DSU student presents research at S.D. State CapitolAmber-Johnson.jpg

On February 27, 2013, Dakota State University student Amber Johnson, along with other university students from around S.D., presented their research during the Student Research Poster Session held at the state capitol in Pierre, S.D.

Johnson is a senior biology student at DSU from Milwaukee, Wis., and is set to graduate this summer. She started her independent research project focused on testing antibiotic resistance in E. coli from Lake County, S.D., and lab strain B, in Sept. 2012. Her research was funded through an SRI grant. 

Johnson explains her interest in the topic, “I chose my research on this topic for two reasons, the first because I really enjoyed the microbiology course I took here at DSU, and second because I worked in a pharmacy for seven years and saw first-hand the effects of becoming resistant to antibiotics.”

Johnson credits her education from DSU for giving her a solid background and foundation of biology and chemistry used during her research. “All the lab experience we get at DSU as Biology majors was especially helpful when spending hours in the lab applying various lab techniques I was taught.” 

”I truly enjoyed conducting my research; it was exciting coming into the lab and never being able to predict what would happen next,” stated Johnson. “We observed three conclusions under our conditions: 1) these isolates of E. coli exhibited variable resistance, 2) for specific E. coli isolate antibiotic combinations, under selection pressure, we were able to select for increased resistance to antibiotics, and 3) such resistance exhibited variable stability.” 

Johnson doesn’t want people worrying when they think of E. coli in their lakes, “Because it’s actually normal for it to be present; it’s when levels of E. coli are high that people should be worried. In our case, E. coli counts were very low, which is normal for early fall when samples were collected.” 

“I would also like to thank my advisor, Dr. Donna Hazelwood, the volunteers of Dakota Water Watch, and Dr. Droge’s fall Aquatic Biology class for collecting numerous water samples, and I hope it was exciting for them to see their samples be used and tested.” 

Photo: Amber Johnson of Milwaukee, Wis., representing Dakota State University, with Rep. Scott Parsley of Madison

Last Updated: 4/3/13