Microbiology Technician
Wildlife epidemiology
Molecular techniques
Contact details

Institute of Zoology
Zoological Society of London
Regent's Park
United Kingdom

Shinto works in the pathology department of the Institute of Zoology and wildlife health services (WHS).

Shinto's work consists of the collection, isolation and identification of micro-organisms, with antibiograms from both the clinical and post-mortem examination specimens from various different Wildlife Epidemiology projects and assisting in post-mortem examination of garden wildlife health (GWH) (garden birds, amphibians, reptiles and hedgehogs). This includes maintaining isolation and identification techniques for GWH project in conjunction with the RSPB, principally at present isolating and identifying Trichomonas sp.

Shinto is also involved with conducting isolation and identification techniques for the Marine Mammal Project (CSIP), brought about to monitor disease in cetaceans, pinnipeds. sharks & turtles around the United Kingdom; the microbiology and parasitology for various Amphibian projects; and screening of captive exotic animals in quarantine and from within the collections at London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park.

Shinto undertakes comparative studies of microflora in wild-caught, as opposed to captive-bred animals, with species ranging from invertebrates to primates. He is involved with all reintroduction projects for DRAHS, including screening, clinical & post-mortem examination samples of endangered indigenous British species e.g. Red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), Corncrake (Crex crex), Red kite (Milvus milvus), Beaver (Castor sp.) Smooth snake (Coronella austriaca sp.), Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata sp.) and Common dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius). His additional responsibilities involve assisting with collection and processing of various samples from post-mortem examination of GWS, including DNA extraction, PCR running, and results reporting.

Shinto is involved with the management of GWH frozen, formalin and parasite sample archives and the sorting of these sample archives in-order to maintain these archives up-to-date, and produces a monthly review of significant microbiology isolates and parasite archives collected as part of the GWH.

In addition, Shinto provides technical assistance to several MSc/PhD students, and helps various students and others to review papers and posters for publication.

Read more about Garden Wildlife Health (GWH)

Read more about the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP)

Read more about Disease Risk Analysis and Health Surveillance (DRAHS)

Read more about Wildlife Health Services (WHS)

Professional history

28.8 years experience, including four years diagnostic investigation studies and eighteen and a half years research and diagnostic investigation studies.

June 2005-present: Microbiology technician at Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

August 1998-April 2005: Laboratory Technician at the Fahad bin Sultan Falcon Center, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

September 1995-July 1998: Laboratory Technician at the Cardio- Thoracic Science Center Blood Bank in the All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi, India. 

September 1994-August 1995: Laboratory Technician at the Holy Family Hospital, New Delhi, India. 


Edmund J. Flach, Mark F. Stidworthy, Sam Aberdeen, David Clarke,Hannah Davidson, Helen Donald, Grace Goodey, Alysa Hulbert, Shinto John, Nic Masters, Shaheed Macgregor, Paul Pearce-Kelly, Simon Spiro, and Amanda Guthrie. Five years of partula snail pre-export health screening. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 55(1) : 31-41. URL: Copyright 2024 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Accepted for publication 13 November 2023

James E.F. Barnett , Ladislav Novotny, Kelly Astley, Rob Deaville , Richard I. Fox, Cally Ham, Shinto K. John, Shaheed K. MacGregor, Peter J. Perkins, Gurkan Tut, Adrian M. Whatmore, and Mark E. Wessels. Spontaneously arising disease; The first report of meningitis in a Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus). Journal of Comparative Pathology. 203 (2023) 31-35. 0021-9975/© 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Received 30 October 2022. Accepted 15 April 2023.

Bengtsson RJ, Baker KS, Cunningham AA, Greig DR, John SK, Macgregor SK, Seilern-Moy K, Spiro S, Chong CC, De Silva PM, Jenkins C, and Lawson B. The genomic epidemiology of Escherichia albertii infecting humans and birds in Great Britain. Nature Communications. 14(1):1707. PMID: 36973246. Published on 27th March 2023.

Hugh J. Hanmer, Andrew A. Cunningham, Shinto K. John, Shaheed K. Magregor, Robert A. Robinson, Katharina Seilern Moy, Gavin M. Siriwardena & Becki Lawson. Habitat-use influences severe disease-mediated population declines in two of the most common garden bird species in Great Britain. Scientific Reports, (2022) September Scientific Reports 12(1):15055. Received 21 April 2022, Accepted 22 August 2022, Published 05 September 2022.

