My MSc project in Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Leeds was entitled ‘Host-parasite interactions in bees’. This was an investigation into the potential for immune priming in the European Honeybee Apis mellifera following infection of a microsporidian, Nosema ceranae. This involved experimental infection of the bees, DNA extractions, PCR, and spore counts. I gained my undergraduate degree at the University of Stirling, achieving a BSc (Hons) in Biology. My final year project was ‘An investigation into the effect of temperature on the health status of Atlantic horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus’. This involved protein and cell analysis and immunological assays to analyse the effect of different temperatures at both the cellular and whole animal level.
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 75776
Location: Cardiff School of Biosciences, The Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX Room: C5.15
My main research interests are host-parasite interactions, and how immune systems respond to stress. I am currently working for Dr Jo Lello on her cockroach system. My role is to investigate if we can determine the immune changes which occur in the gut of the cockroach Blattella germanica when they are infected with an endemic gastrointestinal parasite, Gregaina blattarum. I am also analysing avian blood smears for blood parasites. This involves presence/absence, determining parasitemia levels, and white blood cell differentials to assess immune responsiveness. This study is focused on two members of the Colimbidae family; the turtle dove Streptopelia turtur and the woodpigeon Columba palumbus, and is looking for the presence of avian haemosporidian parasites including Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocutozoon species.