- 2018–Present: PhD Researcher, London NERC DTP, Institute of Zoology, Queen Mary University of London and University College London
- 2012–2013: MSc in Forensic Science, King’s College London
- 2007–2011: BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science, University of Surrey
My previous research has included:
- Molecular studies on Koi herpesvirus (KHV) and other emerging herpesviruses in Carp using the DNA polymerase gene.
- Experimental identification of non-coding RNAs in Streptomyces Coelicolor
- Developing New Investigative Leads from an Unknown DNA Sample Using Ancestry Informative Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms
My current interests are around the ability of viruses to cause disease, to adapt to changing environments and how they may adapt in the future. Specifically, I am interested in the evolutionary history of viruses, and the molecular characteristics that determine virulence and persistence.
The emergence of infectious disease with a broad host range can have a vast impact on populations and is a threat to biodiversity. In recent years, amphibians have experienced huge declines on a global level; one of the reasons for this are a group of pathogens belonging to the genus Ranavirus. Ranaviruses have the ability to infect a broad host range spanning fish, reptiles and amphibians, they are expanding to regions previously undetected and have a diverse range of viral species making them OIE notifiable pathogens. With lineages emerging across Europe, and the recent discovery of their ability to produce subclinical infections, it is imperative that we understand more about these emerging pathogens.
Although ranaviruses have been identified as the cause of mortality events across the globe, understanding their host and geographical range is hampered by a lack of viral characterisation. Subclinical infections mean a reassessment of ranaviral prevalence, on the modes of transmission i.e. is the re-occurrence of ranaviruses each year due to long-standing cryptic infections, are they responsible for the spread of the virus globally, and viral characterisation i.e. are subclinical infections caused by new ranavirus species? My doctoral research will centre around these questions looking at carriers, both in the UK and in the animal trade, as well as generate new genomic data, on an unprecedented scale, that will provide the missing gaps needed to reconstruct the evolutionary history of jumps between species and localities.
Prof Richard Nichols, Queen Mary University of London
Prof Trenton Garner, Institute of Zoology
Prof Francois Balloux, University College London