Becki Lawson, Robert A. Robinson, Andrew G. Briscoe, Andrew A. Cunningham, Anthony R. Fooks, Joseph P. Heaver, Luis M. Hernández‑Triana, Shinto K. John, Nicholas Johnson, Colin Johnston, Fabian Z. X. Lean, Shaheed K. Macgregor, Nicholas J. Masters, Fiona McCracken, Lorraine M. McElhinney, Jolyon M. Medlock, Paul Pearce‑Kelly, Katharina Seilern‑Moy, Simon Spiro, Alexander G. C. Vaux & Arran J. Folly*. Combining host and vector data informs emergence and potential impact of an Usutu virus outbreak in UK wild birds. Scientific Reports, (2022) 12:10298 Received: 18 November 2021; Accepted: 23 May 2022. Published online 18th June 2022.

Mary Elizabeth Ceccolini, Mark Wessels, Shaheed Karl Macgregor, Robert Deaville, Matthew Perkins, Paul D. Jepson, Shinto Kunjamma John, and Amanda Guthrie. Systemic Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae in seven free-ranging delphinids stranded in England and Wales. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. Vol. 145: 173–184, 2021. Published online July 15 2021.

Katharina Seilern-Moy, Joseph P. Heaver, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez, Shaheed K. Macgregor, Shinto K. John, Andrew A. Cunningham, and Becki Lawson. Atypical Knemidokoptosis in Two Dunnocks (Prunella modularis) in Southern England.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases 57(2), 467-470, (25 March 2021).

Received: 20 August 2020; Accepted: 18 November 2020; Published: 25 March 2021.

Folly Arran J, Lawson Becki, Lean Fabian ZX, McCracken Fiona, Spiro Simon, John Shinto K, Heaver Joseph P, Seilern-Moy Katharina, Masters Nic, Hernández-Triana Luis M, Phipps L Paul, Nuñez Alejandro, Fooks Anthony R, Cunningham Andrew A, Johnson Nicholas, McElhinney Lorraine M . Detection of Usutu virus infection in wild birds in the United Kingdom, 2020. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(41):pii=2001732.

Article submitted on 28 Sep 2020 / accepted on 13 Oct 2020 / published on 15 Oct 2020.

Edmund J Flach, Demi LeNette-Dawson, David R Greig, Amina Ismail Ahmed, Claire Jenkins, Shinto K John, Shaheed K Macgregor, Nic Masters, Mark F Stidworthy, Brian Zimmerman, Marie A Chattaway. Isolation and characterisation of Vibrio cholerae from fish examined postmortem at ZSL London Zoo between 2014 and 2018. Veterinary Record. doi: 10.1136/vr.105682 Published Online First: 21 August 2020.

Abdulwahed Fahad Alrefaei, Ross Low, Neil Hall, Rodrigo Jardim, Alberto Dávila, Rick Gerhold, Shinto John, Sascha Steinbiss, Andrew A Cunningham, Becki Lawson, Diana Bell, Kevin Tyler.  Multi-locus analysis resolves the epidemic finch strain of Trichomonas gallinae and suggests introgression from divergent trichomonads. Genome Biology and Evolution, evz164, 11(8):2391–2402 Published: 30 July 2019.

Genome Biol. Evol. 11(8):2391–2402. doi:10.1093/gbe/evz164 Advance Access publication July 30, 2019.

Vicky Wilkinson, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez,  Alejandro N´ u˜nez, Shaheed K. Macgregor, Shinto K. John, Timothy J. Dallman, Andrew A. Cunningham, Elizabeth M. de Pinna, and Becki Lawson. Novel Salmonella Variant Associated with Mortality in Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 2019. DOI: 10.7589/2018-08-191 Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 55(4), 2019, pp. 874–878 Wildlife Disease Association, October 2019.

