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Dr Mark Swaine


Mark Swaine holds a BSc degree in Environmental Science from the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Nottingham an MSc degree in Environmental Management from the Department of Soil Science, University of Reading and a PhD in Environmental Microbiology from the Department of Environmental Science, University of Nottingham and The Diary Research and Innovation Centre, Scottish Rural College. Whilst finishing his PhD, Mark worked as a research assistant at Azotic Technologies in Nottingham, where he helped study the nitrogen fixing capabilities of Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicas, a bacterium capable of improving crop yield in the absence of fertiliser application. After finishing his PhD, Mark worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Forest Ecology and Management at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Umea, Sweden, where he undertook a project looking to establish an artificial root system that could be used to investigate the impact of root exudates on soil microbial communities located in the rhizosphere. After finishing his role at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Mark worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Nottingham, studying the prevalence of azole resistant Aspergillus fumigatus, a pathogenic fungus, in soil. Whilst working in this role, Mark also worked as a researcher at the University of East Anglia where he studied the impact of anammox bacteria on the remediation of landfill leachate. Currently, he is working at the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Thessaly on a project titled DIMITRA. DIMITRA is an upcoming database studying the effects of pesticides on the soil microbiome. This a collaborative project with the Department of Soil Health, Syngenta based in Stein, Switzerland, who also fund the project. This work is focused on developing a pesticide database that can identify key microbial endpoints that will provide essential knowledge on the impact of pesticide active ingredients on the soil microbiome and therefore may have detrimental impacts on soil health. One of the key features of this database is that it will be accessible to academia, industry and public sectors to help further the understanding and responsible use of pesticides in agriculture.

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