Microbes play important roles in human and animal
health. Especially the microbes in guts are of crucial importance. We
are interested in how these microbes, that live in the absence of
oxygen, affect human and animal health. Research includes important
human and animal pathogens but also focusses on microbes and nutrition
and their role in food security.
Adaptation of microbial eukaryotes
to low oxygen or complete lack of oxygen featured in several high
impact publications (Nature (2003) 426, 172-176, Current Biology (2008) 18, 580-585
and Current Biology (2014) 24, 1176-1186)
and included major human pathogens such as Giardia intestinalis,
We hope that understanding their unusual biochemistry might
lead to new drug targets.
Food security research focusses at biochemistry
and genomics of several important pathogens such as Aphanomyces and Fasciola hepatica. Aphanomyces causes
two notifyable diseases:
crayfish plague and epizootic ulcerative syndrome in fish while Fasciola causes
liverfluke in cattle and sheep.
Understanding how environmental microbes affect
food productivity and human health is studied using environmental
genomics and next generation sequencing.
A recent new research direction
involves the use of algae to regenerate mine waste, this is an
extension of our involvement in the genome of Emiliania huxleyi (Nature (2013) 499, 209-213). This
work is part of the GW4+ AVaRICE project.
Our lab uses a variety of techniques to answer our
Molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics and
next-generation sequencing methods are routinely used.