Helle B. Hydeskov, Corinne F.L. Amar, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez, Shinto K. John, Shaheed K. Macgregor, Andrew A. Cunningham, and Becki Lawson. Listeria monocytogenes infection of free-living western European Hedgehogs (Erinaceus Europaeus). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine Volume 50 No. (1) PP: 183–189, March 2019 Copyright 2019 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

Saldanha IF, Lawson B, Goharriz H, Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez J, John SK, Fooks AR, Cunningham AA, Johnson N, Horton DL (2019). Extension of the known distribution of a novel clade C betacoronavirus in a wildlife host. Epidemiology and Infection 1–8. S0950268819000207. Epidemiology and Infection. Cambridge University Press. 03 April 2019. Published online: 03 April 2019.

Katharina Seilern-Moy, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez, Shaheed K. Macgregor, Shinto K. John, Chris Linton, Andrew A. Cunningham and Becki Lawson. Fatal phaeohyphomycosis due to Exophiala sp. infection in a free-living common toad Bufo bufo. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms (dis. aquat. org.) Vol. 133: 19–24, 2019 Published online: February 7, 2019.

Becki Lawson, Robert A. Robinson, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez, Shinto K. John, Laura Benitez, Conny Tolf, Kate Risely, Mike P. Toms, Andrew A. Cunningham & Richard A. J. Williams.  Spatio-temporal dynamics and aetiology of proliferative leg skin lesions in wild British finches. Available from:, Scientific Reports (2018) 8:14670, DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-32255-y. Published online: 10 October 2018.

Becki Lawson, Lydia H. V. Franklinos, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez, Clare Wend-Hansen, Satheesh Nair, Shaheed K. Macgregor, Shinto K. John, Romain Pizzi, Alejandro Núñez, Philip M. Ashton, Andrew A. Cunningham & Elizabeth M. de Pinna. Salmonella Enteritidis ST183: emerging and endemic biotypes affecting western European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) and people in Great Britain. Available, Scientific Reports (2018) 8:2449, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-18667-2. Published online: 05 February 2018.

Gabriela Peniche, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez, Chris Durrant, Shinto K. John,  Shaheed K. Macgregor, Andrew A. Cunningham & Becki Lawson. Nested PCR for Suttonella ornithocola reveals widespread infection in British Paridae species. European Journal of Wildlife Research (May 2017) 63:50 DOI 10.1007/s10344-017-1105-6.

Erasmus k.h.j. zu Ermgassen, Chris Durrant, Shinto K. John, Roxanne Gardiner, Abdulwahed F. Alrefaei, Andrew A. Cunningham and Becki Lawson. Detection of the European epidemic strain of Trichomonas gallinae in finches, but not other non-columbiformes, in the absence of macroscopic disease. Article in Parasitology -1(10):1-7 · May 2016. DOI: 10.1017/S0031182016000780.

Lydia H. V. Franklinos, Androulla Efstratiou, Shaheed K. Macgregor, Shinto K. John, Timothy Hopkins, Andrew A. Cunningham and Becki Lawson. Streptococcus pyogenes Infection in a Free-Living European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus). EcoHealth 05 August 2015, DOI: 10.1007/s10393-015-1051-2.

Katie M Beckmann, Eileen Harris, Ann M Pocknell, Shinto K John, Shaheed K Macgregor, Andrew A Cunningham, Becki Lawson. Aprocta cylindrica (Nematoda) Infection in a European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) in Britain. Journal of wildlife diseases, 50 (4) 2014, pp 000-000 08/2014; DOI: 10.7589/2014-02-035. © Wildlife Disease association 2014.    

K M Beckmann, N Borel, A M Pocknell, M P Dagleish, K Sachse, S K John, A Pospischil, A A Cunningham, B Lawson. Chlamydiosis in British Garden Birds (2005-2011): Retrospective Diagnosis and Chlamydia psittaci Genotype Determination. EcoHealth, 06/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10393-014-0951-x

Becki Lawson, Elizabeth de Pinna, Robert A Horton, Shaheed K Macgregor, Shinto K John, Julian Chantrey, J Paul Duff, James K Kirkwood, Victor R Simpson, Robert A Robinson, John Wain, Andrew A Cunningham. Epidemiological evidence that garden birds are a source of human salmonellosis in England and wales. PLoS ONE. 01/2014;February 2014, Volume 9 (issue 2):e88968 (1-10). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0088968, ISSN: 1932 – 6203.

