fax. 01334 46343
I am a Post-doctoral Scientist working on the John Templeton Foundation funded ‘Extended Evolutionary Synthesis’ project (www.extendedevolutionarysynthesis.com/). My role in this project is to investigate the impact of niche construction by ecosystem engineers on the evolutionary trajectories of bacteria. This is explored using controlled mesocosm experiments containing estuarine sediments, the presence or absence of macrofaunal ecosystem engineers and both clinically-relevant and natural bacterial assemblages. Experiments individually target how a) single and multiple ecosystem engineers modify habitat and selection pressures with synergistic or conflicting niche construction, and b) the evolutionary consequences for bacteria. This work is performed in collaboration with Prof. Matt Holden from the School of Medicine at St Andrews.
I achieved my BSc in Biology from Bangor University in 2012. My dissertation project was a continuation of an SfAM funded ‘Students into Work’ project I worked on in 2011, focussing on the role of estuarine suspended particulate material in the persistence of Escherichia coli in estuaries. This led me to a PhD on ‘The influence of sediment characteristics on the abundance and distribution of E. coli in estuarine sediments’ that was a joint studentship between the Human and Animal Pathogens in the Environment group at The James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, and the Sediment Ecology Research Group (SERG) here at the University of St Andrews.