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Eulyn Pagaling

Staff picture: Eulyn Pagaling
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental Microbiologist
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


Dr Eulyn Pagaling is an Environmental Microbiologist in the Environmental and Biochemical Sciences Department. She was awarded her PhD in Environmental Microbiology in 2008 from the University of Leicester, where she investigated the microbial ecology of salt lakes and hot spring microbial mats in China, including the discovery of novel viruses that infect Halorubrum kocurii. She undertook a postdoctoral position at the University of Edinburgh, where she used the Winogradsky column as a model system to investigate factors affecting microbial community assembly and microbial community composition. She then moved to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, taking up a position in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where she was involved in various projects on microbial ecology in natural and engineered environments such as anaerobic digesters, microbial fuel cells and municipal sewage systems. She received her appointment at the James Hutton Institute in 2015. Her research focuses on environmental contaminants, including pathogens, antimicrobial resistance and microplastics. This research includes determining sources and transmission pathways, understanding mechanisms involved in transmission and persistence, and understanding how contaminants can impact the environment.

Current research interests

Co-PI on JHI-B6-1 (RESAS): ‘Flows of antimicrobial resistance and pathogens through the environment to the food chain’ 2022-2027. I co-lead this project, which aims to quantify the flow of antimicrobial resistance genes and pathogens from the environment to the food chain and directly to humans in the farm environment. This will be integrated with social science work to understand the perceptions farmers have of the link between antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance. Both quantitative and qualitative data will be used to develop a risk assessment model based on the source-pathway-receptor principle.

Hutton PI on MRI-A2-2 (RESAS): ‘Role of transmission and pathogen components in virulence and disease pathogenesis for important endemic diseases of livestock in Scotland’ 2022-2027. I am Hutton lead on a project investigating the environmental prevalence of Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (Map) (the causative agent for Johne’s Disease in livestock). The project will investigate the drivers of Map transmission, transmission routes from the environment to healthy livestock and the effectiveness of control programs to mitigate the spread of Johne’s Disease.

WP lead on JHI-D2-1 (RESAS): 'Emerging water futures' 2022-2027. I lead the work package on increasing the resilience and quality of private drinking water supplies. This project will combine qualitative social sciences methods with risk mapping, feasibility assessments and somatic coliphage test development to build an interdisciplinery understanding of the risks, impacts and responses that arise from growing uncertainty and variability in rural drinking water supplies.

Co-I on 'MOT4Rivers' (NERC), 2022-2026. I am the Hutton lead on the eDNA approaches to measuring water quality. £2m water quality project to protect river ecosystems | About | University of Stirling

DEFRA: ‘Environmental exposures to human pathogens’ 2022-2023.

PhD studentship (BBSRC EASTBIO): ‘Effect of nematode and Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infections on the ovine intestinal microbiome.’ Primary supervisor, collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and Moredun Research Institute, 2021-2025.

PhD studentship (Macaulay Development Trust): ‘Determining the spatial and temporal distribution of macro- and micro-plastics in soil and their impact on soil function.’ Primary supervisor, collaboration with Robert Gordon University, 2019-2023.

PhD studentship (Darwin Trust): ‘Evaluation of the effect of antibiotic exposure on development, acquisition and transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in soil microcosms: an attempt to define causality.’ Co-supervisor, collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, 2020-2024.

PhD studentship (Hydro Nation): ‘Engineering microbial communities to remove pharmaceutical waste from wastewater and waterways.’ Co-supervisor, collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, 2019-2023.

Past research

NERC Discipline Hopping for Environmental Solutions (through Heriot-Watt University): ‘Understanding microplastics in the environment: can a microfluidic monitoring approach enable improved assessment of microplastic fate?’ Hutton PI, 2022.

JNCC: ‘Land to sea – review of current integrated approaches in the UK.’ 2022.

Hutton seedcorn: ‘Green waste – friend or foe? Microplastic contamination of arable soil from municipal compost’, 2021-2022.

CREW Policy Fellowship: ‘Water and antimicrobial resistance in Scotland – status and solutions.’ Co-I, 2021-2022.

MDT: COVID19: ‘Has mass societal behaviour change left any underlying effects for the River Dee?’ (This project investigated the effects of increased pharmaceutical use during lockdown on antimicrobial resistance in the River Dee), 2020-2021.

NERC (project integration fund via University of Bristol): ‘The emergence of hot-spots of ESBL and carbapenemase genes in Scottish soils.’ PI, 2019-2021

SULSA: ‘Low-cost sensor technology to enable end-user testing of drinking water quality: paper-based microfluidics for the detection of faecal indicator organisms.’ Hutton PI, 2019-2021.

NERC UK-India water quality (NE/R003270/1): ‘Antimicrobial resistance and pollutants: interactive studies and novel sensor technologies’, 2018-2021.

RESAS: ‘The temporal and spatial variation of antimicrobial resistance in agricultural catchments in Scotland’, 2016-2021.

RESAS: ‘Spatial and temporal variation of faecal pollution in surface water using microbial source tracking tools’, 2016-2021.

RESAS: ‘Identification of environmental reservoirs of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (Map)’, 2016-2021

SEFARI: ‘The transport, fate and impact of pharmaceuticals in the environment in Scotland.’ PI, 2020.

Hutton seedcorn: ‘Antimicrobial peptide discovery from soil using metagenomics (ADUM).’ PI, 2019-2020.

CREW: ‘Reduction of pharmaceuticals in the water environment: baseline assessment and recommendations’, 2018-2020.

CREW: ‘Monitoring techniques and sampling strategies to identify the most significant sources of FIO within a catchment’, 2018-2019.

SULSA: ‘The effect of drinking water treatment on antimicrobial resistance.’ Hutton PI, 2018-2019.

SULSA: ‘Microbial microfluidic drug discovery – 21st Century innovation to accelerate the Fleming antibiotic discovery pipeline.’ Hutton PI, 2018-2019.

Hutton seedcorn: ‘Virus detection in water using Nanopore sequencing: application to water quality assessment (WATVIRUS)’, 2018-2019.

Scottish Government: ‘Stockholm model of wise use of medicines: workshop, management and report’, 2018.

NERC (NE/N020626/1): ‘Quantifying spatial antimicrobial resistance patterns across urban and rural landscapes’, 2016-2018.

RESAS Innovation: ‘Multi-species meat test’, 2016-2018.

European Commission CORDIS Project: ‘Aquavalens – Protecting the health of Europeans by improving methods for the detection of pathogens in drinking water and water used in food preparation’, 2013-2018.


  • BBSRC EASTBIO: Resolving the conflict between demands on organic wastes in rural Ethiopia: optimum solutions for food, energy and water security, 2016-2021. (Co-supervisor, collaboration with the University of Aberdeen. This project involved investigating AMR gene removal from organic wastes using anaerobic digesters).
  • PhD studentship (MRC DTP in Precision Medicine): ‘Antimicrobial resistance gene persistence in wastewater treatment systems, the natural environment and patient samples.’ Co-supervisor, collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, 2018-2023.


Printed from /staff/eulyn-pagaling on 30/03/23 02:00:04 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.