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Isabella Ippolito

University at Waterloo, MSc
EREF Scholar 2022 

Using Metagenomic Approaches to Determine Antimicrobial Resistance in Landfills Project Description:
Municipal solid waste landfills are contaminated with many pollutants, including antibiotics. Ippolito’s project aims to (1) determine the antibiotic resistance gene (ARG) and antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) diversity and prevalence within four landfills using genome resolved metagenomic sequencing and to (2) reconstruct plasmids and connect them to putative host genomes, to assess the mobility of ARGs and other key functions within the microbial communities. To place the results of the four landfills in context, they will be compared to each other as well as surveys of ARGs from global environments. This work will identify divergent ARGs and new lineages that are able to host ARGs. The results will also highlight how aging landfills impact the surrounding groundwater and drinking water supplies. The results will also aid in understanding the selection pressures on landfill microbial communities as a result of certain pharmaceuticals.   

Isabella Ippolito completed her BSc at the University of Waterloo (June 2021) where she majored in Biology and specialized in Molecular Genetics. She started her Master’s degree in Biology at the University of Waterloo in 2021.