CRIPES

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Rhiannon Hunt

OVERVIEW

Rhi CRIPES profile

I studied Marine Biology at the University of Portsmouth from 2012-2015, where I undertook an Erasmus funded project at the German Aerospace Center to examine passive contact based killing of bacteria. After graduating with a First class BSc in Marine Biology, my interest in pathogens continued as I began an MRes at Cardiff University in 2015 and explored parasitology having been awarded the Morgan E. Williams Scholarship, under the supervision of Prof Jo Cable. The project examined transmission and dispersal of non-native parasitic worms (Branchiobdellida) on invasive signal crayfish and I obtained a Distinction.

Currently I am working with Nutriad, an international animal nutrition company, to explore new treatments and feed supplements for tropical fish using the guppy fish/Gyrodactylus worm host/parasite system. I hope to begin a PhD in September on fish lice control and treatment, focusing on the freshwater Argulus with additional work on marine sea lice.

 

CONTACT

Email: HuntRC1@cardiff.ac.uk

Location: Cardiff School of Biosciences, The Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX

 

RESEARCH

MRes

Supervisor: Prof. Jo Cable (Cardiff University)

Funding: The Morgan E. Williams MRes Scholarship

Interested in how both invasive species and their symbionts disperse, my MRes project examined behaviour of invasive signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus infected with the parasitic worm Xironogiton victoriensis. Signal crayfish frequently disperse overland and not only did we find this behaviour repeatable, but determined that these aquatic parasites can survive the trip and disperse alongside their hosts. Additionally, using video analysis we found both sheltering and fighting interactions between hosts facilitated parasite spread. Considering the invasive status of signal crayfish and continuing introduction of non-native parasites, these results have implications for both disease transmission and invasive spread.

 

BSc

Supervisors: Dr. Ralf Möller (German Aerospace Center), Dr. Julian Mitchell (University of Portsmouth)

Funding: The Erasmus Programme

Certain areas have unique issues with microbial colonisation. Healthcare-associated infections contracted from hospital visits continue to be a problem and health concern despite cleaning practices, while space craft/stations do not allow for conventional cleaning techniques. Copper has widely been used as items such as door handles or light switches to passively kill bacteria on contact. Large scale use is generally not feasible due to the expense, thus this project tested metal alloys and commercially available anti-microbial materials in comparison to copper to determine economically viable options that are just as effective as pure copper.

 

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