2014-Present: NERC CASE PhD student, Imperial College London and Institute of Zoology
2010-2014: Biological Sciences MSci, University College London
My research examines the emergence of the fatal chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis across high altitude amphibian populations in the Pyrenees mountain range of France and Spain. This system has been studied for over a decade and has a rich epidemiological data set tracking the emergence of infection at different sites/populations.
Our data has shown a high degree of variability in response to infection with some populations showing continued decline and high prevalence while others exhibit signs of development of resistance or persistence to infection. Determining the drivers that underpin these differences in susceptibility profile between populations is the primary focus of my PhD.
To address this I hope to disentangle the key determinants of susceptibility by looking at host, pathogen and environmental parameters. I am especially interested in the relationship of the host microbiome and metabolome to disease.
My work employs a range of molecular biology and analytical chemistry techniques including next generation sequencing and metabolomics. In addition to field based studies, I have also developed in-vitro and in-vivo experimental systems.
Dillon, M.J., Bowkett, A.E., Bungard, M.J., Beckman, K., O'Brien, M., Bates, K., Fisher, M.C., Stevens, J.R. & Thornton, C.R. Tracking the amphibian pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans by using a highly specific monoclonal antibody and lateral-flow technology. Microbial Biotechnology. Accepted October 2016.
Professor Matthew Fisher, Imperial College London
Dr. Trent Garner, IOZ
Dr. Xavier Harrison, IOZ