In February this year, ZERO2FIVE’s Dr James Blaxland successfully gained a grant from the Society for Applied Microbiology to fund a student to complete an 8 week summer research project. Natalie Munroe, who graduated from Cardiff Met University this year with a 1st class honours degree in Food Science and Technology, was the successful applicant and she has just finished her research project looking at the Reduction of Listeria monocytogenes on fresh cut salad using gaseous ozone. Here she writes about her experience:
My placement within ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University has permitted me to use one of Europe’s largest ozone chambers and explore its potential for the decontamination of Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli on fresh salad and surfaces. It has been a fascinating experience to research such a novel technique and gain some really interesting results!
This scholarship has allowed me to develop my self-confidence, learning what I am able to achieve and improve my independent planning and questioning skills. I am now able to successfully carry out multiple objectives, adapt, learn, and overcome challenges that may occur during scientific research; I have also further developed my research and microbiological skills gained during my BSc Food Science and Technology degree and placement year in industry.
The scholarship has given me a wealth of experience from a research perspective at an early stage of my career, this in turn has given me a strong base to work from as I continue towards an MSc and PhD. This opportunity has shown me that a career in microbiology is for me and hopefully in the exciting world of research. I am hoping to publish the results of my placement within a society journal.
Supervisor, Dr James Blaxland said “Natalie worked hard in her placement and completed a lot of experiments which has allowed our research group to focus on specific strains of Listeria and ozone time/concentration combinations. Her results will directly inform and impact on BSc, MSc and PhD student studies as well as our ongoing research and contractual work. We wish Natalie all the best and look forward to collaborating in the future!”