Jean F Chi, Becki Lawson, Chris Durrant, Katie Beckmann, Shinto John, Abdulwahed F Alrefaei, Kim Kirkbride, Diana J Bell, Andrew A Cunningham, Kevin M Tyler. The finch epidemic strain of Trichomonas gallinae is predominant in British non-passerines. Parasitology; 140(10): 1234-1245.  DOI:10.1017/S0031182013000930. (08/2013), 0, 1-12. © Cambridge University Press 2013, Cambridge Journals Parasitology.

Katie M. Colvile, B. Lawson, A. M. Pocknell, S. K. John, M. P. Dagleish and A. A. Cunningham. Chlamydiosis in British songbirds. Veterinary Record, 171(7):177. Doi:10.1136/vr.100506 (August 13, 2012).

10.   Becki Lawson, Laura A. Hughes, Tansy Peters, Elizabeth de Pinna, Shinto K. John, Shaheed K. Macgregor and Andrew A. Cunningham: Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis Supports the Presence of Host-Adapted Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Serovar Typhimurium Strains in the British Garden Bird Population. Published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Nov. 2011, Volume: 77, Number: 22, 8139-8144.), 0099-2240/11/$12.0 , (DOI:10.1128/AEM.00131-11) American Society for Microbiology.

Becki Lawson, Andrew A. Cunningham, Julian Chantrey, Laura A. Hughes, Shinto K. John, Nancy Bunbury, Diana J. Bell, and Kevin M. Tyler (2011): A clonal strain of Trichomonas gallinae is the aetiologic agent of an emerging avian epidemic disease. Published in Infection, Genetics and Evolution (Volume: 11, Issue: 7, October 2011, (1638-1645), ISSN: 1567-1348, (DOI:10.1016/j.meegid.2011.06.007).

Becki Lawson, Robert A. Robinson, Aleksija Neimanis, Kjell Handeland, Marja Isomursu, Erik O. Agren, Inger S. Hamnes, Kevin M. Tyler, Julian Chantrey, Laura A. Hughes, Tom W. Pennycott, Vic R. Simpson, Shinto K. John, Kirsi M. Peck, Mike P. Toms, Malcolm Bennett, James K. Kirkwood, and Andrew A. Cunningham: Evidence of Spread of the Emerging Infectious Disease, Finch Trichomonosis, by Migrating birds. (Thursday 22 September 2011) Published in Eco Health (International Association for Ecology and health) DOI: 10.1007/s10393-011-0696-8). Eco health 8, 143-153.

Lawson, B., Malnick, H.M., Pennycott, T.W., Macgregor, S.K., John, S.K., Duncan, G., Hughes, L.A., Chantrey, J. and Cunningham, A.A. (2010): Acute necrotising pneumonitis associated with Suttonella ornithocola infection in tits (Paridae). Veterinary Journal. DOI: 10.1016 / j.tvjl. 2010.03.010, Veterinary Journal 188 (2011) 96-100.

Robert A. Robinson, Becki Lawson, Mike P. Toms, Kirsi M. Peck, James K. Kirkwood, Julian Chantrey, Innes R. Clatworthy, Andy D. Evans, Laura A. Hughes, Oliver C. Hutchinson, Shinto K. John, Tom W. Pennycott, Matthew W. Perkins, Peter S. Rowley, Vic R. Simpson, Kevin M. Tyler, Andrew A. Cunningham (2010): Emerging Infectious Disease Leads to Rapid Population Declines of Common British Birds.(PLoS ONE | 1 August 2010 | Volume 5 | Issue 8 | e12215, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012215 ).

J.H. Samour, J.L. Naldo and S.K. John. Normal haematological values in captive Gyr falcons (Falco rusticolus). (Falco. Issue no: 28, August 2006;22).

Samour, J.H., Naldo, J.L. and John, S.K. Therapeutic management of Babesia shortii infection in a peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). (Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery. 2005: 19; 294-296).

Samour, J.H., Naldo, J.L. and John, S.K. Normal haematological values in captive Gyr falcons (Falco rusticolus). (Veterinary Record.2005, December 24/31; 157: 844-846).

J.H. Samour, S.K. John and J.L. Naldo. Endoparasites in Falcons in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Exotic DVM Veterinary Magazine, Volume 6.6, February/ March 2005.

J.H. Samour, J.L. Naldo and S.K. John. Staining characteristics of the eosinophil in the Saker falcon (Falco cherrug). Exotic DVM Veterinary Magazine, Volume 3.4, August/ September 2001.