Shamin Ahasan

A survey of the bacterial gut communities of healthy and compromised green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and investigation into the cause and treatment for gastrointestinal disorders

Shamim’s research focused on investigating bacterial gut flora (normal and pathogenic) in healthy and compromised green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) using both traditional culture dependent and independent diversity profiling techniques. Green sea turtles are hind gut fermenters which means they rely on ‘good’ bacteria in their gut for digestion. Shamim’s ultimate goal was to trial a new method for treating pathogenic bacteria that is highly targeted, so the ‘good’ bacteria will survive and benefit the turtles. This method is called bacteriophage therapy and could be an effective alternative to antibiotics and can be applied in both animal and human diseases.