PhD Fellowship Opportunity (ILRI, Kenya)
Title: “Fate of antibiotic residues and antibiotic resistant bacteria in livestock manure and their effects on greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient cycling”
Closing Date: Monday, 31 January 2022
Learn more HERE.
About the position:
Imprudent use of antibiotics is increasing in livestock production systems in low- and middle-income countries, with potentially severe consequences for human, animal, and environmental health. However, little is known about the fate of antibiotic residues in livestock manure in smallholder farm settings under traditional manure management systems. Bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics can spread into and across the environment through livestock manure, posing a health hazard that needs to be addressed. In addition, livestock manure is a source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to global warming. To achieve sustainable livestock development pathways in East Africa, it is important to understand the impact of livestock production on the environment (GHG emissions as well as animal and human health impacts).
Despite potentially negative aspects of livestock manure, it is an important resource for smallholder farmers. It can be used as crop fertilizer, thereby reducing the need for expensive synthetic fertilizer, and is beneficial for soil fertility and stability. Understanding if and how antibiotic residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria affect nutrient cycling during manure storage and field application is critical. Because GHGs are formed during microbially-mediated processes, the presence of antibiotic residues and resistant organisms can influence the magnitude of GHG emissions and the fertilizer quality of the manure. Manure management practices that both reduce antibiotic resistance and GHG emissions and are practical for smallholder farmers are urgently needed to stop the spread of AMR and to mitigate climate change.
To address these research gaps, ILRI seeks to recruit a PhD graduate fellow to investigate how the presence of antibiotic residues and antibiotic resistant bacteria affect GHG emissions and nutrient cycling in manure in different livestock production systems in Kenya, and how manure management interventions can help to reduce both GHG emissions and antibiotic resistance. To answer these research questions, the candidate will conduct a series of lab and on-farm experiments. The gained knowledge will help to prioritize good livestock adaptation and mitigation options in relevant livestock systems and help to build capacity in decision support and planning in East Africa.
Learn more HERE.