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Personal profile

Research Interests

Ecology of Legionella species in compost environments - Legionnaires’ disease is a severe pneumonia caused by Legionella, usually Legionella pneumophila associated with contaminated aerosols from water systems, e.g. air conditioning, water cooling towers. However, in recent years several cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Scotland, caused by Legionella longbeachae have been linked to compost; most recently 4 cases occurring in Lothian have been reported in the media. The ecology of these organisms within compost is largely unknown. Studies have included work on: the presence of Legionella species in compost commercially available in the UK; the effect of greenhouse storage on Legionella survival in compost; the influence of free-living amoeba, particularly Acanthamoeba species, on Legionella ecology. See See Legionella spp. in UK composts – a potential public health issue

Compost microflora on BCYE agar


Scotland Chikhwawa Health Initiative – Funding through the Scottish Government International Development fund (2013-2016) is enabling the implementation of a Healthy Settings Programme in the Chikwawa district of Malawi. Healthy Settings aims to achieve healthy communities by not only addressing access to curative health services, but concentrating on the environmental, sociological and economic determinants for health in the home, school and work environments using a community led approach. The programme will be implemented in a cluster of 18 communities, 6 schools, 5 markets and a health centre in Chikhwawa to support the District Health Office to reduce risks to health in vulnerable communities. Community development through Healthy Settings has to come from the community itself and therefore the approach focuses on supporting and facilitating a community profiling process and the development of action plans by community members to give local solutions to health issues. In doing so we hope to ensure sustained change and improvement. For further information see an Overview of the Scotland Chikhwawa Health Initiative 2013 - 2016

Ocular infection - specifically keratitis caused by the free-living protozoa Acanthamoeba, and the association with contact lenses; much of this work has focused on newer generation silicone hydrogel lenses. Studies have included work on: The effect lens material has on Acanthamoebal attachement to contact lenses; the efficacy of contact lens disinfection solutions against Acanthamoeba; Potential new drugs for the treatment of ocular infection with Acanthamoeba; isolation and molecular typing of clinical and environmental isolates of Acanthamoeba.

Video: Acanthamoeba trophozoites moving on the surface of a contact lens (x200 magnification, speeded up 20x)
Full Res Version Acanthamoeba trophozoites moving on the surface of a contact lens (x200 magnification, speeded up 20x)

Video: Rupture of Acanthamoeba trophozoite exposed to Miltefosine
Full Res Version Rupture of Acanthamoeba trophozoite exposed to Miltefosine

Current Research Students

  • Sandra Currie (primary supervisor) – Ecology of Legionella species in compost
  • Sarah Rippon (secondary supervisor) - Measuring the Impact of Health Settings Approach in Malawi
  • Neil Pratt (secondary supervisor) – Automated HACCP systems in small scale environments
  • Ansley Kasambara (secondary supervisor) - Maternal Health Data Consitency and Management: A Longitudinal Study in Chikhwawa District
  • Becky Laidlaw (second supervisor) - use of mHealth in health promotion programmes


Teaching Interests

Contributes to Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching programmes:

  • 17347 Water and Environmental Management
  • CL423 Solid Waste Management and Contaminated Land
  • CL904 Waste Management and Landfill Design
  • CL913 Public Health Studies
  • CL914 Infection and Vector Control
  • EV921 Water and Environmental Management

Expertise & Capabilities

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Strathclyde

Bachelor of Science, University of Glasgow

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Tara Beattie is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 1 Similar Profiles
Malawi Medicine & Life Sciences
Acanthamoeba Medicine & Life Sciences
Contact Lenses Medicine & Life Sciences
Hydrogel Medicine & Life Sciences
Silicones Medicine & Life Sciences
Trophozoites Medicine & Life Sciences
Bacteria Engineering & Materials Science
Lenses Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2009 2020

Research Output 2001 2019


Measurement of diesel combustion-related air pollution downwind of an experimental unconventional natural gas operations site

Ezani, E., Masey, N., Gillespie, J., Beattie, T. K., Shipton, Z. K. & Beverland, I. J., 30 Sep 2018, In : Atmospheric Environment. 189, p. 30-40 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
black carbon
natural gas
atmospheric pollution


Health data consistency and management : case study of maternal health data in Malawi

Author: Kasambara, A. S., 1 Oct 2013

Supervisor: Beattie, T. (Supervisor) & Morse, T. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Activities 2009 2014

  • 3 Membership of committee
  • 2 Types of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation
  • 1 Organiser of special symposia
  • 1 Examination

Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (External organisation)

Tara Beattie (Member)
2014 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership of committee

Interviewed on Gardener's Question Time Radio 4

Tara Beattie (Interviewee)
25 Oct 2013

Activity: Other activity typesTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation