Rachel is a recent graduate from Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Environmental studies, followed by a master’s degree in Geoscience, continuing to refine her area of expertise in water resources. Through her thesis research, she developed an Urban Karst Aquifer Evaluation Toolbox to aid invested stakeholders in implementing effective groundwater management programs, which also demonstrated the potential for antibiotic resistant bacteria in groundwater systems used for source water needs. She is currently working towards a doctoral degree in Environmental Science through Tennessee Technological University with a focus on novel identification of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and their resistome as well as the conditions conducive to their development in urban karst groundwater systems. For her current research, she is collaborating with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. Her future career goal is to understand the impact of urbanization on the development and prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in urban groundwater systems and provide policy analysis on the effectiveness of current monitoring programs on both detection and mitigation of these emerging pathogens. She has gained extensive lab skills in water quality, microbiological, and molecular analysis, along with national and international fieldwork experience, GIS and data analysis, and management implementation through her academic career.
At UNU-INWEH, Rachel be working closely with Dr. Lina Taing on the Antimicrobial Resistance Scoping Review project.