I started my undergraduate degree at Cardiff University in October 2004. Having originally enrolled on a Biology scheme, I changed degree course to Microbiology as my interests in pathology developed. After my second year I was lucky to be accepted onto an industrial placement scheme, at the Life Sciences Department of Merck Chemicals in Newport. During that year I worked on developing a prototype that could be used for collecting live organisms in an air sampler, a project that has continued to the production phase. In my fourth and final year of my BSc, I conducted an honours project with Professor David Lloyd, working on a fish parasite, Spironucleus vortens, a major cause of hole-in-the-head disease in salmonids. There my interests in parasitology grew and I was introduced to Dr. Joanne Cable, a parasitologist at Cardiff University through which my NERC-funded PhD project was established with Dr. Joanne Lello.
Location: Lancaster Environment Centre
I carried out my PhD from October 2008 until January 2012 at Cardiff University (Supervisors Dr Jo Lello & Dr Jo Cable), where I explored the effects of an endemic infection on single and multiple host-parasite interactions (funded by NERC). Specifically, I explored how epidemic parasite transmission was affected by the presence of the endemic infection, and the consequences for infection at the life history and population level. CRIPES was pivotal in helping to develop my ideas, research methods and presentation skills within a fantastically enthusiastic and supportive group.
I am currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at Lancaster Environment Centre, working on a BBSRC-funded project (Lead Investigator: Prof. Ken Wilson) to investigate the role that host nutrition plays in determining the outcomes of host-parasite interactions. Fundamental to this project is the “geometric framework of nutrition” that considers how multiple nutrients interact to impact on host fitness traits (e.g. immunity); thus demonstrating that diet quality as well as quantity is important in determining the outcome of disease. More information on this work can be found on my website.
Randall J., Cable J., Guschina I. A., Harwood J. L., Lello J. (2013) Endemic infection reduces transmission potential of an epidemic parasite during co-infection. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280 (1769): 20131500. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.1500
Millet C.O.M., Lloyd D., Coogan M., Rumsey J., Cable J. (2011). Carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism of the diplomonad parasite Spironucleus vortens. Experimental Parasitology 129: 17-26 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exppara.2011.05.025