Jill R. Stewart

Return to Full List of ASM Distinguished Lecturers and Topics

(Speaker Term: July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2016)


Jill R. Stewart (term: 7/1/14 through 6/30/16)        

Gillings School of Global Public Health

University of North Carolina

Campus Box 7431

Chapel Hill, NC  27599 


Phone:  919-966-7553

Fax:  919- 966-7911

E-mail: Jill.Stewart@unc.edu    


Speaker’s Website:  http://jillstewart.web.unc.edu/   



Primary Division:  Q (Environmental & General Applied Microbiology)

Secondary Division:  Y (Public Health)  



Global Environmental Change: Are We Making Populations of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria?  

Antibiotic resistance can occur with and without anthropogenic influence.  This presentation summarizes studies of antibiotic resistance undertaken in natural and altered systems, including marine and agricultural environments.  Results help to better understand human contributions to antibiotic resistance, a growing threat to public health.                                                           


Explorations in Human and Ecosystem Health: Water Quality in the Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands are known for their significant ecological diversity as well as their importance in the study of evolution.  However, a recent increase in land-based tourism and residential population growth may be threatening the iconic species and landscapes which comprise this World Heritage Site.  This study provides a baseline characterization of water quality on one of the inhabited islands of the Galápagos, and evaluates the potential relationship between human activity and bacterial antibiotic resistance in this “pristine” environment.    


Effect of Increasing Storm Intensity on Pathogen Loads in a Drinking Water Reservoir

Storm events and the resulting runoff are expected to increase with climate change, with the potential to adversely impact drinking water reservoirs and other surface waters.  This research evaluates loading of microbial contaminants into a drinking water reservoir as a function of rainfall and land use.  These results help identify timing and conditions for public health vulnerabilities and introduce novel tools for the protection and management of drinking water sources.    



Jill Stewart is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina and has served as an ASM Division Officer in Division Q: Environmental and General Applied Microbiology.  She is developing novel techniques to detect and track pathogens in water, and is also interested in evaluating impacts of non-point source pollution, and in evaluating the manner in which human activities such as development and waste disposal affect distribution of microbial contaminants.  Current research projects include evaluation of water quality associated with (1) land application of waste products and (2) urbanization on a watershed-scale.  Overall, these activities are leading to a greater understanding of how environmental conditions can affect human health, and how humans themselves influence this process.  


CV is available by request from adempsey@asmusa.org at ASM Headquarters


Return to Full List of ASM Distinguished Lecturers and Topics