About This Podcast

The Rise of the Superbugs podcast series explores how antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is becoming more common and how these resistant microorganisms, also referred to as ‘superbugs’, affect people and society. 

The podcast episodes look at how antimicrobials are used – and overused – and how superbugs can also affect our pets. The podcast series explores how superbugs exist in the natural environment but how antimicrobial resistance is increasingly making infections difficult or impossible to treat. 

The Rise of the Superbugs podcast explains why AMR is something everyone should care about. It combines storytelling with evidence-based research to increase awareness about one of the great health threats of the 21st century. It takes a constructive journalism approach using podcast storytelling in a way that Australians can both understand the problem and be part of the solution.

Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobials are medicines used to treat infections in humans, animals and plants. These include antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics. As a result of misuse and overuse, resistance to these medicines is increasing, making infections harder to treat. According to the World Health Organisation, AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.

Researching and raising awareness through podcasting 

The podcast series is produced by a team of researchers and podcast producers, supported by funding and resources from the Australian Research Council and Swinburne University of Technology. The podcast series is one of the research outcomes from the project “Promoting Australian general public awareness and action on antimicrobial resistance” (ARCDP170100937), led by Associate Professor Mark Davis, conducted by social science and media researchers from Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology, University of Gothenburg and University of Strathclyde. 

Production Team

Professor Mia Lindgren | Executive Producer

Professor Mia Lindgren | Executive Producer

Mia is Dean of Social Sciences, Media, Film and Education at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. Her research examines forms of journalism and storytelling, with attention to podcast journalism, technology, and health communication. She combines practice-based research, applied through productions of documentaries, podcasts and websites, with traditional scholarship in leading international journals and presses. She is an international expert in podcast, radio and journalism studies with positions on several editorial boards and scientific committees. Her contribution to journalism studies in Australia was noted with the 2015 Anne Dunn Research Excellence Award. Mia’s research has been awarded three Australian Research Council and two National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants.

Dr Britta Jorgensen | Host and Producer

Dr Britta Jorgensen | Host and Producer

Britta is a podcast maker and researcher with a background in community radio and journalism. In 2020 she completed a practice-research PhD on independent podcasting in Australia. She’s currently a producer with Deadset Studios and producer of environmental film podcast, Seeing Green. She’s produced audio stories for ABC Radio National, the Judith Neilson Institute, Duolingo and the CBAA. She’s taught and mentored emerging producers and won a 2018 Burning Seed grant for her interactive audio installation, The Complaints Department. She has written podcast criticism and published peer-reviewed research in podcast studies. Britta is enjoying the sunshine, rainforests and reefs of Queensland.

Sarah Mashman | Producer

Sarah Mashman | Producer

Sarah Mashman is an award winning audio journalist and producer. Working across regional and urban studios, Sarah has led productions for SBS, CBAA and the ABC. Sarah has an interest in human centred stories that refocus the story on the guest and their experience and won the Create Provoke award at the 2021 Hearsay International Audio Arts Festival. She is the running producer of ABC RN’s arts and culture show, Stop Everything! and works on independent and branded podcasts including From the Embers and The Few Who Do. Sarah is currently living in Tasmania being distracted by the wallabies in her backgarden.

Silvi Vann-Wall | Producer

Silvi Vann-Wall | Producer

Silvi is a journalist and podcast maker with a background in radio, film and television. Her audio career began at the age of 16 on Melbourne’s SYN fm. She has since produced audio for the University of Melbourne (Eavesdrop on Experts; A Walk On The Wise Side), ABC Radio National (Blueprint; Drive; Life Matters), and FBi Radio’s All The Best. Most recently, her chronic illness podcast Pill Pop was awarded with a grant and co-production deal under The Wheeler Centre’s So You Think You Can Pod competition. She can usually be found inside her homemade recording booth, with her headphones on and a cat in her lap.