Anti Microbial Resistance: interview

Press/Media: Research


Professor Andrew S Hursthouse, University of the Westof Scotland

Keywords: environmental geochemistry and health; risk assessment and mitigation of exposure to environmental pollutants; anti microbial resistance (AMR)

  1. Thank you so much for joining us in this interview! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?


  • 1983-1986 University of Reading, near London, BSc Geochemistry,
  • 1986-1989 University of Glasgow, PhD environmental radioactivity – geochemistry of neptunium and other nuclear waste components in wider environment
  • 1989-1990 University of Glasgow post doc on-land transfer of discharges form nuclear processing – analytical methods, applied to environmental media – radiochemical methods, early ICP MS
  • 1990 – Lecturer in inorganic chemistry, Senior Lecturer (1994-2002) Professor (2002- now), served as head of department, assistant Dean. Visiting expert in China, France. Teaching, research, developing interaction with business and industry and outreach – schools, policy, developing local and international partnerships. Supporting students and colleagues.
  • Collaborative research, interdisciplinary teams in partcular dealing with issues of environmental controls on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), waste and resource recovery, legacy industrial impacts.
  1. Let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Be of great research interest, why is it important to study and know better the impact of environmental conditions on AMR?


AMR is a major international health issue. It limits the effectiveness of therapeutics and choice of treatments for particular diseases. It is anticipated to lead to a rise in resitance across the world leading to resistance to treatment and death. There are challenging issues around the intersection between human and animal health and the environment. We have little understanding of how the wider environmental conditions impact on AMR either to induce or to reduce and there are indications that the presence of polutants – potentially toxic elements and other substances which suggest human pollution may drive selection of AMR. To improve our understanding, we need the collaboration of differnet disciplines – biosciences, medical, vetenarian as well as social/political sciences and environmental science, partcicularly chemical aspects to help drive strategies to reduce the impact. The One Health concept being promoted by global public health practitioners already acknowledges the need for improved environmental understanding.


  1. Thank you. So we know you are working on the environmental prevalence of AMR, could you please introduce it and how it might help?

AMR can be found in animals, humans and the environment, so increasing our knowledge of their interaction will provide a more balanced strategy and holistic approach to tackle the issue. By gathering combined data on microbial responses to environmental pollutants we have key signals in the causal relationship, to allow policy decisions to be made more confidently.


  1. So what do you think about the development of this research field and what’s your prospection?


This area of research has enormous opportunity for environmental geochemistry to play a leading role in filling some of the gaps in our knowledge. Most important is being part of an interdiscinlplinanry team of researchers. Identifying the drivers, controls and treatment options. Whether to remove the antimicrobial drugs from the system or in identifying and looking at ways to cut links with environmental conditions.

Period21 Sept 2022

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleAnti Microbial Resistance - Interview
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletMDPI Encyclopedia
    Media typeWeb
    Duration/Length/Size10 minutes
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionThis video is an interview with Prof. Andrew S. Hursthouse from School of Computing, Engineering & Physical Sciences, University of the West of the Scotland, UK, based on his research studying the role of the environment in the development of anti microbial resistance.
    Producer/AuthorAndrew hursthouse/Ron Wang
    PersonsAndrew Hursthouse


  • environmental geochemistry and health
  • Antimicrobial resistance