Jessica Subirats Medina

Jessica Subirats Medina

ORCID: 0000-0002-7919-683X
Research group: Environmental Pollution & Agriculture (EPA)

Jessica holds a degree in Biology from the University of Girona (UDG, 2011) and a Master degree in Food Biotechnology (UDG, 2014). In 2018, she completed her PhD at the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA, Girona) under the EU-FP7 GLOBAQUA Project, obtaining Cum Laude distinction and the extraordinary PhD award. Part of her PhD project was conducted in the Microbial Ecology Group (MEG) of the Institute of Ecosystem Study at the National Research Council (Verbania, Italy). Afterwards, in November 2018, she joined the research group of Dr. Edward Topp at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Center (London, Ontario, Canada) for almost three years, where she worked as a postdoctoral associate. In 2021 she was awarded with a “Juan de la Cierva Formación” grant and she started working at the Institute of Environmental Research Council (IDAEA-CSIC). Her research interests relies on understanding the main routes of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) dissemination from anthropogenic sources to the environment. As a PhD student, she investigated the effects of pharmaceutical active compounds on bacterial communities thriving in rivers receiving chronic anthropogenic pollution. She was particularly interested on how these chemical compounds affect the diversity and abundance of antibiotic resistance genes across water, sediment and biofilms. On the other hand, the work she carried out at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada aims to understand and manage the risks to human and environmental health from microbial and chemical contaminants generated in primary food production.


2014-2018 PhD in Science and Water Technology.
Graduated on July 24th, 2018 with a cum laude distinction, mention as European Doctorate and awarded as Extraordinary PhD.
University of Girona (Spain)
2013-2014 Master on “Molecular Biology and Biomedicine” University of Girona (Spain)
2011-2012 Master on “Food Biotechnology” University of Girona (Spain)
2005-2011 Biology Degree University of Girona (Spain)



09/2021- present Postdoctoral contract “Juan de la Cierva Formación” from Spanish Ministry of
Science and Innovation (MICINN), Spanish Government. Institute of
Environmental Research Council (IDAEA-CSIC). Barcelona, Spain.
10/2018 to 08/2021 Postdoctoral Associate. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Government of Canada, London, Canada).
09/2017 to 02/2018 Research Technician. Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA). Girona, Spain.
09/2012 to 06/2014 Laboratory Technician. Dolce Gusto, Nestlé.


  • Project title: Intervention of antimicrobial resistance transfer into the food chain (INART).
    Financial entity: Joint programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIARM).
    Duration from 02/2018 to 12/2021
  • Project title: Managing the effects of multiple stressors on aquatic ecosystems with water scarcity (GLOBAQUA).
    Financial entity: European Union’s Seventh Programme for Research,Technological
    Development and Demonstration. Ref. Grant agreement no. 603629- ENV-2013-6.2.1.
    Duration from 02/2014 to 01/2018
  • Project title: Tracking and assessing the Risk from Antibiotic resistant genes using chip technology in surface water ecosystems (TRACE).
    Financial entity: MINECO-JPI-Water. Ref.Grant agreement no. 281347 (JPIW2013-129).
    Duration from 09/2014 to 12/17
  • Project title: Contributión de las Archaea no cultivadas en el Reciclaje del Carbono Orgánico en Sedimentos (ARCOS).
    Financial entity: MECO-Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. Ref. Grant CGL201233033.
    Duration from 01/2013 to 12/2015.


