photo of me

Sarah Haig

I am a Kelvin Smith PhD student in the Infrastructure and Environment Research Group at the University of Glasgow, working under the supervision of Christopher Quince, Robert Davies, and Gavin Collins.

Contact Information

School of Engineering,
Rankine Building,
University of Glasgow,

Phone: +44 (0) 141 330 6311

Current Research

The requirements for energy-efficient water treatment technologies are prompting renewed interest in "biological" water treatment processes such as slow sand filtration. These systems do not require chemicals or electricity to operate and can achieve a high level of treatment mainly attributed to naturally occurring microorganisms within the filter. Several microbiologically mediated purification mechanisms have been hypothesised or assumed to occur within biofilms that form in the filter but have never been comprehensively verified.

My research aims to determine the functional microbial ecology of slow sand filters (SSFs) by carrying out both field sampling (at an industrial SSF site) and laboratory experimentation (creation of lab-scale SSFs). In order to answer this complex question I am using a combination of traditional microbiological techniques alongside next-generation sequencing (454 and Illumina) and DNA-SIP.

Other Research Interests

Previously I have worked on the phylogeny, virulence and serum-susceptibility of Yersinia ruckeri to Atlantic Salmon and Rainbow Trout. This work involved the development of an MLST scheme in order to determine the relationships between previously described subgroups. Additionally the virulence of different strains of Y.ruckeri were compared alongside serum-susceptibility between Rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon. This work was carried out as part of an industrial placement at CEFAS.

I have also worked on understanding the adherence mechanisms of Mannheimia haemolytica to ovine and bovine bronchial epithelial cells and organ cultures. Furthermore, I have worked on the biofilm forming potential of Pseudomonas aeruginosa on engineered surfaces.