University of Manitoba
Dr. Miguel Uyaguari joined the Department of Microbiology at the University of Manitoba in July 2019 as an Assistant Professor and Indigenous scholar. He belongs to the Montubio people of Ecuador and is of Amerindian (Cañari) and Spanish (old Castile region) descent. He started his career as a marine biologist and over the courses of years he transitioned from Aquaculture, to Aquatic Toxicology, and then to Microbial Ecology. In 2005, he left his native homeland after being awarded a highly competitive Fulbright scholarship to pursue graduate studies at the University of South Carolina. In 2011, he migrated to Vancouver, British Columbia as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia (UBC) under the mentorship of Dr. Patrick Tang to work in a Genome Canada project (Applied Metagenomics of the Watershed Microbiome). From October 2015 to June 2019, he worked as a senior research associate for the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) as part of the FoodNet Canada project. His research interests involves the study of microbiomes and antibiotic resistance genes in the aquatic environment. His research interests encompass four foci that are summarized in the following lines:
- Understanding the diversity of environmental microbiomes in different impacted aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems (agriculture, urban or mixed influenced, and protected) by using next-generation sequencing tools to characterize, analyze and compare microbial fingerprints.
- Determining novel indicators for water quality and microbial source tracking using function and sequence-based metagenomics.
- Using state-of-the-art tools to characterize significant changes in microbial community as direct discharges from wastewater treatment plants or concentrated animal feeding operations that may result in the contamination of coastal and freshwater ecosystems.
- Exploring antibiotic resistance genes and the resistome in aquatic ecosystems under high and low levels of anthropogenic influence using metagenomics and their correlation with micropollutants (antibiotics and heavy metals) in the environment.
One of Miguel Uyaguari’s goals in academia is to foster an equal, diverse and inclusive environment for his students and laboratory members. In this context, Dr. Uyaguari aims to balance the number of male and females in his laboratory. Dr. Uyaguari also welcomes people from minorities such as 2SLGBTQ+ groups, First Nations, Métis and Inuits, and international students among others.