  1. Subirats, J., Sharpe, H., Topp, Ed., (2021). Fate of Clostridia and other spore-forming Firmicute bacteria during feedstock anaerobic digestion and aerobic composting. Journal of Environmental Management. (Under review).
  2. Subirats, J., Murray, R., Yin, X., Thang, T., Topp, Ed., (2021). Impact of chicken litter pre-application treatment on the abundance, field persistence, and transfer of antibiotic resistant
    bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes to vegetables. Science of Total Environment. 801:149718. (IF: 6.55).
  3. Subirats, J., Murray, R., Scott, A., Calvin, H-LF; Topp, Ed., (2020). Composting of chicken litter from commercial broiler farms reduces the abundance of viable enteric bacteria, Firmicutes, and selected antibiotic resistance genes. Science of Total Environment. 746:141113. (IF: 6.55).
  4. Subirats, J., Dominguez, A., Topp, Ed., (2019). Is dietary consumption of antibiotics by humans promoting antibiotic resistance in the gut microbiome? Journal of Food protection.
    82(10):1636-1642. (IF: 3.5).
  5. Subirats, J., Di Cesari, A., Fiorentino, A., Varela, S., Ecker, E.M., Rodriguez, S., Borrego, C.M., Corno, G., (2019). High quality treated wastewater causes drastic changes in natural
    microbial communities and intI1 gene abundance. Water Research. 158:72-78. (IF: 7.91).
  6. Subirats, J., Timoner, X., Balcázar J.L., Acuña, V., Sabater,S., and Borrego, C.M., (2018). Emerging contaminants and nutrients synergistically affect the spread of class 1 integronintegrase (intl1) and sul1 genes with stable streambed bacterial communities. Water Research 138: 77 – 85 (IF: 7.91).
  7. Proia, A., Anzil, A., Subirats, J., Borrego, C.M., Farrè, M., Llorca, M., Balcázar, J.L., and Servais, P., (2018). Antibiotic resistance along an urban river impacted by treated wastewaters.
    Science of the total Environment. 628-629:453-466 (IF: 4.90).
  8. Proia, A., Anzil, A., Subirats, J., Borrego, C.M., Farrè, M., Llorca, M., Balcázar, J.L., and Servais, P., (2018). Antibiotic resistance in urban and hospital wastewaters and their impact on
    a receiving freshwater ecosystem. Chemosphere. 206:70-82 (IF: 4.90).
  9. Subirats, J., Triadó_Margarit, X., Mandaric, L., Acuña, V., Balcázar, J., Sabater, S., Borrego, C.M., (2017). Wastewater pollution differently affects the antibiotic resistance gene pool and
    biofilm bacterial communities across streambed compartments. Molecular Ecology 26:5567-5581 (IF: 6.08).
  10. Nasri, E., Subirats, J., Sànchez-Melsió, A., Mansour. H.B., Borrego, C.M., and Balcázar, J., (2017). Abundance of carbapenemase genes (blaKPC, blaNDM and blaOXA-48) in wastewater
    effluents from Tunisian hospitals. Environmental Pollution 229: 371-374. (IF: 5.09).
  11. Compte-Port, S., Subirats, J., Fillol, M., Sànchez-Melsió, A., Marcé, R., Rivas-Ruiz, R., Rosell- Melé, A., and Borrego, C.M., (2017). Abundance and Co-Distribution of widespread
    marine Archaeal lineages in surface sediments of freshwater water bodies across the Iberian peninsula. Microbial Ecology 74(4):776-787. (IF: 3.63).
  12. Subirats, J., Royo, E., Balcázar, J.L., Borrego, C.M., (2017). Real-time PCR assays for the detection and quantification of carbapenemase genes (blaKPC, blaNDM and blaOXA-48) in
    environmental samples. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 24: 6710-6714. (IF: 2.80).
  13. Lekunberri, I., Subirats, J., Borrego, C.M., and Balcázar, J.L., (2016). Exploring the contribution of bacteriophages to antibiotic resistance. Environmental Pollution. 220: 981-984
    (IF: 5.09).
  14. Subirats, J., Sànchez-Melsió, A.,Borrego, C.M., Balcázar, J.L., and Simonet, P., (2016). Metagenomics analysis reveals that bacteriophages are reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes.
    International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 48: 163-167 (IF: 4.09).
  15. Balcázar, J.L., Subirats, J., and Borrego, C.M. (2015). The role of biofilms as environmental reservoirs of antibiotic resistance. Frontiers in Microbiology 6: 1216. (IF: 4.019).

Eight oral presentations as first author and presenter, six poster presentations as first author and presenter and three oral and poster presentations as co-author.


  • Postdoctoral fellowship. Juan de la Cierva Formación 2020. Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN), Spanish Government.
  • Best Doctoral PhD Thesis award in Microbiology of the Aquatic Environment (2018-2019), Spanish Society of Microbiology (SEM).
  • Extraordinary PhD award 2018 in Water Science and Technology. University of Girona.
  • Mobility grant from the European government, Erasmus plus programme. April 2017.
  • Mobility grant from European Cooperation in Science and Technology, NEREUS COST Action. March 2017.
  • AIL grant for the 1st Iberoamerican congress of Limnology. November 2016. Valdivia, Chile.
  • Second place award from the 1st Catalan Water Research Cluster. July 2014, Girona (Spain).


  • Active reviewer in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Statistical workshop with R (Western University), London (Canada), January 2020.
  • “Statistical Modelling with R using RStudio” (UAB), Barcelona (Spain), April 2016.
  • Postgraduate course on “Genealogies and Phylogenies of DNA: Reconstruction and Applications”. Research Institute of Biodiversity (University of Barcelona). Barcelona (Spain), July 2015.

– Catalan: Mother tongue
– Spanish: Mother tongue
– English: Advance


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