyze antibiotic resistance levels, and identify genetic mutations conferring antibiotic resistance.

Project 5 (Mentor: Dr. Mike Schmidt from USDA-ARS-USSL):
This project includes biochar production, characterization and application to optimize removal of antibiotic resistant determinants (e.g., antibiotics, antibiotic-resistance genes and bacteria) from wastewater. Students will be supervised by Mike and a USDA-ARS soil scientist. Students will apply several aspects of environmental chemical research, including experimental design, materials production, materials characterization and quantitative chemical analyses.

  • When: June 24 through August 30, 2024 (10-week)
  • Where: US Salinity Lab or Dr. Men’s lab, both on UCR campus
  • Up to 40 hours per week of research and programming
  • Stipend: $5,000
  • Part of the Research In Science & Engineering [RISE] Program
  • Current UCR Undergraduates (sophomore or junior) in good academic standing
  • Major in Natural Sciences, Environmental/Agricultural Sciences, Microbiology, Chemical and
  • Environmental Engineering, or Bioengineering
  • Interested in environmental/agricultural sciences, microbiology, molecular, or computational biology.
  • Graduating Spring 2025 or later
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident

Applications are due April 16, 2024



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