Stephen Archer

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Research Fellow

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext. 6501

Email: sarcher@aut.ac.nz

Links to relevant web pages:

http://sci21.co.nz (Science that will transform our world in the 21st century)
http://sciencewithsteve.co.nz
http://dronenz.com (Centre for UAV Research)


Qualifications:

  • 2015: PhD (University of Waikato)
  • 2011: MSc (University of Waikato)
  • 2009 BSc (University of Waikato)

Memberships and Affiliations:

Research Areas:

  • Aerosol microbiology.
  • Global process of microbial aerosolisation and longevity.
  • Ecological roles of atmospheric microbiome.
  • Transboundary pollutant transportation and their ecological effects.
  • Microbial ecology and metagenomics of extreme environments.

Research Summary:

Our work centres on the molecular genetics of low-biomass samples collected from extreme environments which has led to our primary research focus in the emerging field of aerosol microbiology. Little is known about the dynamics of the airborne microbial communities due to the technological challenges of biomass retrieval, which has provided us an excellent opportunity to conduct valuable foundational work. Recently, we have developed techniques that can reliably characterise microbial communities using high-volume vortex air samplers and high-throughput sequencing. By reducing sampling time down from typically 24 hours to an hour, we have established one of the most rapid approaches available for aerosol microbiome study. We have implemented this consistent methodology to understand the microbiology of the atmosphere at various temporal and spatial scales both locally and internationally. This approach is critical in addressing fundamental biogeographic questions regarding the global presence and dispersal of microorganisms, with significant implications relating to public health, biosecurity, and engineering of built environments.

Current Research Projects:

Current research projects include:

  • Antarctic transportation of microorganisms
  • Influences of air mass source on microbiology
  • Airborne and marine polyclyclic aromatic   hydrocarbon pollution and microbial responses
  • High temporal resolution dynamics of bioaerosols
  • Microbiology in extreme desert ecosystems
  • Geothermal microbiology

Publications:

Chick here for a complete list of publications