Rowena lectured on the Foundation, BSc and MSc courses in Microbiology within the department of Biomedical Sciences at Cardiff Metropolitan University. She engaged in research led teaching on both the undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Her research interests focused on the current challenge of antimicrobial resistance, novel antimicrobial agents and their role in combating microbial infection, particularly in chronic infections.
To date the main body of her research has focused on the antimicrobial effects of manuka honey on potentially pathogenic microorganisms. She has investigated the effect of novel antimicrobial agents on cellular morphology, physiology, biofilm prevention/disruption, adhesion/invasion, virulence expression and proteomic/genetic expression profiles of pathogenic organisms. She also investigated the potential for novel antimicrobial agents to potentiate the efficacy of antibiotics that currently have reduced activity due to microbial resistance. With the aim that information generated by testing novel agents in the laboratory will give an insight into their mode of action and how they can be best used in clinical practice.
Rowena's research group at Cardiff Metropolitan University investigated the infections associated with Cystic Fibrosis and Diabetic foot ulcers as well as looking at the zoonotic pathogens found in companion animals, this work was carried out with partners from the NHS, industry and academia.