Anaïs Oliva

Anaïs Oliva, PhD student

Department of Applied Geomatics, University of Sherbrooke


I am very interested in learning about multidisciplinary perspectives coming from different scientific fields to understand the various environmental effects and mechanisms in aquatic ecosystems. More broadly, I believe that multidisciplinarity is the key to understanding public health issues and, then, to provide the best management responses in any environment!

PhD research project

Contamination risks by microbial diversity and antibiotic resistance assessment related to waterborne diseases in Canadian lakes using tele-epidemiology

Water is essential for life but also constitutes a waterborne diseases source and those are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the world. In Canada, lakes are a privileged resource for many activities as well as a drinking water source. Thus they have to be monitored in order to insure a satisfying microbial quality and avoid waterborne disease risks to service users.

Satellite performances and geospatial techniques enhancements have enable tele-epidemiology recent development in lakes to assess environmental determinants related to microbial contaminations that are at the root of waterborne infections. Simultaneously, we have observed progresses in biotechnology and molecular methods that facilitate further characterization of microbial diversity and abundance in the environment, especially for pollution issues.

This project aims to assess molecular methods potential in a tele-epidemiological approach to estimate microbial contamination risks related to infectious diseases in Canadian lakes but also to determine the sources and the major transfer and survival mechanisms, derived mainly from remote sensing products.

The main objective of this thesis is to enhance microbial and antibiotic resistance contamination risks estimation in Canadian lakes to prevent infectious diseases, following 3 main axes:

  • Developing multi-indicator index risks based on environmental DNA data, microbial count colonies and emerging contaminants residues (e.g. pesticides, antibiotics, lifestyle products…) and assess their distribution in several lakes across Canada;
  • Determining environmental variables (e.g. potential sources, transfer mechanism and survival indicators) related to indicators prevalence and abundancy, especially environmental determinants derived directly from remote sensing products;
  • Establishing and validating predictive model based on an environmental determinants selection from the second objective.

PhD project start and finish dates: 2018 to 2021

Supervisor: Yannick Huot (Université de Sherbrooke)
Co-supervisor: Nicholas Ogden (Public Health Agency of Canada)

LakePulse survey sampling 680 lakes across Canada – I participated in the 2018 and 2019 field campaigns in the Red team.