Lihong Zhang

Dr Lihong Zhang takes part in BlueAdapt project by investigating the impacts of environmental variables on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and dynamics of pathogenic bacteria in coast water using experimental evolution and molecular technologies. Dr Lihong Zhang is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. He is a microbiologist recently focusing on bacterial pathogens and antibiotic resistance bacteria (ARB)/genes (ARG) in polluted environments, particularly interested in the correlation between ARG, environment and human health. He also has knowledge on microbial ecology. One of Dr Zhang’s major research foci is considering ARG flow via bacterial mobile genetic elements, specifically among indigenous animals, farm animals, humans and micro-organisms in environments. Another of his research objectives is to quantify the prevalence and diversity of pathogens in polluted environments. This area uses molecular and cellular techniques and looks at bacterial and viral pathogens in human polluted aquatic and terrestrial environments. Dr Zhang works with Professor William Gaze in collaboration with scientists within the UK, Canada, the EU and China. Current research areas include: ⦁ Identifying novel ARG from environmental metagenomic libraries; ⦁ Characterising novel antibiotic resistance genes in term of activity, structure and origin; ⦁ Prevalence and diversity of bacterial ARG related MGE, including plasmid, transposon (TN), insertion sequences (IS), integron (IN), genomic island (GI) and Integrative Conjugative Elements (ICE) in the environment; ⦁ Co-selection for antibiotic resistance genotypes by biocides and heavy metals; ⦁ Prevalence and diversity of bacterial pathogens in coastal waters and animal farms in relation to environment and human health.