CUROP-funded internship: Interactions between the gut microbiota and helminths in wild rodents.
Based at the Fondazione Edmund Mach, Northern Italy
The ECOBIOME project (which investigates the interactions between the microorganisms and helminths of the gut) is offering an 8 week summer student position funded by CUROP. The project will work on the parasites and microbiology of the gut in wild mice (Apodemus flavicollis), with PhD candidate Emily Pascoe and supervisor Dr. Sarah Perkins. This is a great opportunity for any Cardiff undergrad interested in gaining research experience both in the laboratory and the field. We will support you in developing your own ideas within the project, and will offer the chance to use a variety of methods to enhance your scientific skills.
The gut microbiota and parasitic helminths are both known to strongly influence host health, however, little research into the interactions that occur between these two groups has been conducted. We aim to establish if parasitic helminths affect the gut microbiota, using wild rodents as a model system, by performing field-based manipulation experiments and using next-generation sequencing. We ask, is the microbiota differentially affected by a high or low dose of parasitic helminths? Wild mice will be infected with different doses of the parasite Heligmosomoides polygyrus and the subsequent changes in the faecal microbiota and immune responses will be monitored.
You will be based at a research institute in Northern Italy (Fondazione Edmund Mach) for 8 weeks (15 June – 14 August 2015) and will conduct field and lab experiments, gaining extensive experience in parasitology, field sampling, microbiology and data analysis.