My current research focuses on:
- Social networks and infectious disease dynamics
- Interactions between parasites (macrobiota) and microbiota
- Using bioluminescent reporters to study real-time in vivo pathogen dynamics
- Citizen Science
Orcid id: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7457-2699
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 70490
Location: School of Biosciences, The Sir Martin Evans Building, Cardiff University Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX,UK
Social networks and infectious disease dynamics
Contacts between individuals are not equal – social network theory offers methods for visualizing and quantifying variation in contacts. I use social network analyses, often using wild rodents to determine the role of individuals in disease transmission and assess how epizootics and disease treatment can alter the contact structure of populations.
Interactions between parasites (macrobiota) and microbiota
Although the number of microbiota studies has increased exponentially in the last decade, a clear interaction between the gut microbiota and another major component of the gut biome, parasitic helminths, has only recently been suggested. We are using wild rodents and their helminths (macrobiota) to understand the role of each component in shaping the gut biome.
Using bioluminescent reporters to study real-time in vivo pathogen dynamics
In collaboration with Dr. Liz Anderson and Prof. Vyv Salisbury at the University of West England, UK we use in-vivo real-time imaging system to shed light on the dynamics of infection within and between individuals.
I currently run www.projectsplatter.co.uk; a Social media PLATform for Estimating wildlife Roadkill. These data are available to all interested parties and are currently being used on research projects investigating badgers and bovine TB, otters and Toxoplasma gondii and deer and cryptosporidium.
I studied Environmental Science at Plymouth University after which I worked for the UK Wildlife Trusts as a Conservation Officer. I started my research career several years later with a NERC Fellowship at Aberdeen University studying for a MSc Ecology. After this, I completed my PhD at Stirling University with Prof. Peter Hudson, studying the ecological dynamics of disease with a NERC Fellowship based at the Centro di Ecologia Alpina in the Italian Alps. My post-doc took me to the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CIDD) at Penn State University. I returned to the UK in 2009 to start a Marie Curie Fellowship at Cardiff University, after completion of which became a Lecturer at Cardiff University.