Jean McLain
Jean McLain
Associate Director, Water Resources Research Center
Associate Research Scientist, Soil, Water and Environmental Science
(520) 621-4084
Ph.D., Microbial Ecology, Duke University, 2002

As Associate Director of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC), I contribute to human resource management, including supervision of staff and leading committees for staff searches; additional duties include planning and execution of fundraising; long-term strategic planning and reporting of metrics; and chairing committees for organizing the WRRC Annual Conferences and other events involving water management professionals, elected officials, and WRRC stakeholders. My research program is directed towards establishing impacts of anthropogenic stressors on microbiological presence and function in soil and water and identifying linkages between microbes in the natural environment and human health. Recent studies include examining the potential for trace contaminants in degraded irrigation water and biosolids to induce development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria; and performing molecular and cultural analyses of bacterial regrowth, survival, and transport in irrigation water and soils to establish links to fresh produce safety.

Selected Citations: 

McLain, J.E., E. Cytryn, L. Durso, and S. Young. 2016. Culture-based methods for detection of antibiotic resistance in agroecosystems: advantages, challenges, and gaps in knowledge. Journal of Environmental Quality, 45: 432-440; DOI: 10.2134/jeq2015.06.0317. 

McLain, J.E. and C.F. Williams. 2014. Sustainability of water reclamation: long-term recharge with reclaimed wastewater does not enhance antibiotic resistance in sediment bacteria. Sustainability, 6: 1313-1327; DOI: 10.3390/su6031313.

McLain, J.E.T. and C.F. Williams. 2012. Assessing environmental impacts of treated wastewater through monitoring of fecal indicator bacteria and salinity in irrigated soils. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 184:1559-1572; DOI: 10.1007/s10661-011-2060-4.

McLain, J.E.T., C.M. Rock, K. Lohse, and J. Walworth. 2011. False positive identification of E. coli in treated municipal wastewater and wastewater-irrigated soils. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 57: 775-784; DOI: 10.1139/W11-070.

McLain, J.E.T., H. Ryu, L. Kabiri-Badr, C.M. Rock, and M. Abbaszadegan. 2009. Lack of specificity for PCR assays targeting human Bacteroides 16S rRNA gene: significant cross-amplification with fish feces. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 299: 38-43; DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2009.01745.x.

McLain, J.E.T. and C.F. Williams. 2008. Seasonal variation in identification of Escherichia coli within a constructed wetland receiving tertiary-treated municipal effluent. Water Research, 42: 4041-4048; DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2008.06.003.

Research Themes: 
Climate and Adaptation
Water quality
Food Systems and Security
Food safety
Public Health
Soil contaminants
Water contaminants
Arid lands
Biological treatment process
Community education
Public Health
Waste containment
Water distribution systems
Water reuse
Water treatment

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